Today it's hard to find player who wants to be a true center or accept that his is a center, as the game has made hybrid positions from the forward and guard positions. A center remains someone who is known as the tallest or strongest player on the floor, who likes physical contact and stays close to the basket.
A center's primary role is to protect the basket defensively by not allowing his man or other opposing players to get good looks at the basket from inside the painted area. In most cases with young big men, their defense is ahead of their offensive development for a number of reasons. One is they don’t get to touch the ball that much and are still developing their foot- and hand-eye coordination. On the offensive side of the floor a center must be able to score inside by finishing drop-off passes or making a post move with his back to the basket. In addition, a center should be able to rebound, screen and make free throws.
A true center who demonstrates the positional qualities and understands and accepts who he is can impact the game at any level. Let’s take a look at five keys to being an elite center, why they're important and which prospects in the Class of 2014 do them best.