Now that we are a month removed from the college basketball season, it is time to start focusing on the NBA Draft. In the next few entries I will examine the draft prospects of the three Gonzaga players who have a chance to hear their names called in June: Josh Heytvelt, Jeremy Pargo, and Micah Downs.
Today, we look at Zags point guard Jeremy Pargo.
Pargo's college career will likely be remembered more for what he did not do as a senior than for what he did do in his first three seasons.
As a freshmen, Pargo saw the court often for Gonzaga, but was not a huge contributor. However, starting his sophomore year Pargo began to become the leader of the offense, and as a result saw a huge jump in his production. In his second and third years Pargo averaged more than 12 points per game, when you combine that with his 6 assists per game he had his junior year, it seemed Pargo was poised to make a big leap onto the national scene during his last year in Spokane. In fact, Pargo's name began to show up at the tail end of first round projections for the upcoming NBA draft.
However, Pargo never seemed to be able to get his senior season going. The Zags lost four out of five games in a nasty non-conference stretch, a large result of poor point guard play from Pargo. After that, the Zags gradually turned more of the responsibilities for the one spot over to Matt Bouldin. Bouldin's strong play combined with Pargo's inconsistent outputs made Pargo's senior season a fairly disappointing one.
Pargo brings decent size (6-2, 215) and an NBA pedigree (his brother Jannero played for 6 season in the NBA before moving to Europe). However, his next level potential is likely diminished by his ineffective shooting.
Pargo hovered right around 70% from the free throw line and only 25% from three during his tenure as a Zag, certainly not the kind of numbers that are likely to make NBA scouts sit up and take notice. Also, despite dropping his turnovers per game in his senior year, Pargo is prone to have bouts of unreliable passing.
Pargo's athleticism however may be what gets his foot in the door to the NBA. One of the most explosive players in the college game, Pargo attacked the rim ruthlessly and had a knack for rising above defenders to complete explosive jams. A quick first step also makes him a difficult defensive matchup, but unless Pargo's jump shooting gets better, defenses won't be too concerned with giving him a step.
While Pargo's ability to get to the rim may intrigue some teams, it is unlikely that a team will use a draft choice on a point guard that is not a reliable passer or shooter. Because of that Pargo's professional future, at least in the short term, will likely be with his brother, in Europe.