Without question, the most important position in basketball from a coach’s point of view is the point guard, and the success of any team lies with its floor leader.
During my coaching career, I have had the unbelievable good fortune to recruit and coach many outstanding point guards who played in the NBA (such as Howard Eisley at Boston College), as well as standouts in the college game (such as James “Scoonie” Penn at Boston College and Ohio State and DaShaun Wood at Wright State. Eisley had a 12-year NBA career, Penn was the Big East Rookie of the Year and Big Ten Player of the Year, and Wood was the Horizon League Player of the Year.
Below are 10 keys that are vital to being a great point guard, with a look at which prospects from the Class of 2014 best demonstrate each of those traits.
1. Eliminate emotional fogs
Why it’s important: The ability to perform and always have your head in the game is the first part of being a floor general. To do what the coach wants and give the team what it needs all game long takes total concentration, but it’s what separates the good from the great point guards.
Who does it best:
Joel Berry: The UNC-bound floor general is battle-tested and tough-minded with a winning approach. His mentality is to always be dialed in, and he reacts to adversity extremely well. He never allows the previous possession to affect the next play, which is rare at such a young age.
Tyus Jones: The nation’s No. 1-ranked point guard is aware and alert to what’s going on throughout the course of a game and does not get caught up in one-on-one battles when defenders make him a priority. Once his attention to detail on the defensive end increases, watch out.