Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

An ode to Verne Lundquist’s calls and everything college basketball

Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Pargo’

NCAA Position Rankings: Top 10 PG

Posted by Tommy on July 17, 2008

The ability of a point guard to run an offense and distribute the ball is very key for a college basketball team’s success. Great point guards are tough to come by, and extremely tough to keep around because there is such a high demand for point guards in the NBA. I am going to run down the top 10 point guards in the country for the upcoming 2008-2009 season.

1.  Ty Lawson: Lawson is one of the few exceptions of highly skilled point guards that stick around for all four seasons. The “Roadrunner” is the fastest player with the ball in the NCAA, helping him run the potent UNC fastbreak. He can get the ball into the right hands, but Lawson is also a great scorer around the rim. With all the running UNC does, Lawson doesn’t get too many chances to show what he can do in a half-court offense, but he would be my first choice to run a fast-break. He spent the second half of last year bothered by an ankle injury so he’ll be back at 100 percent for the first time in a while.

2. Jeremy Pargo: As a freshman, Pargo was a guard with plenty of raw, unpolished talent. There was no question he could get to the bucket, but there wasn’t much else he could do with much effectiveness at the college level. Pargo has come leaps and bounds from where he was as a freshman, and now he is the leader of the Zags. He not only developed his decision making, but improved his shot as well, making him a big scoring threat from the point guard position.

3. Tyrese Rice: Rice was one of the few bright spots for BC last season. He can fill the hole with anybody in the country, just look at the UNC game last season. The only problem for Rice is that there was so little offensive talent around him last year that he had to do a lot of the scoring on his own as well as force the ball into tight holes. As a result, he averaged 3.4 turnovers/game and had a 1.45 assist-to-turnover ratio. It would be awesome to see a talent like Rice in Lawson’s place at UNC, but he isn’t, so that’s why he is my #3.

4. Scottie Reynolds: Unlike Pargo, Reynolds came to Villanova and performed as a point guard right away: he scored 40 points versus UConn as a frosh and was named 2006-07 Big East Rookie of the Year. Last year, Reynolds had a good year, averaging 15.9 ppg and 3.2 apg, but didn’t really live up to his high expectations. Villanova returns many of the same players so I think they’ll build more chemistry as a unit, and this is a big draft stock year for Reynolds as well so look for him to really try to improve his game.

5. Greg Paulus: Paulus has improved over the past couple of years more than anybody in the nation. He really struggled at times running the point for Coach K as a freshman, averaging 3.3 turnovers/game and only 6.7 ppg. Over the course of his junior season he cut his mistakes down to 1.6 turnovers/game and improved his scoring to 11.4 ppg. Although his stats show improvement, you have to watch him to see how much he has improved. You can see how his confidence has increased, not only as a point guard, but as a scorer as well. He stopped forcing passes and took better shots, not to mention he became deadly from behind the arc last season. If Paulus can continue improving, look for him to be a great true point guard.

6. Darren Collison: Collison has one of the most well-rounded skill sets as a point guard in the country. Nothing about his game really stands out on the offensive end when you watch him, but he does everything well. He is a good decision maker, can get to the rim pretty well, has a pretty good shot from beyond the arc and is a good floor general. What makes him different from most point guards in the nation is that he takes pride on the defensive end of the floor and is a lock-down defender. His well-rounded skills, coupled with his defensive ability make him a top tier point guard.

7. Stephen Curry: With Curry being a two-guard his entire college career, this is kind of based on speculation. He played point guard in high school so he knows what it takes, but the college game is a huge step up for point guards. Scoring-wise, we all know what Curry can do with the ball in his hand. The only question is whether he can make good decisions as a point guard. I wouldn’t be surprised if Davidson ran an NBA style pick-and-roll offense to give Curry chances to create. I think he’ll be a great point guard, but he’s at #7 only because his skills aren’t proven.

8. Levance Fields: Heart. It’s the first word that comes to my mind when I think about Levance Fields. He was expected to miss the whole second half of the season due to a broken left foot, but Levance made it back in the middle of the Big East regular season for the Panthers. He makes up for his diminutive stature (listed at a generous 5’10”) with his heart, and is the leader of the Panthers. His assist-to-turnover ratio was close to 3:1 last season, meaning he is a great decision maker and who could forget about his shot to beat Duke?

9. AJ Price: Price is one of the more talented guards in the country, and his improvement since his freshman year makes for a promising junior year for Price. Price suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage before his freshman season, resulting in an extra year of eligibility. His comeback from the hemorrhage has been remarkable, and I think he’ll continue to grow as a point guard. Last season he averaged a huge 5.8 apg, but he had 2.4 turnovers/game. If he cuts down on the turnovers he is a top tier point guard with plenty of scoring ability.

10. Devan Downey: One of the most underrated guards in college basketball looks to improve on his 18.4 ppg from last season for the Gamecocks. He transferred from Cincy to South Carolina after his freshman year and will be coupled with Zam Fredrick in the Gamecocks’ backcourt. Downey is a very explosive athlete and can get to the rim with the best of them. He also added 5.4 apg last year as a sophmore, but like AJ Price, committed too many turnovers with 2.7 TO/game. Look for Downey to surprise a lot of people this year with his explosive talent.

Also Considered: Jonny Flynn, Kyle McAlarney, Dominic James, Grievis Vasquez, Eric Maynor, Ish Smith, Chris Warren, Trevon Hughes, Kalin Lucas.

Posted in Player Rankings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

The Best And Worst Decisions Of The 2008 NBA Draft

Posted by Patrick on July 7, 2008

Jeremy Pargo/ Seattle TimesEvery year when the NBA draft rolls around, there is a period where basketball players have to ask themselves the question:  Should I enter my name in the NBA draft or withdraw and return to college? Of course, it is pretty early to say if the decisions that were made were the right ones, especially this early. However, some decisions seemed pretty questionable and some decisions turned out to be very beneficial to the player whose stock was in question. What were the best/worst decisions that players made for this NBA draft?

Bad Decision-DeAndre Jordan (Texas A&M)- After the college season, it looked as if Jordan would be a top pick at the center position right behind Brook Lopez. Jordan looked like a guy who could come into the NBA and provide a team with a good rebounder and an okay scorer. However, when the draft camps got under way and Jordan saw his stock keep falling and falling he still decided to keep his name in the draft. What he got himself was a 2nd round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers, a team that has a very successful center in Chris Kaman and has some great power forwards in Al Thornton, Elton Brand, and even Nick Fazekas. Jordan should have taken his name out of the draft and returned to school where he could have polished his skills and in 2010 maybe be a top 10 pick.

Good Decision-Jeremy Pargo (Gonzaga)- Pargo will be a very good player in the NBA at some point in his career, and he probably would have been a good rookie next season. However, in a draft that was loaded with guards it looked as if Pargo would be a second round selection and thus have to settle for second round money. He now knows how good of a player he can be, and NBA GM’s also know that he could be on their draft slate next season. Pargo will have another year to play on a great college team and be a potential top 20 pick next season.

Bad Decision-Chase Budinger (Arizona)- There are probably a lot of people that disagree with me here, but its been two years in a row where Budinger has looked to be a lottery pick and I just don’t see him improving his stock so much next year that he will propel himself to a top 10 pick. Budinger will be a great NBA player, and he is going back to a team that probably won’t be too successful after the loss of Brandon Jennings and Jerryd Bayless. Budinger should have kept his name in the draft and received the millions of dollars that comes with being a lottery pick.

Good Decision-Jerel McNeal (Marquette)- McNeal got his name onto a lot of teams boards during last year’s NCAA tournament where he almost carried Marquette to an upset over Stanford in the second round. By backing out of the draft he will not only improve his stock, but he will come back to a team that is loaded and ready to win next year. McNeal is a great defensive player and will play a big role on an NBA team some day, but he made the right decision to pass up a second round selection in 2008 for a possible first round selection in ’09.

Bad Decision-Davon Jefferson (USC)- I really thought Jefferson would pull out of the draft, and when he decided to stay I knew that it would be a bad decision. Just how bad was it? Well, Jefferson didn’t get drafted and now will be forced to either try out for NBA teams over the summer or play in Europe. This kid really could have had a good future if he would have stayed in college and possibly been a mid second round pick in the future.

Bad Decision-DJ Augustin (Texas)- I really feel like Augustin could have been the No.1 pick in 2009, and also have been in serious contention for Player of the Year awards in the NCAA. Augustin was a high pick, but he could have had more if he waited one more season. Don’t forget if he stays at Texas they are a national championship caliber team.

Other players considered- Marreese Speights (Florida, Good Decision), Kosta Koufos (Ohio State, Good Decision)

Posted in NBA Draft | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »