After watching the Duke Blue Devils come back from 9 down in the 2nd half to beat the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA Basketball National Championship it got me thinking about what really happened.

I watched the entire game and I honestly have to say that it came down to a few key players on the Duke team taking control of the game at key times. Given my background in Behavioral Sciences, I immediately start thinking about the behavioral profiles of the winners.

There was a moment about midway through the 2nd half when Duke was down 48-39 and things didn’t look good.

Dukes future NBA starts Justise Winslow and Jahlil Okafor on the bench because of foul trouble, when two first year players took the game in their hands and turned things around.

First it was Grayson Allen, a first year guard who with a season average of 4 points, stepped up and hit several key shots and drew several fouls to turn the tide.

You could see it in his eyes he wanted the ball and he wasn’t going to let anyone get in his way.

Next it was Tyus Jones Dukes other first year point guard who took it in his hands and hit several critical jump shots to give Duke the lead. Jones further went 7 for 7 at the free throw line.

When we think about the behavioral profile of a top performing point guard, it takes a unique blend of both dominance and attention to detail to get the right mix. Top point guards want the ball in their hands at key times, but they know that to be successful they need to follow the game plan and avoid mistakes.

Both Grayson Allen and Tyus Jones fit this mold, they covet the opportunity to have the game on their shoulders and they don’t shy away from taking the shot when the opportunity presents itself, while at the same time avoiding the temptation to force shots in suboptimal situations.

Grayzon Allen finished the game with 16 points, a full four times his season average, he shot 62.5% from the field and went a perfect 5/5 from the line, with one steal and no turnovers.

Tyus Jones score a game high 23 points, he shot 53.8% from the field went 7 for 7 from the line and had a single turnover.

Attention to detail and desire to take control of the game, the two key difference makers in top point guards.

Interested in learning more about behavioral profiling in Sports or business? Email Rob Friday for a free demo –

I also found this article previously posted by Kelly Whiteside of Newsday

Winning Profiler

Vols Coach Pat Summitt Uses The Predictive Index To Craft A Team With Her Personality.

March 27, 1998|By KELLY WHITESIDE Newsday

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. _ — Upon meeting the kid with the braces and shy smile, the thought _ “Chamique Holdsclaw, fierce competitor” _ does not immediately come to mind. Her calm demeanor masks the blast furnace that burns inside. However, four years ago, when Holdsclaw was at Tennessee on a recruiting visit, coach Pat Summitt got a peek at what fuels the fire. Holdsclaw completed a personality profile.

Before Holdsclaw took the test, Summitt explained there were no right or wrong answers. She also said that she has never stopped recruiting a player because of the results. Then she showed Holdsclaw, her own personality profile. (“I do that so they know that I’m crazy before they come here,” Summitt said.)

The two-page survey, called the Predictive Index, asked Holdsclaw to check adjectives that she thought described the way she was expected to act, such as “competitive” or “nice.” Then it asked her to check words she believed really described herself. Holdsclaw’s selections were run through a computer program and a personality profile was produced.

In that profile, Summitt saw herself. Both were high A and low C types: competitive and intense. So Summitt knew what buttons to push. She told her prized recruit: “There will be 15,000 people watching your home games. You’ll play the toughest schedule in the country, and the fans will expect you to go to the Final Four every year. I’m a tough head coach and I’m going to demand the best every day. If you can’t handle that, then you don’t need to come here. I’m not promising you a starting position. However, it’s there for you if you want it enough, but I’m not sure you want that pressure.”

As Summitt talked, Holdsclaw’s eyes grew wider. “Oh, yes, Coach,” she said. “Oh, yes.”

“The Predictive Index helped us sign Chamique,” Summitt said. “Because we knew she thrived on a challenge, we knew what to say to her.”

Four years later, Holdsclaw has Tennessee back in the Final Four for her third consecutive year. The Vols face Arkansas in the semifinals tonight.

No wonder, because this team mirrors Summitt’s personality more than any she has coached: Seven Vols are high A’s. Summitt, who doesn’t like anyone to even walk faster than her, who can’t bear to lose a game of H-O-R-S-E, has finally met her match. When she heard point guard Kellie Jolly say, “I hate to lose more than I like to win,” it warmed the cockles of her heart.

The Predictive Index helps the coaches better understand a player’s strengths, weaknesses and needs, and in turn, helps the player help the team.

Consider Jolly, a high A, high D type _ a perfectionist. When Summitt pulls Jolly out of the game after she makes a mistake, she knows that most times she doesn’t need to scream at Jolly. The point guard knows exactly what she did wrong.

Instead, Summitt reassures Jolly that she will be back in the game in a few minutes. If she didn’t reassure her, Jolly likely would let the mistake fester, instead of moving on and getting mentally ready to go back in.

Even though a personality profile is still a novel idea for a college team, Summitt has been using the Predictive Index for the past seven years. Because there are general tendencies in personality types, Rodgers said the Predictive Index is 95 percent accurate.

Still, there are times when emotion, not psychology, takes over.

Summitt did plenty of yelling last year, when Tennessee lost 10 games during the regular season. Even though the Vols went on to win the national championship, Summitt said, “I didn’t enjoy last season. They were a passive group.”

This year, the difference is the four freshmen. Their personalities and talent have allowed the Vols to play a full-court, aggressive style, a first for a Summitt team. “They have a competitiveness superior to any class we’ve ever recruited,” Summitt said. “Three of the four are highs A’s [Semeka Randall, Kristen Clement and Teresa Geter). They are all hate-to-lose, give-me-the-ball types. The other one, [Tamika Catchings), is driven to win to please everyone, but she may be the most competitive one in the group.”


For more information on the Predictive Index ® or to try a demo, contact

Robert Friday

Managing Principal – Predictive Success



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