Demetri Goodson Disappoints: What Should Gonzaga Do with the PG?

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Demetri Goodson Disappoints: What Should Gonzaga Do with the PG?

Life is beautiful in 2010 if you’re a Zags fan.  Sure, we drop games to inferior teams here and there, but it comes with the territory of having a young ball club.

These “Bullpups” are maturing and playing at a higher level than anyone, including Coach Few, could have predicted prior to the season. 

Matt Bouldin has become the leader we’ve envisioned and anticipated since his arrival in 2006.  Elias Harris is an international freshman sensation, perhaps Germany’s finest import since the Volkswagen.  Even Manny Arop and Grant Gibbs have brought instant impact off the bench as freshmen with fabulous hustle plays on both ends.

It seems most doubts Gonzaga fans had entering 2009-10 have been put to rest, but a new problem has arisen.  What should they do with Demetri Goodson?

In the second round of last year‘s NCCA tournament, Goodson, an up-and-coming backup point guard, made perhaps the most famous shot in Gonzaga’s history.  Blazing past Western Kentucky defenders, he drove the length of the court and swished a 10-foot floater with less than one second remaining in regulation, giving GU the victory, 83-81. 

People can argue whether Goodson’s shot was better than Casey Calvary’s in 1999, but no one’s going to argue that he’s been this year’s biggest disappointment on the hardwood. 

During a stellar rookie campaign, Goodson was primed for the starting position by Jeremy Pargo, who cracked a smile every time “Meech’s” name came up in conversation.  Supposedly he saw quite a few similarities in their overall games.  And if he was referring to turnovers and poor shooting percentage, then I totally agree with him.

Don’t get it twisted.  Pargo was a great guard at GU, but he got caught up in the hype, which ultimately affected his draft stock after graduation.  Instead of playing his style, he pressured himself into being the type of player NBA scouts wanted to see.  Once he started pressing, his game became forced and impatient, much like Goodson.

No doubt, Goodson’s the quickest player in the WCC, maybe the nation, in a foot race.  However, his speed discipline is suspect at best.  It’s astonishing how fast he gets from end-line to end-line, but his inability to pump the brakes reminds me of Team USA speedster Luis Mendoza in D2: The Mighty Ducks.

Speed is a weapon, but it serves no purpose if its owner cannot harness it.  Coach Few needs to take a page out of Hans' book by working with Goodson without breaking his inhibition.  Hans, along with Coach Gordon Bombay, never lost confidence in Mendoza.  Same goes for Gonzaga fans, because Goodson has talent that just hasn’t blossomed yet.  Remember, he’s still just a sophomore.

Still, I’m a big supporter of the ideology “stats don’t lie.”  Just look at the facts, and you’ll see “Meech” has a long journey ahead of him if he’s to reach the level of outstanding point guards from the school’s past.

 

Goodson’s Statistics at Gonzaga

(2008-09)

Minutes Per Game: 13
Shooting Percentage: 54 percent
Three-Point Percentage: 25 percent
Free Throw Percentage: 65 percent
Assists Per Game: 1.6
Assist/Turnover Ratio: 1.56
Points Per Game: four

(2009-10)

Minutes Per Game: 26
Shooting Percentage: 50 percent
Three-Point Percentage: 17 percent
Free Throw Percentage: 55 percent
Assists Per Game: 1.6
Assist/Turnover Ratio: .94
Points Per Game: seven

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