• Wayne Lafley

Traits of a scholarship level point guard

Welcome to the 4th installment of our LWA blog. In this installment I will be discussing traits that are shared by most scholarship level point guards I have worked with. In my 15 years coaching at LWA we have been blessed to have had 12 D1 or DII scholarship point guards. These 12 scholarship point guards often displayed many of the characteristics I will be discussing below. If you know a scholarship point guard, I feel like you can look at their game and probably agree they display many of the following traits. Enjoy!

They are a communicator: You cannot lead or organize your team if cannot communicate with them. The old saying of, “They lead by example.”, does not apply to scholarship level point guards. Talking is a skill that all point guards must have, or the direction and organization of their team suffers immensely. I personally want my point guard to be the loudest and best communicator on the court. If a point guard is unwilling to make this investment in both themselves and their team then will never fulfill the potential for them or the team.

They are distributors: To most this means they pass the ball well and rack up assists. While this is true, they also distribute the shot attempts, on court organization, and play calls. Scholarship level point guards often have the ball in their hands more than anyone. Therefore, they make the most decisions about who gets the ball and where they get it. Scholarship level point guards get their teammates the ball where they can be successful with it. They also make sure that their best scorers and shooters get more touches than those with a less active roll in the offense. Their on-court organization and play calls distribute those touches amongst their teammates in a way that keeps everyone happy.

They are handlers: Scholarship level point guards handle the ball more than others. This we know. But it is a falsehood that they must be flashy with the ball. The best handlers can break pressure, be efficient in pick & roll, use their dribble to draw multiple defenders, and lastly get into the middle of the paint in minimum dribbles thus being more efficient and preserving more shot clock (if you use a shot clock). I will also say that they are also handlers of late game pressure situations. I know that with our scholarship level point guards at LWA they also must handle me and the pressure I put on them to lead, communicate, not turn it over, distribute the ball, run our sets, etc. They are the engine that keeps us going in the right direction. Scholarship level point guards must handle a lot, and not all of it is around dribbling the ball.

They have a certain feel for the game: I have yet to be around a scholarship level point guard that didn’t have a certain feel for the game. They just understand angles and space better than others. They can get to spots on the floor and make plays for others that are essential to winning. They know when to keep attacking and when to pull it back and run something. They understand time and score. They count numbers in transition or in the half court and make the right reads!

They can score when needed: Scholarship level point guards are often the most skilled players you have, so it makes sense that they should be able to score in a variety of ways when needed. I think that a scholarship level point guard needs to be able to score in transition, score in pick & roll, score in the mid-range off pull up jumpers, runners, and floaters, and score from three-point land. Lastly, they must be able to score from the foul line.

Thank you for reading the 4th installment of our LWA blog. If you are a young point guard reading this, I hope it brings some insight to you about what traits you need to display if you might want to be a scholarship level point guard in college. It’s important to remember that becoming a good player, especially a scholarship level player is a lot of hard work and sacrifice. No matter what your position on the court is, you will have traits needed to be that type of scholarship level player at that position. Hopefully in the future I can cover many of those other positional traits for people to read and ponder. As always, my thoughts are my thoughts only pertaining to my experiences. I appreciate you taking the time to check out the site and support LWA basketball!

Wayne Lafley


32 Stone Drive Colchester, Vermont 05446

(802) 310-1643