If you have not had the opportunity to check out Gary Parrish and his blog on cbssports.com, I would recommend that you start reading it on a daily basis. Parrish provides tremendous insight for a college basketball fans to enjoy. The past couple of days have seen Parrish release his list of the Top 40 guards in the nation, as well as his preseason Top 25 (and 1). Like most writers, Parrish has very high expectations for GU this season.
- In his list of the top 40 guards in the nation, Parrish includes both Jeremy Pargo and Matt Bouldin. Bouldin is listed as the #38 guard in the country, and this puts Matt in some pretty impressive company. The only player on the list ahead of Matt that I have an issue with is Ronald Steele of Alabama. I think Steele is a tremendous basketball player, but he has not played competitive basketball at a high level in nearly two seasons. Prior to his knee injury, Steele was one of the top PG's in the country, but after being out for so long, I don't think it is fair to assume that he will return to his elite level of play.
- Parrish thinks quite highly of Jeremy Pargo, as he ranks Pargo as the #10 guard in the country. While I think Jeremy should be ranked a little higher, it is nice to see a writer recognize how dominant Jeremy can be on the court. There are very few guards across the country who have the combination of size and speed that Jeremy has. If he can improve his decision making this season, then Jeremy has an opportunity to be a 1st team All-American. However, one issue that I have with Parrish, and numerous sports writers across the country, is how highly Patty Mills is ranked. I understand that Patty Mills had a great performance in the Olympics, but based on what I saw last season, I would take Pargo over Mills everyday. When the two went head-t0-head at St.Mary's last season, Pargo scored 27 points, dished out 9 assists, and had 4 rebounds. Not to mention the fact that Jeremy repeatedly got to the rim against Mills, as he hit 11 of 16 shots. On the other hand, Mills had 23 points, 4 assists, and 1 rebound. Mills shot 5 of 15 from the field, and 13 of his points came from the free-throw line. Mills has the skill set to be a tremendous PG, but I am just not quite ready to label him one of the top guards in the country.
- Parrish thinks highly of the team as a whole this season, as he ranks GU #8 in the country to start the season. Seeing his rankings makes me realize just how difficult the schedule is this season, as GU will take on 5 teams ranked in his Top 25 (and 1).
Parrish writes- "Mark Few has the most talented team in Gonzaga history. Now let's see if it can become the best"
This echoes the "wait and see" approach that many fans have entering the season. There is no denying the talent that Coach Few has at his disposal, but we must see all the talent mesh and stay healthy throughout the season for the team to reach its potential.
On a different topic, can anyone explain to me why people hold Purdue in such a high regard? Parrish has the Boilermakers ranked #6, and he is not the only writer who thinks that highly of them. The Big 10 had one of the worst season in the history of a BCS conference last season, so I'm not impressed by the fact that Purdue won the conference. Besides an impressive win over Louisville (minus David Padgett), and a sweep of a good Wisconsin team in Big 10 play, Purdue failed to beat any elite teams. The Boilermakers lost to Clemson, Iowa St., Wofford, and Missouri last season when they were forced to play outside of the Big 10. I think that Purdue benefited because of a terrible conference last season, and I would be surprised if they make any noise during the NCAA Tournament.