Well it sure seems that the talking heads at ESPN do not think much of the Zags this year. Despite being a clear top-10 team when the season starts, some of the writers at ESPN continue to write negative columns on some of our players. Last week it was Doug Gottlieb declaring that Jeremy Pargo was not one of the top-10 PG's in the country last season, despite him being named an honorable mention All-American a year ago. This week, it is Chad Ford, discussing the dropping stock of Austin Daye in the NBA circles.
Here is a brief overview of what Ford said regarding Austin
- Ford states that Austin was unable to develop his game this summer because he was resting his knee.
- Ford mentions that Austin was having a lackluster performance at the camp before his injury, and that NBA scouts don't view him as a surefire lottery pick anymore.
While I don't view Ford's piece as anywhere near as outrageous at the one Gottlieb wrote last week, there are a few points that I disagree with. The main thing that Austin needed to achieve this summer was to gain strength. At no point this summer did Austin have surgery on his knee, he was only limited in terms of being able to play contact basketball. Therefore, Austin was still able to lift and gain some of the much-needed strength he needs. I can tell you that Daye has been working out since returning to school, and has got stronger since the end of last season.
I take huge issue with Ford saying that a poor performance at a summer basketball camp will cost Austin when it comes to his NBA future. There is no summer camp anywhere in the country that has counselors play high-level basketball. While it is entirely likely that Austin scrimmaged and played with the other counselors, he was likely going half-speed and playing in a street-ball type game. There is not one NBA scout that would base their scouting report on Austin's performance at a summer camp. Austin did not lose any of the enormous potential he had this summer, and I can guarantee he is a lottery pick anytime he goes pro.
- And just in case Jeremy did not get enough motivation from Gottlieb, now he can check out this columnists Wooden Award Nominees. Earlier today, Dick Weiss of the Daily News released the list of players that he nominated for the Wooden Award. While Austin Daye was one of the players that he voted for, Jeremy Pargo was nowhere to be found. It sure seems that many people are forgetting that he is the reigning WCC Player of the Year, and the backbone for a top- 10 team this season.