Former Duke basketball player and ESPN commentator Jay Bilas offers his insight as to what toughness means:
*Going after rebounds with both hands.
• Stepping to the line and knocking down pressure free throws, especially when tired.
• Talking on defense and letting your teammates know that you are there in case they get beat.
• Bump and stand up a cutter.
• Close out to a shooter under control.
• Sticking with your team's defensive principles, and doing it under pressure.
• Having a sense of urgency to stop the other team from scoring, not just your man.
• Getting on the floor for a loose ball.
• Taking a charge.
• Getting down in a stance and staying there.
• Finishing plays.
• Setting up your man and making hard cuts.
• Getting your teammates together and keeping them together on the road.
• Not allowing yourself to get screened.
• Moving on to the next play, and displaying positive body language to give confidence to your teammates.
• Sprinting in transition, both on offense and back on defense.
• Filling your tank on the defensive end, and not the offensive end.
• Putting a body on somebody.
• Jumping to the ball, and taking away the ball side of the cut.
• Catching and facing the defense against pressure, not catching and dribbling.
• Blocking out on Free Throw situations every time.
• Taking good shots, and having the judgment to pass up challenged ones.
Toughness isn't just about being physical. It is far more than that. It is mental and physical discipline under pressure, to do the right thing every time.