View Full Version : How Come We Can't Rebound?

02-09-2009, 01:37 PM
I admit, I am no basketball genius so sorry if this is a stupid question or something painfully obvious.

We got a bunch of tall, athletic guys so what's our problem? I mean getting out rebounded by Memphis is one thing but damn even the crappy WCC teams out rebound us.

02-09-2009, 02:04 PM
Only one category bothers me, and they seem to come up at the worst moments.

Total Rebounds
GU 853
Opponents 773

Defensive Rebounds
GU 609
Opponents 508

Offensive Rebounds
GU 244
Opponents 265

And I know some of it is opponents putting up 3's with long rebounds but it is very frustrating when an opponent gets another shot after GU plays good defense.

02-09-2009, 02:13 PM
i hate harping on recruiting, because we obviously pull some of the best talent from around the nation (and have built a program based on doing so) - but it is more and more apparent that we have been recruiting scorers the last few years, not rebounders.
unfortunately, you can't just teach a guy to rebound over night, it's a skill just like shooting or dribbling and many players have that internal ability to rebound (just no one in a uniform that says gonzaga on the chest - and i say this because Sacre is one of those guys, just that he's out right now, obviously).
we're going to have to recruit a more well rounded skill set if we're going to win any other way then our offensive skills.

02-09-2009, 02:20 PM
Lack of effort.

02-09-2009, 02:22 PM
Lack of desire.....oh where has the rooster gone?

Das Zagger
02-09-2009, 02:26 PM
Offensive Rebounds
GU 244
[COLOR=Red]Opponents 265

This absolutely drives me crazy, losing on the o-boards. Either you want to rebound the ball or you don't.

02-09-2009, 02:32 PM
Tough enough to get the damned ball. O or D.....you have to want the ball and go get it.not just watch.

02-09-2009, 02:38 PM
To answer your question Ezag: We have 2 tall starters as primary rebounders. One is under weight and gets pushed around by aggressive opponents, the other prefers to not play under the basket on offense. Ergo, less than expected offensive boards. They do get some mind you, and do better in less competitive situations.

02-09-2009, 02:45 PM
I didn't realize we were doing that well in the rebounding department. I agree with the recruiting angle but a lot of it is scheme also. Let's take the Memphis game as an example, since that is still freshest in our mind. With Rob out due to injury, we have three guys (Josh, Austin, Micah) who can crash the boards against top 25 competition. Austin was a non factor Saturday for reasons that have been analyzed to death on this board, Micah didn't get adequate minutes and the minutes he got were on the wing. That leaves Josh as our only real rebounder, and he can't rebound with the 3 or 4 Memphis guys (all 6'-8"+, long and athletic) who were crashing the board after every shot.

With Rob out, we have only one guy (Josh) who is a true 4 or 5 and gets any minutes. We are loaded on the wing (the 2 and 3) but those guys aren't going to contribute on the boards against top 25 competition, due to our offensive scheme (wings on the outside, shooting threes or driving and dishing). With Austin on the bench for most of Saturday, Josh could block his guy out perfectly every time and still not get a lot of rebounds, due to the numbers (3 or 4 against 1).

Also, the GU scheme has never been built around "bangers", although we have had a number of them in years past (Casey, Cory, JP, among others), so we typically don't recruit those type of guys.

Finally, this is a two chapter discussion. Chapter one is rebounding in general, where Slug shows we are doing OK. Chapter two is the important chapter to me, and that is rebounding against top 25 or top 50 competition. The overall stats get slanted in our favor as we beat up on the LMU's, Pepperdines, and other WCC bottom feeders as well as weak OOC opponents. I wonder what our rebounding stats are against the top 25 or top 50 this year (we are 4-3 in those games this year)???? My guess is not so good.

There are very few teams who consistently combine stellar offense, defense, and rebounding, and those that do are in the top 10. This year we combine stellar offense, defense, and have decent rebounding. We have a couple of bad losses, but who doesn't?????

I guess my point is that things with this team aren't as dire as some on this board seem to think. We'll get to the dance and at that point, anything can happen. A successful season to me is if we are still playing on the 2nd weekend of the Tourney. With our personnel this year, and most years, our margin for error is just slimmer than other top 25-50 schools, as our lack of depth in the post is really magnified with untimely injuries (Rob this year and Josh in years past). As I've said on other threads, IMO if we have Rob healthy we beat UCONN in regulation and who knows what happens after that.

Keep the faith, lots of adjustments still to be made, lots of rebounds still available.


02-09-2009, 02:58 PM
Actually, the Zags can rebound. For some crazy reason, though, oftentimes they just don't. Mental toughness and effort issue, not skills.

02-09-2009, 03:12 PM
I am not qualified to state WHY it happens. But that won't stop me from posting an opinion/observation.

It appears to me, though, that often times Gonzaga takes shots when players are not in position to get in position to rebound. I frequently see long shots taken when Josh is standing outside the key, and wasn't necessarily involved in setting up the shot with a screen etc. Almost as if he was beginning to float outside and before he got there a shot was taken, which leaves him out of position to go for those rebounds. Sort of in no mans land. Whether that is a valid concern or no, I don't know. But I would like to see our players in better positions for rebounds when shots are taken. Sometimes it appears as though there is nothing they can do because of where they are at on the floor.

Does that make sense?

02-09-2009, 03:12 PM
I completely disagree that it's an effort issue. It's a defensive and offensive scheme issue imo. With all the switching we do oftentimes men get lost which makes it much harder to block out. The good part of our defense is that we make people settle for outside jumpers because we do a pretty good job of keeping teams out of the lane. The bad is that we do allow the outside jumper which creates long rebounds. The other part of this is that we like to get out and run on offense and sometimes our guards are trying to sneak out for the fast break instead of securing the ball. I don't buy into the "everyone is just watching" argument or that it's a lack of effort. More a focus thing imo.

02-09-2009, 03:20 PM
I completely disagree that it's an effort issue. .. More a focus thing imo.

Not sure there is any real difference between focus and effort.

Bottom line, the Zags' opponents often seem to have more of one or the other, or both.

02-09-2009, 03:35 PM
Some games the Zags dominate on rebounds, and others they don't. It seems completely random, doesn't seem to matter much who we're playing. To me that's an indicator that it depends mostly on whether or not everyone's "dialed in". As Few has said a couple of times, the guys need to play within their defined roles (Josh especially).

02-09-2009, 03:40 PM
Not sure there is any real difference between focus and effort.
There's a huge difference in the two. In one you're making an attempt because you're in good position and paying attention to what's going on. In the other you're lost and forgetting about what you should be doing and maybe realize a split second too late. Again, I don't see guys not attempting to go for a rebound if it's coming towards them, they're just not always in a good position to do so and not because for lack of effort.

02-09-2009, 03:42 PM
So I grabbed the rebounds from what I would consider "top" teams that the Zags have played this year. Those teams being Tennessee (2), Arizona, UConn. Saint Marys and Memphis. Of those games the only one we had more rebounds in was the Arizona game. Here is the game totals for thos games....

Tenn (game 1) GU 23, Tenn 46 Still have no idea how we won that game with that big of a gap.

Arizona - GU 29, Arizona 24

UConn - GU 29, UConn 37

Tenn (Game 2) - GU 38, Tenn 44

Saint Marys - GU 27, Saint Marys 34

Memphis - GU 21, Memphis 37

Now those are stats from ESPN and I recall a different number of rebounds in the Memphis game, but that's what I have.

Taking those numbers in those 6 games we have been out-rebounded by 198-167 ( or 27 RPG to 33 RPG).

Now for O-Rebounds.

Tenn - 23-4 Tenn

Ari - 9-7 GU

UConn - 13-7 UConn

Tenn - 16-5 Tenn

St. Marys - 14-8 ST Marys

Memphis - 13-3 Memphis

That is a shocking 86-36 rebounding margin on the O-glass. 8 MORE POSSESIONS PER GAME TO THOSE TEAMS. Amazing we won 3 of those.

02-09-2009, 04:24 PM
ZagManFan, thanks for the confirmation. This is no surprise to anyone who's watched the games, and the thing is, it isn't just this year. It's what takes us out against elite teams every single stinkin' year. Gentlemen, if you want to WATCH the game, get a ticket and grab a seat.

I love Zags basketball with our kind of players. It's his character along with the teams' success that makes me a fan of coach Few, and I hope he stays for another couple of decades. But geez, can't someone on the staff get this one little detail figured out?!

02-09-2009, 04:58 PM
in our losses we are outrebounded offensively 54-36 or 3.6 offensive rebounds per game......not a real glaring number but enough in the AZ and UCON games to make a total difference (when you compare opportunities from steal, blocks and loss opportunities)

offensive rebounding is also a matter of opportunities and sometimes it helps to drill down into the basic stat of Team A got 10 Offensive Rebounds, Team B got 8...would look fairly balanced but you need to drill this down into opportunities.....


Memphis game drill down clearly shows ONE major reason for the lopsided score: Memphis had 13 offensive rebounds, shooting the ball 52 times, missing 29 times. So you take the total number of rebounds into the opportunity number (29) and you get 2.2 offensive rebounds for every shot they put up. VERY VERY GOOD Drill down number. Ours was 3 offensive rebounds, shooting the ball 49 times, missing 31 times. So our opportunity number was 31 divided by rebounds and you get a 10.3 offensive rebound for every shot we put up.....NOT GOOD.

So our Uconn loss we were relatively close on offensive rebounds 13 to 7 yet their opportunity rebound margin was 2.7 and ours was 4.5.....big difference in the number of opportunities to score.

Utah is another example. We outrebounded them offensively, yet their ratio oportunity was much better than ours 3.5 to 4.0

These numbers you use to compare to your field goal percentage defensively and it gives you a clearer picture of what is occuring on the court in regards to possessions, opportunities and missed opportunities.

Tennessee outrebounded us in both their losses to us on the offensive side yet our ratios were able to stay relatively close thus we have the opportunity to win and we did.

Portland state they shot 31 threes some of those offensive rebounds were the by product of this long shooting.

For me it shapes up:

AZ loss due to turnoverss at inopportune times and them shooting three ball effective 7 for 10

Uconn loss with a miracle three point turnaround shot at buzzer to send game to overtime

Utah: they simply executed in a timely fashion better than we did at key times down the stretch

Portland State: Ouch on the three point land (we beat them on steals, blcok shots and less turnovers, they simply kept shooting the three ball)

Memphis: only game this year I felt we didnt have a chance to win at the 12 minute mark left of the first half......we simply didnt show up.

Areas to work on and focus on...you bet. Areas to start panic and throwing the team under the bus and start looking towards next year...not a chance...still think they have the composite makeup, atheletes and coaching to make a run to the elite eight and if scheduling works out final four is still an outside possibility. But some call me POLLYANNA Ed:D

02-09-2009, 05:06 PM
We don't rebound because (with the exception of Ira) we don't block out.

We are tall and we are good at jumping and slapping at the ball. But we don't have good position.

Also, we're not into hustling for loose balls.

02-09-2009, 05:06 PM
only one correction from me.

<< Uconn loss with a miracle three point turnaround shot at buzzer to send game to overtime >>

we had 7 seconds to win after the miracle trey before going into o.t.. didn't happen but there was plenty of time. see you tube & that fateful play and see for yourself. It's been debated before.

02-09-2009, 05:16 PM
sure we did, but if the kid misses the shot (which he probably does 8 out of 10 times) we win...........anyone who watched that shot and is intellectually honest simply shook their head.......hand in the face turnaround 3 point shot....I will take that as a coach any day any week as good defense...kid simply hit it and deflated the entire team after working hard entire game....

yes we had the chance after that but for me the turnaround miracle 3 was the killer

02-09-2009, 05:24 PM
sure we did, but if the kid misses the shot (which he probably does 8 out of 10 times) we win...........anyone who watched that shot and is intellectually honest simply shook their head.......hand in the face turnaround 3 point shot....I will take that as a coach any day any week as good defense...kid simply hit it and deflated the entire team after working hard entire game....

yes we had the chance after that but for me the turnaround miracle 3 was the killer

it was we had to win it again. and we didn't despite what could be turned into an hour with good clock management and decision making. so we lost it twice before we went into o.t., imo, and then lost in the third opportunity that should have never happened. It energized them. they dodged two bullets and THEN we lost.

02-09-2009, 08:24 PM
Ditto Z69 - positioning is poor and that is as much mental toughness (desire for the TEAM to win) as it is physical ability. This shows up even more in terms our lack of HARD screens on offense (no self sacrfice). My love for the Zags is real, but unfortunately, I believe this is equally real:
- no positioning and therefore no rebounding
- no screens and therefore no open shots and lots of 1-on-1 late in the s-clock
- excessive 3's means long rebounds and positioning is key
- no tight man-to-man D means easy shots for opponents, less rebounds

One key factor in each of these is selfishness. It is a common issue with teams of excessive offensive horsepower. Nobody is willing to do the hard work required to "sustain" offense when everone is cold or well defended - both of which happened last Saturday. That means wins usually come against inferior teams or teams with equally selfish play.

Good, tight defense and solid box-outs will be key to a deep run into the tourney this year.....we don't have to worry about our ability to put up points, just the method that gets us good shots. I hope Mark has 'em running sprints until they get it.

02-10-2009, 06:13 AM
well stated montana....especially the selfishness issue with a team loaded with offensive minded players.........we need a nuts and bolts player or two to decide to forgo the offensive side of things (unless it comes to them) and focus on the meat and potatoes of the "grind of basketball" rebounds, toughness and scrappyness

02-10-2009, 09:51 AM

02-10-2009, 10:11 AM
Good post ed & montana, agree 100&#37;. Also most rebounding is getting position. Pendo made his living with Zags outpositioning guys that were taller stronger and more athletic, wish some of the kids here now had his heart!

02-10-2009, 05:58 PM
yes hustle is a problem at times, but honestly there are two reasons that stand out more to me. our zone is terrible to try and rebound in. everyone knows that zone d makes it much harder to rebound in becuase your not on one guy at all times making it easier to block him out. the other reason is the 3 guys that few plays the most minutes are short. memphis was taller at every guard spot except for pargo who out rebounded his man. more height, gray and bouldin are not big time rebounders. plus, playing zone allows for more 3 attempts which lead to long and unpredictable bounces. more man to man and you would see the reounds go up drastically. im certain of it.