Mr. Phenom: A unique conversation with adidas Jr Phenom Camp director, Dave Taylor.

Game Time: Do you look for athleticism and basketball IQ at the middle school level?

DT: The one thing that I do not look for is athleticism. I think that comes with age. At the middle school level the kids may not have all of the athletic skills yet, but, if they are fundamentally sound, in four or five years they will catch up to the other more athletic kids, and pass them.

What I look for are kids with high basketball IQ, academic intelligence, good grades in school, discipline, coachablity and good speaking and writing skills. These are the characteristics that DI and high school coaches will look for. These are the kids that are going to be successful.

Game Time: What specific things do you look for regarding basketball IQ?

DT: Kids that understand the flat triangle defense, see man and ball, move without the ball, lock down the ball and who are great off the ball defender. A kid that passes and cuts and sets the screen, slides and moves laterally and stays in his stance. Good coaches will recognize these skills.

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