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Sunday, December 19, 2010

What I Look for in a Player- Pete Carril

Pete Carril became famous as the Princeton basketball coach in the 1990's. He is the originator of the famous "Princeton offense" that drove other teams nuts with all of its backdoor cuts. In his book The Smart Take From the Strong, Carril looks at what he thinks is important in evaluating a player.

IQ meaning a function of intelligence. An intelligent player will know game situations and what different game situations call for. When an opposing post defender is in foul trouble then you bring the ball down and try to get the ball inside to the person that defender is guarding. But also basketball IQ involves a player understanding their personal strengths and weaknesses. If you are slower than the person you are guarding, you may need to give more space. If you are not good shooting off the dribble, then you don't shoot off the dribble until you have worked on that skill. But one of the most important things a high IQ player knows is what is a good shot and a bad shot for them personally.

EQ is energy quotient. Carril refers to the famous Lombardi line, "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." Players with high EQ will practice harder, play harder, and when you think they have nothing left to give- they are the ones who just give a little more. All of us in everyday life probably work around someone with a high EQ. They are the person who makes everyone else better. Their energy is so high that it lights a fire around the people around them.

RQ stands for responsibility quotient. It is that sense of knowing what must be done. You may not want to do it, but you know to succeed it has to be done. It can be the player who hates doing ballhandling routines, stays after practice to do them because they know the team needs them to do it. It can be the player who wishes they could shoot but knows the team needs them to set a pick. It is a player who realizes that the team needs them and the team depends on them. So whether is in practice, in a game, or even on a Saturday night, the player does not want to let their teammates down.

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