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View Full Version : Pargo's Play: Chicken or Egg?



UberZagFan
01-26-2008, 05:01 PM
What comes first: Pargo playing well or a GU loss? Is it the way the game is being dictated in a way where a loss is likely that causes Pargo to take over and drop 20+? Or does Pargo taking over and dropping 20+ lead to a GU loss?

Pargo played a good game--limited his TOs, stayed aggressive, and played hard for 40 minutes!! With that said, too many players starting with Heytvelt and Bouldin rarely if ever saw the ball in the first half in a position to score or on a spot on the floor that best utilizes their strengths--this later led to poor decisions made out of frustration. Obviously much of that is due to Memphis' athletic defense but some of it must be placed on the general on the sideline and his extension on the floor.

MedZag
01-26-2008, 05:11 PM
Pargo's play is the chicken (at least it was today). Pargo didn't start taking over until everyone else on our team effectively demonstrated they could not hit a shot if the life of their grandmother depended on it. Pargo was trying to get people the ball, but no one could do anything with it, and when we went down by 12 I think pargo just went "$#%^ it, I'm not letting us get blown out this easily."

I also think it was a matchup problem. The athleticism and quick hands of memphis' wings really messed with matt. The strength of memphis' bigs really messed with a (seemingly) depleted josh. Pargo (and Downs and Gray in spurts) was the only one who never seemed phased or ruffled by memphis' pace or speed.

Special props to kuso and pendo though - if either had a couple more inches height they would have been much more effective, but their shortcomings were not from a lack of effort.

applezag
01-26-2008, 05:40 PM
I think today was a bit different than in the past because Pargo set out intially to involve others more, then felt the need (appropriately) to score to help the team. This is a trait of many good point guards. I especially remember Dickau having a great feel for what the team needed from moment to moment. He would go a half without hardly looking to score and then just go off in the second, or vice versa. I think this is a developing ability that Pargo is beginning to show.

NorthWestZag
01-26-2008, 05:57 PM
Pargo went 9-16 from the field, Matt went 2-9. I don't think Pargo was taking bad shots. But Memphis probably game planned for Matt/Downs/Heytvelt to be scoring and not focusing on Pargo as much. He took what the defense gave him. I think we lose this game by 20 had we stuck to the "game plan" and had Heytvelt or Bouldin taking most of the shots.

kitzbuel
01-26-2008, 06:03 PM
They without a doubt focused on Matt in the first half and it showed. The plus for GU was that Pendo really made them pay for it. He did a lot of what Matt has done in other games. Second half, Pendo got shut down and Matt wasn't able to exploit it until fairly late.

Memphis did not have an answer for Pargo, and he figured that out pretty quickly. Also, towards the end, Memphis was very afraid of the three and did not want to foul, so that did give Pargo some room to penetrate. It could have cost them but they had just enough of a lead to sweat it out.

MickMick
01-26-2008, 06:13 PM
I think today was a bit different than in the past because Pargo set out intially to involve others more, then felt the need (appropriately) to score to help the team. This is a trait of many good point guards. I especially remember Dickau having a great feel for what the team needed from moment to moment. He would go a half without hardly looking to score and then just go off in the second, or vice versa. I think this is a developing ability that Pargo is beginning to show.

I agree with this. In the opening minutes of the game, Jeremy was kicking out to the guys in 3 point land and they were missing. He later tried to feed inside and the big guys were not handling the pass very well. Finally, the rest of the team started to step up. If the rest of the team can step up when Jeremy is on, then you start to see things like the 17-4 run by the Zags to give them the lead.

Part of Jeremy's scoring numbers were inflated because of good coaching by Memphis. They did not challenge him in the late stages of the game to keep Gonzaga away from the foul line (scoring with the clock stopped).

Jeremy assumed some of Matt's scoring. Matt is not great at creating his own shot. He is at his best running without the ball and then receiving the pass to post up or "catch n shoot" when open. Memphis was on our statistically best offensive player. They game planned him. Jeremy filled the scoring void as he should. Memphis put defensive effort in one area and challenged the others to step up. Jeremy did.

Considering the knocks on Matt today, ever wonder why WSU put the best defender in the PAC-10 on him? I mean if Matt was that bad, wouldn't they put Weaver on somone else? Ever stop to consider that the Memphis defensive game plan was to take away Matt as well? Wouldn't a defensive game plan include special effort against the opponent's leading scorer?

Zagdawg
01-27-2008, 10:33 AM
Keeping in mind not everyone was shooting poorly-- as Downs was 4 for 4 from the field (2 for 2 from 3pt).

Downs had 8 of the last 10 pts in the 1st half to bring us back from down 12 (in the last 7 minutes of the half)-- but I think Pargo was getting him open looks for the 3's.

I would have expected Downs would have gotten a few more looks in the 2nd half.

I thought Pargo had a good game and I hope he continues to develop into a force that we can depend on every game.

Thomas_Sutpen
01-27-2008, 11:05 AM
They game planned him. Jeremy filled the scoring void as he should. Memphis put defensive effort in one area and challenged the others to step up. Jeremy did.

Considering the knocks on Matt today, ever wonder why WSU put the best defender in the PAC-10 on him? I mean if Matt was that bad, wouldn't they put Weaver on somone else? Ever stop to consider that the Memphis defensive game plan was to take away Matt as well? Wouldn't a defensive game plan include special effort against the opponent's leading scorer?

Great post, MickMick--I'm pretty much in agreement. I'd only add what Bouldin himself said after the WSU game, which was something to the effect of, "I should have found a way to get my points." He's such a versatile player and can do so many great things--I would say that what he needs to work on is aggressively finding a way to score--even when he is "game planned" by the opponent.

I predict GU tears up the WCC.

zagfan1
01-27-2008, 11:40 AM
I think that Pargo was impressive yesterday. Unlike the Tenn game he was trying to promote a consisent flow on the offensive end (which is where his leadership provides the most bang). Unfortunately no one was playing on the same page (with the exception of Downs). I think the positive thing out of this is that there was talking among the players between each other about the mistakes that were happening. In regards to boxing out, when mistakes happened they weren't getting together and doing a group hug, they were looking at each and saying "what happened, its on you to take care of business." I think they understand now how important communication and doing your part is for the success against top tier opponents. This could be what the team needed going forward in future practices.

I think that Gray was really trying to figure out how he was supposed to play in this game and I think he probably learned the most from this game. I think the next time the Zags take on another top tier opponent Gray will make some adjustments. Bouldin is the big question mark going forward. He couldn't figure out how to remedy the great defense and attention paid towards him. How can he keep himself on the offensive attack?

gamagin
01-27-2008, 11:54 AM
two things bothered me yesterday, first was the fact that Pargo had to drive in order to keep us in the game. and second that Josh was back atop the key too often.

Yes he made a couple of threes, but we have folks who can do that. And should.

We don't have a surplus of big bodies who can deal with the battles around the net. the statistics and the respected meehan have confirmed what many were saying right after the game, we got beat around the boards.

But, to we who have been watching the Zags for some time, I think a clear signal that were in trouble is when we see Josh atop the Key and Pargo having to drive, versus driving to create a play and shooting if he can't.

The great news, imo, is Jeremy has grown in his job, responsiblities, court vision and talent and most important, leadership.

So it's now up to big guys to get healthy, figure out their roles, go to and and take back their space with toughness and resolve. And dominate it. And I don't mean Kuso. He has been a warrior game in and game out.

gamagin
01-27-2008, 12:44 PM
at the point of release. Rose did not.

Both Rose & matt got off to rocky starts, Matt got dogged and likely lost some of his swagger. He'll be okay. He needed to keep shooting after missing his first three (treys). at least two of them rimmed out, meaning they could have just as easily gone in.

He would have found his zone, imo. But, to its credit, Memphis put a man on him as soon as he started to get his rythmn and shut him back down.

Rose, conversely, gained alot of confidence when there was NO ONE standing in front of him at the rim. Over and over. good as Rose is, he was hanging in the air about where Josh's chin is. Or Sacre's chest. Or Will's, uuuhhh mid-section.

Who wouldn't ?

CDC84
01-27-2008, 01:40 PM
For me this whole thing is about Bouldin. It has zero to do with Pargo. Mark Few has said repeatedly that Bouldin is the most important Zag on the team. When he doesn't play well, whether it's because he's injured or being bottled up defensively, Pargo has no choice but to do what he did against Memphis, Oklahoma, etc. When Bouldin plays well - usually because 90% of the teams he faces don't have a guard that can physically make it tough for him - it makes things easier for Pargo, and the Gonzaga offense thrives. See Virginia Tech, UConn, Pepperdine, etc.

Matt has to play well for Gonzaga to win against top notch teams, and in my honest opinion, when he doesn't play well, it isn't Pargo's fault. It's the result of Matt's inability to shake defenders that are as tall and strong as he is and who have the athleticism to keep him from dribble driving and establishing position in the low post.

Folks, your players have to make plays outside of your offensive system. As sophisticated as Gonzaga's offense may be, top notch defensive teams are going to make it hard for GU to run its stuff. This is one of the reasons why I would be shocked if Georgetown won the national title this year. Those players are so restricted in what they do thru their system that once a good defense takes it away, they struggle to improvise. The notion that everything would be fine if Pargo just set people up all the time is not how things work. Great defense can actually make it extremely difficult for you to "set people up," even if you have the best point guard in college basketball. Someone has got to have the ability to make plays on their own...at least until the defense starts spending too much attention on that one player. Once that happens, you can start running your stuff more easily.

MickMick
01-27-2008, 01:51 PM
For me this whole thing is about Bouldin. It has zero to do with Pargo. Mark Few has said repeatedly that Bouldin is the most important Zag on the team. When he doesn't play well, whether it's because he's injured or being bottled up defensively, Pargo has no choice but to do what he did against Memphis, Oklahoma, etc. When Bouldin plays well - usually because 90% of the teams he faces don't have a guard that can physically make it tough for him - it makes things easier for Pargo, and the Gonzaga offense thrives. See Virginia Tech, UConn, Pepperdine, etc.

Matt has to play well for Gonzaga to win against top notch teams, and in my honest opinion, when he doesn't play well, it isn't Pargo's fault. It's the result of Matt's inability to shake defenders that are as tall and strong as he is and who have the athleticism to keep him from dribble driving and establishing position in the low post.


Matt is currently the centerpiece of the offense, but I think it is unfair to heap all of Zag success (or failure) upon his shoulders. Don't ask of him what he cannot deliver. When he draws the opposing team's best defender, he has already accomplished part of the mission. It now falls upon the other players to pick up the scoring. Jeremy did that.....as he should. Some of the others did not.

gamagin
01-27-2008, 02:37 PM
I agree with you, mm and would like to emphasize to cdc that its all about the team and the team play, under fire. And synchronization.

Matt should have kept shooting. for some reason he didn't. Memphis also wisely guarded him closely. Got under his skin.

We lost the game underneath, however. that was not Bouldin. Had we gotten the putbacks and blocks (even just a couple of each at worst) and Matt had kept shooting, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

we would have beat the best team in the nation, so far.

Memphis makes its pay grade by exploiting weaknesses.

It would not have been able to dedicate a player to Bouldin when necessary if they had been unable to penetrate us so easily, imo.

THEY would have had to start shooting from long range, instead, and the pressure would then be switched off us, or less on us, and onto them, where it belonged (if your a Zag). We couldn't get into synch.

But plan B never arrived because we gave them the middle all the way to the basket all day long.

Pendo should have kept shooting, too.

But my guess is part of the reasons they didn't keep shooting was, again, there was little hope for a rebound or a putback, the way things were going.

so it's a confidence thing. a team thing. sometimes it looks like its one player but most often, I believe, it's just not that simple.

CDC84
01-27-2008, 03:32 PM
Perhaps my post was worded too strongly. I don't want my post to sound like it's all Matt's fault when GU doesn't win. His teammates also have limitations. In truth, this team really doesn't have another player besides Pargo right now that get good shots up outside the flow of the offense against top notch defenders. Daye will do it once he gets stronger. I would also like to think that Bouldin, as he matures as a player, will find ways to create for himself against tough defense.

But what I am wanting to point out is that no point guard in the nation yesterday could've really done much better than Jeremy did in terms of setting other people up. Blake Stepp, Matt Santangelo or Dan Dickau couldn't have done it. Memphis was just taking all of that away, because they're a brilliant defensive team. The only way to combat that is to have players that can make plays on a individual basis until the opposing defense has to do something to stop that player. Memphis has Rose and CDR, Kansas has Chalmers and Rush, etc. Gonzaga has Pargo. The next closest guy to Pargo right now - the guy who usually causes the greatest amount of mismatches - is Bouldin, and he has just not responded well when he's had people get in his grill. At least so far.

MickMick
01-27-2008, 04:13 PM
Perhaps my post was worded too strongly. I don't want my post to sound like it's all Matt's fault when GU doesn't win. His teammates also have limitations. In truth, this team really doesn't have another player besides Pargo right now that get good shots up outside the flow of the offense against top notch defenders. Daye will do it once he gets stronger. I would also like to think that Bouldin, as he matures as a player, will find ways to create for himself against tough defense.

But what I am wanting to point out is that no point guard in the nation yesterday could've really done much better than Jeremy did in terms of setting other people up. Blake Stepp, Matt Santangelo or Dan Dickau couldn't have done it. Memphis was just taking all of that away, because they're a brilliant defensive team. The only way to combat that is to have players that can make plays on a individual basis until the opposing defense has to do something to stop that player. Memphis has Rose and CDR, Kansas has Chalmers and Rush, etc. Gonzaga has Pargo. The next closest guy to Pargo right now - the guy who usually causes the greatest amount of mismatches - is Bouldin, and he has just not responded well when he's had people get in his grill. At least so far.

Good Post...Good Points.

Meech is on the way. I already have a vision of him from things I have read. Pendo-like qualities (commonly called intangibles) in the form of a lightning quick guard.

Zags commonly run a three guard set. Gray and Bouldin have a role on this team and it doesn't appear to be Pargo-like. That is where Meech comes in.

BobZag
01-27-2008, 04:27 PM
Perhaps my post was worded too strongly. I don't want my post to sound like it's all Matt's fault when GU doesn't win. His teammates also have limitations. In truth, this team really doesn't have another player besides Pargo right now that get good shots up outside the flow of the offense against top notch defenders. Daye will do it once he gets stronger. I would also like to think that Bouldin, as he matures as a player, will find ways to create for himself against tough defense.

But what I am wanting to point out is that no point guard in the nation yesterday could've really done much better than Jeremy did in terms of setting other people up. Blake Stepp, Matt Santangelo or Dan Dickau couldn't have done it. Memphis was just taking all of that away, because they're a brilliant defensive team. The only way to combat that is to have players that can make plays on a individual basis until the opposing defense has to do something to stop that player. Memphis has Rose and CDR, Kansas has Chalmers and Rush, etc. Gonzaga has Pargo. The next closest guy to Pargo right now - the guy who usually causes the greatest amount of mismatches - is Bouldin, and he has just not responded well when he's had people get in his grill. At least so far.

I'd like to see Micah join Matt in that regard. Micah is extremely athletic, can jump, rebound, defend, shoot it, drive it, etc.

ZagNative
01-27-2008, 05:50 PM
I just happened to stumble across this story (http://www.morningsun.net/stories/111498/spo_1114980038.shtml) from November 14, 1998, when the #8 ranked Kansas Jayhawks opened their season with a 88-66 win over the Matt-Santangelo-led Bulldogs. Whether or not it's on point, Matt's problem with "things" amused me.


Santangelo scored 24 points, but just five in the second half.

"They went to the trap in the second half and that forced the ball out of my hands and forced us into some situations," Santangelo said. "That led to the physical thing of us maybe getting tired and that led to the mental things and then to the other things. It was that trading of roles. They became the aggressors and we became the ones just trying to get out of there with our heads."

Ah! Other places escaped from with our heads ...

CDC84
01-27-2008, 07:14 PM
Meech is on the way. I already have a vision of him from things I have read.

If the Zags sign Jeff Taylor...he's another guy that can do it. He's like a cross between Brandon Roy and one of those Memphis wings in terms of athleticism. I'm not saying he is Roy, but his style is like him. He's deadly when slashing towards the rim for pull up jumpers and finishes near the rim. He can create his own offense off the dribble.

It is going to be more important for coaches to recruit slashing guards and dribble drivers once the new 3 pt. line is put in place next season. There is going to be more room on the floor to accomodate this. Taylor's game is perfectly suited for the "new era." Hope GU gets him.

But you need diversity in your players. Gonzaga has got a couple of guards with great versatility in Bouldin and Gray.

kitzbuel
01-27-2008, 07:40 PM
two things bothered me yesterday, first was the fact that Pargo had to drive in order to keep us in the game. and second that Josh was back atop the key too often.

Yes he made a couple of threes, but we have folks who can do that. And should.

We don't have a surplus of big bodies who can deal with the battles around the net. the statistics and the respected meehan have confirmed what many were saying right after the game, we got beat around the boards.

But, to we who have been watching the Zags for some time, I think a clear signal that were in trouble is when we see Josh atop the Key and Pargo having to drive, versus driving to create a play and shooting if he can't.

The great news, imo, is Jeremy has grown in his job, responsiblities, court vision and talent and most important, leadership.

So it's now up to big guys to get healthy, figure out their roles, go to and and take back their space with toughness and resolve. And dominate it. And I don't mean Kuso. He has been a warrior game in and game out.

I think Josh was supposed to be out. If he is inside, Dorsey is inside. Josh's being out forced Dorsey to float more than he wanted and open the lane more for GU's smaller players.

TacomaZAG
01-28-2008, 09:50 AM
Sorry for the tardy reply (I was off line yesterday) but this is an issue that is very near and dear to my heart, and the Jeremy chicken/egg illustration is very appropriate in this case. My reply, after thinking about the game all weekend, focuses on two points:

Why the two totally different halves (by Jeremy and the Team)???
Why were we unprepared for Memphis taking Matt out of the game (like WSU)

I agree with the other comments on the board about Jeremy being our most explosive player, and also that the length of our season is dependent on him more than any other individual. I also agree that Jeremy is a "baller" and has a huge heart and desire to win. Furthermore, there is no way that Jeremy was the reason we lost to Memphis, and I apologize if my Saturday thread seemed to imply that.

After reviewing the game and looking at the box score, with Matt having so much difficulty (as with WSU), why did Micah and Steven not get any shots in the 2nd half??? Also, as has been noted, why didn't Josh get many looks in the paint, in either half????

It seems to me that the guys were not prepared to go to Plan B, or maybe we don't have a Plan B. We ran Plan A really well the last 15-17 minutes of the first half, and then totally abandoned it, or were taken out of it by Memphis, in the second half. We don't need a Plan B in conference play as we are just plain better than the vast majority of the competition, but we need some alternatives when opposing coaches and athletes are equal to or better than we are. As an earlier thread mentioned, with us getting killed on the boards, why can't Josh and Kuso play at the same time??? Or why don't we go right at Dorsey when he gets in a little foul trouble (Josh in the paint), as Memphis isn't the same team with him on the bench??? With Matt being taken out of the game, why can't we use him as a decoy and free up other guys for shots (Downs & Gray for starters)??? I am a fan of "keep sawing wood" as much as the next guy, but it doesn't work real well when the chain has been removed from your chain saw. At that point we either need to get a new saw or put a new chain on the old one.

I can think of numerous games this year and in years past that raise the same questions (not all losses), and it doesn't appear to me that the guys have been prepared to shift gears, to adapt to what the other team is doing when we are unable to "do our thing". I think that is what I was seeing in the second half Saturday, with Jeremy taking over because Plan A wasn't working, and maybe we didn't have any other chains for our saw.

We have about a month to get if figured out, or it will be another short dance.

GO ZAGS...............

MickMick
01-28-2008, 10:45 AM
Nice post TacomaZag.

Keep this in mind. This year's version of the Zags is at least as good and probably better than last year's version. They just got off to a slow start offensively.

I like their chances on a nuetral court against anyone. I have felt that way since the Pepperdine game and nothing has happened since to change my mind.

My only concern is that they play a full 40 minutes as a team. Quit spotting 10 point leads in the first 2 minutes or easing up too soon with a double digit lead and I really like what I have seen in the last two weeks.

TacomaZAG
01-28-2008, 11:04 AM
It's mental at this point, all about "wanting it more" than the other team, especially on the road. As you said, I like our chances against anyone on a neutral court. When we "bring it" it is beautiful to watch, like the last 15-17 minutes of the first half against Memphis.

Maybe if we change the dial on our mental toughness meter to start about 2-3 minutes earlier than it is set for now, we'll be fine. Take away the first two minutes of the Memphis game and we win by 2.

In the rarified air that the Zags currently breathe, the difference between winning and losing is razor thin.

Go ZAGS