Rebounding on Tech’s mind

It is perhaps not Georgia Tech basketball coach Brian Gregory’s preferred way to chart progress, but here it is – when the Yellow Jackets were outrebounded last year, they were 2-11.

Going into its Saturday night game against UNC-Wilmington, Tech has been outrebounded in its past four games, but has won two of them. Gregory, for whom rebounding and toughness are bedrock principles, may take encouragement that his team has been able to win when it hasn’t gotten the job done on the glass.

Probably not much encouragement, though.

“If we don’t get better, it’s going to come back to haunt us,” Gregory said. “There’s no question about that.”

Following its win over Georgia on Tuesday, the Jackets have five more non-conference games before opening up the ACC schedule Jan. 5 against Miami. Fixing the rebounding is Gregory’s highest priority. How much has Gregory mentioned getting outrebounded in the past four games?

Said center Daniel Miller, “A lot.”

Gregory cited extenuating circumstances. Against Georgia, Tech faced a team that played with high energy and was in Gregory’s opinion at least the Jackets’ equal, if not superior, in length, athleticism and depth. With three freshmen getting minutes, their adjustment to the tenacity and technique required to rebound at the college level is ongoing.

That said, Gregory said, the Jackets need to do a better job of blocking out both on the perimeter and closer to the basket and also on the shooter, a lapse that cost Tech against Georgia a few times.

“We just need to have a greater sense of urgency when it comes to the fact that, if I’m not hitting somebody and someone’s next to me that can be hit, we need to hit him,” Gregory said, before stopping to point out that he did not mean literally mean hitting, but putting a body on an opponent.

A year ago, in Gregory’s first season, Tech finished third in the ACC in rebounding margin (plus 3.5). Tech is sixth this season at 2.4. However, as Gregory noted, the trend is headed the wrong way, as California, Saint Mary’s, Illinois and Georgia all claimed more rebounds. It bears mention that those are probably also the four strongest teams that Tech has faced this year.

“When we lost (to Cal and Illinois), it could have been different if we’d won the rebounding battle,” Miller said. “It’s something we’ve got to get better at.”

Four of the final five games before ACC play starts may not offer the sternest challenging to Tech’s rebounding chops. Through games of Dec. 2, the rebounding margins for UNC-Wilmington (minus 3.0), Alabama State (minus 10.6), the Citadel (plus .5) and Fordham (minus 7.4) were not quite fearsome. Chattanooga, Tech’s Jan. 2 opponent, was plus 10.0.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

16 comments Add your comment

GT1971

December 8th, 2012
12:09 am

Coach Gregory has this team going in the right direction!

aw

December 8th, 2012
5:29 am

The man, BG is really focused.He is hiper..He is excited..He can motivate…When he is four years into recruiting, his teams will be hard to handle.. I almost forgot, he can recruit..

Road Scholar

December 8th, 2012
5:38 am

During the UGA game our offensive rebounds were almost non-existing. I guess they were trying to stop UGA’s fast break?

GT Sid

December 8th, 2012
6:58 am

Ken which game will Poole be eligible for? Any insight as to his impact, starter?
What is going on with Royal? Slow developer?

jim 70

December 8th, 2012
8:52 am

BG is focusing in the right direction. t/o’s are down which is a key, and if can get basic block-outs on defense and grab some offensive rebounds we will be in good shape this year.

still like to see carter in the post more and not acting like josh smith out the line.

ToeMeetsLeather

December 8th, 2012
8:59 am

UGA has one player that would start in the ACC. If the rebounding does not improve, our record will not improve over last season in the conference. The D is looking really good and the perimeter shooting has been impressive over the last three or four games. Hopefully with S. Poole in the mix in mid-December, both the D and rebounding will show marked improvement with him. And, if Tech decides to play Solomon Poole after he enrolls in January, this season could become very interesting.

TechApp fan

December 8th, 2012
9:14 am

Tech sees a zone most of the time and about four guys pass to each other outside the three line until a three is launched. Even Miller sometimes is outside just pasing….
Not much chance for an O rebound there.

Paul in NH

December 8th, 2012
9:50 am

The problem isn’t rebounds on the offensive end – it is at the defensive end. UGA had 15 offensive rebounds while GT had 22 defensive – BTW UGA shot 17 3’s. Under CBG they will improve but there is a problem right now

Bored in Newnan

December 8th, 2012
10:21 am

Miller needs to step his game up. He looked sluggish and tired against UGA. Tech rarely gets the ball inside as a result.

blazer

December 8th, 2012
11:27 am

Seems like we never pass to Royal when he is in the game.

wes

December 8th, 2012
11:36 am

Chuck Allison

December 8th, 2012
5:01 pm

Ken, height is length only when your team is lying down.

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Duke isn’t the only ACC team struggling to crash the boards this season. Georgia Tech has struggled with rebounding margin as well. Somewhat surprisingly, the Yellow Jackets’ advanced splits from Ken Pomeroy don’t back up Brian Gregory’s concerns. It’s true Gregory’s team is in the second half of the country in rebounding its own misses, but the team is actually a solid defensive rebounding team. But stats never give the whole picture, and it’s clear Gregory wants the team to box out more aggressively. [...]

William Casey

December 10th, 2012
2:10 pm

@Chuck: length refers to wingspan…long arms.

Jacket Detective

December 11th, 2012
4:27 pm

I just bought the ACC package and was told the transfer Poole (Stacey I think) would be able to play in late December and his brother Solomon will enroll at Tech and has applied to be elligible to play starting in January. The salesman mentioned other times a high school graduate has been able to play immediately upon enrolling in January. I was going to buy regardless but am even more excited if we could get both brothers this year. Solomon is a point guard and would solve our depth problem at that position immediately.
Can you follow up on this Ken?

Jacket Detective

December 11th, 2012
4:38 pm

I was more excited about CPJ than I was CBG but that sentiment has reversed completely.
CBG beats UGA and CPJ doesn’t.
Some might argue that it is an easier task in basketball but CPJ should have run off three in a row from 2008 to 2010 when UGA was weak.
I said if we beat UGA this year in basketball, I would buy the ACC package and I have followed through on my pledge today.