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Sad If I Lost It

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The "it factor" is a nebulous thing that definitely is real, mostly an "I know it when I see it" type deal, measurable yet immeasurable, obvious yet often just beyond our view. What's it? Who's got it? Where'd he find it? Which guys get it? What's it worth? Does this it have anything to do with fit? America's leading scientists will tell you that it begins in the spongy courage center of the brain, and any Jenny from the block can tell you that Derek Jeter has as much it as one person can and that there is a direct correlation between it, personal success, public opinion, and a lack of defensive range. Nonetheless, misjudgment is common. Initially it was thought that Sidney Lowe possessed it, but that turned out to be a gummy bear.

One prominent college basketball coach has come up with a list it criteria in an attempt to put a finer point on it:

Colby Blaine is doing his best to define the indefinable, to figure out the factors that are integral to the success of elite players.

Blaine, a volunteer assistant with the College of Southern Idaho men's basketball team, has outlined eight elements that elevate great athletes above good ones. Blaine's list is merely a starting point - it's what he called "things that everyone would think of if they thought about it."

In his second year at CSI, Blaine sent his handout on "The ‘It' Factor" to coaches and basketball minds across the country. He asked them to consider his eight points and offer some input of their own.

Here's the list:

* Ability to self analyze

* Understands their role

* Ability to be coached

* Wants other to succeed

* Internal drive

* Understands the game

* Moves on to the next play

* Socially genuine

Naturally this led me to wonder which NC State basketball player has the most it, so I rated each player in each category on a 1-5 scale, with 5 representing the most it. The results of this study were somewhat surprising, as I determined that Jordan Vandenberg leads the team with an average of 4.00 IT UNITS. Kendall Smith came in a close second. So you can see the problem. All our it is tied up in role players and/or walk-ons. Let' hope the next coach subscribes to Colby Blaine's newsletter.

So... slow day today.