Commentary

Defining toughness in college hoops

Originally Published: January 29, 2009
By Jay Bilas | ESPN.com

I have heard the word "toughness" thrown around a lot lately. Reporters on television, radio and in print have opined about a team or player's "toughness" or quoted a coach talking about his team having to be "tougher" to win.

[+] EnlargeJay Bilas
AP PhotoPlaying against the likes of Ralph Sampson, Jay Bilas learned the value of keeping his hands up to deny and discourage a pass.
Then, in almost coordinated fashion, I would watch games and see player upon player thumping his chest after a routine play, angrily taunting an opponent after a blocked shot, getting into a shouting match with an opposing player, or squaring up nose-to-nose as if a fight might ensue. I see players jawing at each other, trying to "intimidate" other players. What a waste of time. That is nothing more than fake toughness, and it has no real value.

Jay Bilas

College Basketball analyst