Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Which Point Guard Would You Take To Lead Your Team In The NCAA Tournament: Gary Parrish Got It Wrong

I like Gary Parrish.

In fact, he is probably the college basketball writer that I read the most. Why? Because he and I have very similar viewpoints on most things college hoops.

Well, usually that is.

If you're not familiar with Parrish's blog, he runs this segment called "Dear Gary", where he answers questions emailed in by readers. On Tuesday, a reader asked him what point guard he would take to lead his team in the NCAA tournament.

Parrish said Steph Curry.

I disagree for one, simple reason: the point is not Curry's best position.

Curry can take over a tournament, but can he do it as a point guard?
(photo credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Yes, he can play the point and if this season is any indication, he can have success playing that role. But why would you want to take a guy to run the point when it is not his best position on the floor?

Think about it like this. Who would Curry be more effective with when paired in the back court: Ty Lawson or Wayne Ellington? Levance Fields or Jerel McNeal? Nick Calathes or James Harden?

The answer to each is the point guard.

Just look at his numbers from last year to this year: his points and assists are up, but so are his turnovers while his shooting percentage from deep has dropped. Granted, much of this statistical change is because Curry is the main, and a lot of times the only, offensive threat on the floor for Davidson and thus the main, and a lot of times the only, defensive focus for opponent's (crazy stat of the day: The Citadel lost to Davidson at home by 15 when the Wildcats had Curry, but beat Davidson at Davidson by 18 without Curry).

Those changes become even more drastic when you look at Curry's numbers against tournament teams. In five games against Oklahoma, West Virginia, Purdue, Duke, and Butler, Curry put up these stats: 26.6 ppg, 6.2 apg, 6.2 t/o's, 33% FG and 23% from deep.

Again, a lot of that is because he is the one and only offensive threat on his Davidson team. But are you really going to rest your tournament hopes on a kid that has not proven the ability to run the point efficiently against top caliber competition?

I'm not.

If I had to choose a point guard, it would be either Ty Lawson (most talented offensive PG) or Sherron Collins (as good as anyone, but is a proven winner). Right now, I think I take Collins.

This is not supposed to bash Curry. In fact, out of anyone in college basketball right now, if I were picking a player for a tournament run, Curry would be my second choice, right behind (a healthy) Blake Griffin and right before Jerel McNeal.

Parrish is right about one thing. Curry has proven the ability to take over a game, the ability to hit tough shots in the clutch, and the ability to create for himself while still being able to find the open man.

Which is why he is my second choice for a player to lead my tournament team.

Just not at the point.

1 comment:

Michael Hurley said...

Great read, I do Pac-10 for the RTC and decided to check your blog out. I agree completely with Collins, he is unbelievable this year.