As you can probably tell, I watch a lot of basketball, probably more basketball than is healthy. One of the things that I see a lot of is great scoring forwards in high school that can't make the transition in college. They get away with bad defensive fundamentals through their size advantage and athleticism, but when they get to college, all of a sudden everyone is as big and athletic and can score.

The guards are 6-foot-4 and the forwards are 6-foot-10. When I watch the better forwards in college, what sets them apart is their ability to defend and rebound. The scoring part feeds off of the rest. Too many players I see are the other way around, freakishly athletic, but are under-developed defensively or have the wrong attitudes. If you want to be a good college player, you better be a good defender and rebounder.

I watched Cal against Washington today (among the many other college games). Jon Brockman of the Huskies is one of those breed of players that has successfully made that transition from high school to college simply through his hard work, attitude and dedication to defense and rebounding. Here are a few clips of Jon from a hard fought road win for Washington,

It's all about the hustle:

Really, defense and rebounding is really just about hard work and hustle. I love this sequence where Brock is denying DeVon Hardin the ball, then he does a swim move to box out on the jumper.



Block out,


Jon Brockman was a great high school player, one of the top players in WA state his grad year. Problem is, he's only 6-foot-7. In order to get to those balls, he has to work harder than his opponents. Brock is so good at outworking his opponents, and he plays in the PAC-10 which is arguably the best conference in the country. He has to battle Kevin Love, Lopez Twins, Malik Hairston, DeVon Hardin, etc... Oh, and by the way, Brock is second in the nation in rebounds at 11.8, behind Michael Beasley of K-State.

If you're looking for ideas to get your players to be better defenders and rebounders, I recommend taking a look at Tom Izzo's DVD on Rebounding and Man Defense. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to talk hoops with other coaches.