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2007: MARCH MANIFESTO: SECRET #6

NCAA Tournament | All 65 Team Capsules | Win Your Pool

By Adam Stanco

BasketballWriter@cs.com

 

7 Secrets to Tournament Success: Guard Play

 

If the NCAA Tournament is the Big Dance, the point guard is the choreographer.

 

An excellent lead guard controls the pace and energy of the entire cast. Whenever the performance peaks too quickly or too deliberately, he must steady the rhythm. True point guards carefully balance fundamentals and freestyle.

 

The shimmy and shake of a stylish move is fan-friendly, yet point guards are not judged by the swivel of their hips or the bounce in their crossover. They can not be measured in points, steals, or even assists. To find the true worth of a tournament-tested general, just ask him the same two questions a mother asks her daughter after she arrives home from a taping of “Blind Date”: Did you keep your poise? More importantly, did you go all the way?

 

Mike Bibby answered both questions emphatically during the 1997 National Championship. Future NBA players Michael Dickerson, Miles Simon, and Jason Terry comprised a talented and experienced Wildcat backcourt, yet the freshman was their sage. Bibby’s consistency was frightening and his brilliant contributions were so plentiful they screamed redundancy. He scored. And passed. And rebounded. And defended. In two Final Four games, he danced to the beat of 39 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists, and 6 steals. 

 

When it comes to guard play, apparently age doesn’t matter. Duke’s Bobby Hurley (1991) and tiny Tyus Edney (1995) of UCLA proved size doesn’t either. And, as Kentucky’s Wayne Turner (1998) taught us, you don’t even need a jumper.

 

It’s all about punctuation. Sometimes point guards are periods and sometimes they are exclamation points. If they roll their coaches’ eyes, they might even be a question mark. Yet, no matter how they express themselves, their only job is to end the sentence… with a win.

 

Examples:

Davidson

Marquette

UCLA

Virginia

 

Secrets For NCAA Tournament Success:

 

  1. Talent - NBA potential is no joke.

  2. Post Defense - The bigger, the better.

  3. Sharp Shooting - Simple math: three is better than two.

  4. Experience - Who has nerves of steel?

  5. Star Power - Winning is the All-American way.

  6. Guard Play - Little guys point the way.

  7. X-Factor - Fear of the unknown.

 

The March Manifesto is the secret to filling out your NCAA Tournament bracket.

 

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