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View Full Version : Seattle Times: Pargo "doesn't cheat the game"



FuManShoes
03-06-2008, 11:59 PM
Nice comments from Few and some insight into how the WCC came to its current tourney format (I wasn't aware Few's criticism may have led to the extra byes and pursuit of a neutral site).

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/collegesports/2004266079_wcc07.html

ZagsGoZags
03-07-2008, 12:15 AM
I'll admit it. When I read "Pargo doesn't cheat the game" I am not exactly sure what is being said. For anyone reading this, excuse my ignorance.

Does that mean something like rather than putting out medium effort in practice, weight room, etc. and then hoping luck will give him an excellent performance,
,

he does all the training, practices, etc. 100%, so that if he performs well, luck had very little to do with it ??

Nevtelen
03-07-2008, 12:25 AM
It is an odd turn of phrase. I took it to mean something like what you said - Pargo doesn't go for the easy way out, he isn't all flash and bang with no substance; he works hard to be fundamentally sound (in addition to maybe throwing down a teeny-weeny dunk on occasion, as we know :D ).

I have to say that I liked Pargo before, but he's really become my favorite player on the team this year through his great interviews and really evocative and emotional, yet consistent and solid play. What a great great guy to have leading the team.

ZagNative
03-07-2008, 12:29 AM
It was in 2002 that Few, after a hard-fought win against San Diego on its home floor, made a bristling plea to the league to change the format, arguing that more games against lower-Ratings-Percentage-Index clubs endangered the chances of league teams getting an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.

That resulted in the system now in place, vastly favoring the teams that performed best in the regular season.
Interesting. Makes sense. I didn't think of the angle about avoiding playing low-RPI in addition to rewarding good regular-season play.

LongIslandZagFan
03-07-2008, 05:29 AM
I'll admit it. When I read "Pargo doesn't cheat the game" I am not exactly sure what is being said. For anyone reading this, excuse my ignorance.

I think what he is trying to say is that there are kids out there with tremendous talent that simply take it for granted and mail in the practices and only show up on game night. Jeremy works hard at constantly improving himself and his game. If anything I'd call it a huge compliment.

applezag
03-07-2008, 05:44 AM
I think Few has to really appreciate Pargo's coachability. He's a guy who was getting some big numbers early in the season and was told--correctly--that he had to change the way he was playing for the team to realize its potential. He listened, worked to improve, and is a big reason why the team is playing much better than it was two months ago. I don't think most players with Pargo's numbers, status, and skills would take that kind of correction so well.

FuManShoes
03-07-2008, 06:24 AM
And Pargo's sacrrifice will not go unnoticed. I think there were questions about his play-making abilities coming into this season. Everyone knew he could take it to the rack and post up smaller guards, but could he pass? The answer, my friends, is hell yeah. If I'm not mistaken, he's 10th in the country in assists and we've all seen the kinds of dimes he can dish. Now if he channels that work ethic toward shooting, he will round into a complete threat. I'm heartened to see that he's making mid range shots and taking smart shots.

ZagMan in Philly
03-07-2008, 06:29 AM
Pargo has improved so much in the last year. We are so lucky to have him, and I hope to have him again for next year. He will have some amazing games from here on out....take us to the promise land Pargo!

Birddog
03-07-2008, 06:46 AM
I didn't think of the angle about avoiding playing low-RPI in addition to rewarding good regular-season play.

The RPI hit was probably the main reason for the change. For example, let's say you won the reg season and received the #1 seed entering the Conf. Tournament, and battled through till the Champ. game, where you lost. You would have played some of the worst RPI # teams in the conference (maybe the country) lowering your own RPI substantially in the process. It's quite possible that loss in the Champ game was also to a fairly low RPI team, but no matter, they get the auto bid. When the NCAA Tournament Selection Comm is splitting hairs on at large teams, your RPI that just took the hit could cost you a spot.

Few argued that it wasn't fair, or for that matter very smart to have such a possible scenario since the conference could really hurt it's chances of sending the best team into the NCAA Tournament with the best shot at advancing. The $$$$ that flow to the conference from an advancing team are substantial as Gonzaga had demonstrated for the previous couple of years. IIRC, there were people claiming Few and GU were whining, but cooler heads prevailed and the change was made. It was a simple matter of economics when you looked at the situation closely. I believe a few other non BCS conferences have adopted similar strategies since then for essentially the same reason.

LongIslandZagFan
03-07-2008, 06:57 AM
The RPI hit was probably the main reason for the change. For example, let's say you won the reg season and received the #1 seed entering the Conf. Tournament, and battled through till the Champ. game, where you lost. You would have played some of the worst RPI # teams in the conference (maybe the country) lowering your own RPI substantially in the process. It's quite possible that loss in the Champ game was also to a fairly low RPI team, but no matter, they get the auto bid. When the NCAA Tournament Selection Comm is splitting hairs on at large teams, your RPI that just took the hit could cost you a spot.

Few argued that it wasn't fair, or for that matter very smart to have such a possible scenario since the conference could really hurt it's chances of sending the best team into the NCAA Tournament with the best shot at advancing. The $$$$ that flow to the conference from an advancing team are substantial as Gonzaga had demonstrated for the previous couple of years. IIRC, there were people claiming Few and GU were whining, but cooler heads prevailed and the change was made. It was a simple matter of economics when you looked at the situation closely. I believe a few other non BCS conferences have adopted similar strategies since then for essentially the same reason.

To put the money situation into perspective. Remember that the Big Dance is a HUGE revenue stream for the NCAA when it comes to broadcast rights. That money gets filtered down to the conferences that participate. Essentially the conferences get about $1 million for each game that they have teams participate in. So if you have teams going deeper in the tourney the conference is getting more and more money.

So if you have the top team in your conference get knocked out in a early round of a conference tourney due to either a bad game and a stellar game by a bottom feeder, you have just taken away any remote chance that your conference could advance beyond the first game. In other words that silly setup could potentially cost your conference about $1 million + if the best team in the conference had a high potential of advancing.

For the good of the conference it is in their best interest to put the best teams in the tourney to heighten their conference's chances of advancing. This was the argument being made by coach Few. He wasn't just looking at it from GU's perspective but for any WCC team that was in the Zags position.

MedZag
03-07-2008, 07:10 AM
For the good of the conference it is in their best interest to put the best teams in the tourney to heighten their conference's chances of advancing. This was the argument being made by coach Few. He wasn't just looking at it from GU's perspective but for any WCC team that was in the Zags position.

As seen by St Mary's position this year. By being placed in the semis, they most likely will see San Diego for their first game. A loss to them and they're still likely an at large bid.

But in the old format, St Mary's would have had to battle through the bottom feeders before they reached San Diego in the semis. Even with wins, this is a significant ball and chain on the RPI, and would make a loss to USD in the semis even more dangerous (and more likely of costing them an at-large). Not to mention the risk of a fluke upset by one of the bottom feeders that would effectively tank the at-large chances.

23dpg
03-07-2008, 08:23 AM
I like the WCC's tourney for the RPI reasons listed, but there is another reason to do it like this, it makes the regular season relevant. Why should a team have a lousy season, then have the same chance as the team who proved to be better for 3 months. The last place team should have to work harder to win the crown.

CDC84
03-07-2008, 10:35 AM
Another problem with the old format relates to the capricious nature of pre and postseason tournaments where teams play 3 games in 3 days. Crazy stuff happens in formats like this because most teams are just not used to playing back to back to back games. Also, when you play that many consecutive games, it inherently favors teams with greater depth....depth that isn't as much of an issue in the NCAA tournament and throughout most of the regular season due to the rest breaks in between games.

The league's decision to advance the top 2 finishers to the semis not only provides RPI protection, it also allows those teams to only play back to back games. Personally, I would like to see the WCC do what some other leagues do...allow for a rest break between the semifinals and the title game. A one day break would be fine for the WCC. The title game is just too important...the players deserve rest, and the coaches more time to prepare a game plan. Of course it would require fans to stay longer in the city that is hosting the tourney.

Thomas_Sutpen
03-07-2008, 11:18 AM
Of course it would require fans to stay longer in the city that is hosting the tourney.

Hmmm. And the tourney is moving to Vegas. I'm not sure my wallet could take that extra day. Better to get in and out without any down time. Kids need shoes and all.

BobZag
03-07-2008, 02:25 PM
All-time Gonzaga assist leaders--

1. Matt Santangelo
2. Blake Stepp
3. John Stockton
4. Jeremy Pargo

With a strong finish to this season and a good year next season, Jeremy could surpass Stockton. Currently, Pargo has 410 assists while Stockton had 554. Santangelo and Stepp are way up there at 668 and 640, respectively.

Good job, Jeremy!

MickMick
03-07-2008, 02:37 PM
With respect to Pargo working hard in practice.....I wouldn't know because I have not watched him practice. But is there any other explanation for his dramatic improvement?

He improves from season to season, and over the course of each individual season. He is all about improvement. I don't recall a Zag that has improved more over the course of his college career. I'm not calling him the greatest Zag ever, I am just comparing the current Pargo to what he was his freshman year and even to what he was at the beginning of this season.

I am now wondering how much more he cam improve. Considering most of his perceived downside can be corrected from coaching (I don't believe his biggest "problems" are physical in nature), he may have a ways to go before he hits the ceiling. He just keeps getting better and better.

CDC84
03-07-2008, 02:58 PM
The next step for Jeremy is to do what Adam did between his sophomore and junior years.....sit in Spokane and Chicago and put up a 1,000 jumpers per day. No international competition, no camps. As draftexpress.com has said, Jeremy has the capability of being a better shooter than he is. The mechanics are fine, etc. He just needs repetition.

Pargo spent the summer between his sophomore and junior years learning to be a better point guard and floor leader by attending all of those camps. This summer he needs to tighten up the one remaining part of his game that needs work. He should aim to be a consistent 40% 3 point shooter next year, as well as a 75% foul shooter. He's never going to be as good of a shooter as a Derek Raivio or Dan Dickau, but he can make this area of his game strong enough to where it isn't a weakness.

VinnyZag
03-07-2008, 03:22 PM
good lord, can you imagine how good that kid'd be if he was a 40 percent 3-shooter?

Nevtelen
03-07-2008, 05:35 PM
Seriously, that would be sick. One of the reasons he explodes in big games I think is after that first 3 goes down (man, somehow he just wills it through! Don't ask me how!) The way he gets guarded just changes because guys just have to respect his shot more. He gets crazy lethal.

rennis
03-08-2008, 08:50 AM
If Pargo shot 40% from 3 and 75% at the line he would be a POY candidate in 2009 IMHO.