What a great game yesterday in the SEC between South Carolina and Kentucky. Was back and forth most of the way, some great shots, great defense, and a fantastic finish with a great game winning shot from USC. I think USC is highly underrated. They beat a ranked Baylor team, Florida, and now Kentucky with losses to ranked Tennessee and Clemson. Coach Darrin Horn's first year at USC has certainly been very impressive so far.

Anyways, what I wanted to highlight from the game was the fact that rebounding, and specifically in this case offensive rebounding matters. If you dominate your opponent on the glass on both sides, you'll win more times than not no matter how well your offense plays. Kentucky shot a better percentage (52-42%), but USC had a 18-8 offensive rebound edge, and USC ended up winning the game. Here are a few sequences:

Coaching Strategy:

As a coach, what you can directly control is how many to send to the glass. Sometimes coaches tend to under prepare in this very important aspect. To have an effective offensive rebounding strategy, you need to know exactly how many to send to the glass, and also to make sure you have safeties so that you won't get burned badly the other way. USC sends both forwards to the glass on every shot. They will also have a wing come in to rebound down when possible. The 2 guards always back up for the safety,

Offensive Drill Work:

Assuming you have the kinds of players that make good rebounders (tall, athletic, strong, high leapers), they need to have a nose for the ball, they need to understand angles. Just a couple of things to watch for. First, is recognizing that when your defender helps on defense, gives you the best opportunity for an offensive rebound,

The other technique that I've seen and heard Coach Bobby Knight talk alot about is the tap back. Obviously if you get the rebound 2 feet away, just go back up. But the tap back to your guard is something that needs to be taught and drilled. There is a difference between a rebound for a putback and a rebound for another possession, your players need to understand the difference and implement it in games,


When I first started out, I didn't used to put that much emphasis into rebounding. Of course, we all know that rebounding is important, but it always seemed like 1v1 defense, or shooting was more important. Then one year, I had the privilege of helping coach a team that had some great natural rebounders. We didn't always have the best talent on the floor, the best defense, or offense, but we went 23-2 and reached the final game of the final tournament of the year because of our ability to rebound (offensively and defensively). Rebounding matters. Yes, to some extent it depends on your players' individual abilities (height, strength, vert, etc...) but it also depends a lot on attitude and coaching style.

For a great new video on rebounding drills, take a look at Dino Gaudio's DVD on Winning the War on the Boards. Coach Gaudio is the head coach at former number one ranked Wake Forest. As always, please check out the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk hoops and exchange notes and ideas.