Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Offensive Rebounding

I was reading the X's & O's of Basketball message board (great message board) and someone was asking the question about offensive rebounding options. There were some good answers and it got me thinking. Coaches have tons of ideas for offense, defense, transition, etc, but we don't do a lot with offensive rebounding - it's pretty vanilla. We either throw a lot of guys (3-5) at the glass like Tom Izzo does or we go Dick Bennett style and everyone starts to run back when it LOOKS like we are going to shoot to protect the rim. Below are two different ideas that might work for you along with sending alot or sending a few.

1. Crash guards only (or short players)
-So many times the guards are the first ones back - but why? Think about it critically, who would you rather have guarding the basket on the fast break - your short guard or your taller "post"? Also, perimeter players are not as used to having to aggressively box out like posts are. Lastly - boxing out a perimeter player is harder than a post player, there is usually more space between the defender and the offensive player unless you are on the shooter. Players defending in the post are usually standing right next to your offensive player. It also gives you a better track on longer rebounds.
-So when the shot goes up, your posts turn and run down the floor while your guards crash. As a five out motion coach I don't really have guards and posts, but I have bigger guys and smaller guys - so I would send my smaller players. How many you send depends on your philosophy.

2. Crash the backside only
-There are two reasons for this tactic. First, the missed shot usually goes to the backside. Second, the rebounders are not paying as close attention to their defender because they are looking at the ball as it is shot - it's a human reaction. Along with that, they have to cover much more ground for a good block out and it's really hard to hit a moving target (offensive rebounder).
-So your rule would be that any player on the backside crashes the boards, the players on the ball side get back in transition.
-When a shot is taken from straight on, it's your call on that.

Also, how do you know how many guys to send? Do you send a lot or do you send few? The answer to this boils down to two factors, and it's not what your favorite college coach does, it has to do with your personality and your team.

For your personality it comes down to who you are: are you a gambler or a play it safe kind of coach? Your rebounding strategy needs to fit your overall philosophy.
-If you like to gamble, pressure, run up and down than you need to send a lot of guys to the glass. You are going to give up a few (which with your personality you can live with) and you will also get quite a few. Coach Arseneault of Grinnell crashes everyone and his goal is to get 33-40% of offensive rebounds. Because he is a gambling personality he's more than willing to give up a few extra layups to get those rebounds.
-If you are a play it safe kind of coach, rely mostly on your half court defense, don't pressure, press, trap, or gamble very often you are a send few, if any to the glass. You may want to get those offensive rebounds, but as the game goes on and you give up a few transition baskets you will get on your guys and then they will stop going to the glass hard so they can get back. With that said, don't set your guys up for failure, have them get back so you can keep your sanity! Dick Bennett is classic for sending everyone back because the last thing he ever wanted to do was give up a layup - that was his philosophy.

For your team it comes down to what you have: are you big and athletic or not?
-Many times if you are not fast and big your best option is to get back right away. When Princeton Upset UCLA in the 1996 NCAA Tournament Coach Carril knew his team was not nearly athletic enough to keep up with UCLA's running game. His strategy in that game was to send NO ONE to the glass. As soon as the shot went up everyone sprinted back, got into the lane and took away the break. If your team is in a similar situation I don't think it's a bad idea.
-On the other hand, if you are big and/or athletic you might want to crash a lot of guys to the glass. You are going to end up getting points because you are quicker/bigger and also you will have the athleticism to get back and cover yourself on defense.
-The bottom line is you need to weigh how many points you can get on offensive rebounds vs. how many points you will give up against their transition game. Even if you can get 1 more basket it might end up being worth it.

No comments: