Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Calm Before the Storm

For all intents and purposes, today is Christmas Eve.

Fans of Gonzaga basketball have been waiting for tomorrow since the end of the basketball season. Tomorrow, Jeremy Pargo and so many other potential early entrants will decide if they will test their luck and enter the NBA draft, or return to college to finish out their senior year. Gonzaga fans know how vital Pargo is to the success of next year's team and are anxiously awaiting the final word.

Pargo has been busy on the workout trail the past month, visiting Seattle, Cleveland, New Orleans, Memphis, San Antonio, Portland, New Jersey, Boston, Washington, and Toronto. He has a feel for what about 1/3 of the entire NBA thinks about his game so you can't fault him for not doing enough research. It has been documented that Pargo will remain at Gonzaga if he is not a first round lock but after 10 visits to NBA cities, couldn't the allure of pro basketball change even the toughest of minds?

Most basketball and draft "experts" believe that Pargo should and will return to Spokane for his final year of eligibility. The common diagnosis of Jeremy's game is that he has shown that he can be a scoring point guard but he lacks the consistency to not turn the ball over that is needed for the NBA. If he returns he has the chance to improve on that fault and really polish the rest of his game.

The reasons Pargo should return are very legitimate. He has the opportunity to lead a top-10 team next year at Gonzaga. The team is beyond loaded with talent but Gonzaga fans and Pargo know that he is the straw that stirs this drink and without him, there is some major uncertainty at the point guard spot. Jeremy also has the chance to improve himself as a player and work on those turnovers and questionable shooting, and besides he will get another year of that prized Jesuit education. If he follows the reports and only goes if he is a first round selection, he should be back, as many draft sources do not have him in the first round this year.

With those reasons, all signs point towards Spokane, right? He has the chance to lead a team deep into the tournament, up his draft stock, learn and be a kid for another year and then blow up in the NBA. However, people that understand Pargo's on-court mentality know that we should expect the unexpected. After all, he proved that he could score in the draft camp against top talent, he has had many workouts and all of them have gone seemingly very well. And also, it seems like he is ready to move on, reading what he has said it feels like he is ready for the next challenge.

All these questions will be answered tomorrow, and the city of Spokane will let out a collective sigh of relief or their may be some choice four letter words uttered. For me, I used to think Jeremy was gone, but as time has gone on I think that he will be back leading Gonzaga next year in Spokane. He will make an educated decision and will do whats best for him. It will be a challenge for him if he leaves this year as he probably would be a first round pick, but he has shown in his three years at Gonzaga that he loves challenges.

Either way, whatever he chooses, I will not be surprised.

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