William Rhoden from the New York Times on Talent and Teammate. This is an interesting piece by a writer who has been around the game a long time. I have always enjoyed Rhoden, I find his writing compelling.
Anyone looking for a deeper meaning to Monday’s national championship game between Butler and Connecticut need look no further than one simple truth: there is no substitute for talent.
Rhoden is dead on. But without teamwork, you have no chance at all. Let’s get one thing straight, don’t take anything away from UConn and their ‘team’; I watched them share the ball and help each other on defense not only during the NCAA tournament but how about their 5 wins in five days during the Big East tournament? Sure talent got them through but teamwork was just as important.
Butler’s assistant coach was already talking recruiting after the loss to the Huskies; it’s what you do as a college coach once your season comes to an end. Matter of fact, you have no games left on your schedule, so now it’s all about recruiting.
“We need to try to get a couple of guys who can play anywhere in the country and then surround them with great role players,” Shrewsberry said.
“Being on these runs will help in that area, where we can stretch out in different parts of the country, and even internationally.”
Recruiting will get better for Butler, no doubt. Brad Stevens, Butler’s head coach can now walk in any high school gym or attend any AAU tournament and right away the players and parents will know who the guy standing in the corner is and where he’s from. The players will not have to squint to get a closer look at his logo on his polo shirt.
But make no mistake, we watched many talented teams fall the past few weeks in the NCAA tournament (shoot, we even witnessed it on the women’s side with UConn and Stanford falling). I still think it’s teamwork that’s important. Sure talent is necessary; but with hard work, you can put yourself in position to be the champ and to beat a more talented team.
Former basketball coach Bob Knight once said, “Good players make themselves good; great players make the players around them better.”
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