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Rebounding issues continue to trouble Maryland

At one point during his postgame press conference, Villanova Coach Jay Wright responded to a question about how critical the edge his team's offensive rebounding edge was to building and sustaining its lead in its 95-86 win over Maryland on Sunday. The Wildcats outrebounded Maryland on the offensive glass, 23-7, and outscored the Terrapins in second-chance points, 29-10.

He answered by pointing out that as effective as Maryland's zone defense was in disrupting Villanova's shooting efficiency from beyond the arc, it came at the expense of minding the boards as effectively as the Terrapins otherwise might have. The implication was that part of the gamble any team makes by opting to go to a zone defensive look is surrendering a few more loose-ball rebounds than usual.

Maryland Coach Gary Williams, though, wasn't completely sold on that assessment.

"Everybody says it’s harder to rebound" in zone defense, Williams said. "I’ll look at the tape, but you have to go after the ball whether you’re playing man-to-man or zone. I think we stood on a couple rebounds thinking that somebody else has it. The problem with zone a lot of times is I think you assume somebody else is going to get the rebound so you don’t move."

Only three Maryland players tallied offensive rebounds Sunday night. Of those three, only freshman forward Jordan Williams pulled down more than one. Williams, who tallied five offensive rebounds and 12 total rebounds, performed admirably in the paint, but one player's efforts were not enough.

"That hurt," Jordan Williams said. "That was painful to the fact that the rebounds that we didn’t get, that’s what good teams do, you know? They take advantage of second-chance opportunities, and [Villanova] did a great job scoring on second-chance opportunities."

By Steve Yanda  |  December 7, 2009; 10:34 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: J. Williams 'a force' against Villanova


The zone absolutely affected the Terps rebounding effort. The biggest problem with the zone that Gary employs (the 3-2 matchup), is that it overplays the ball-side of the court. That means if the other team is really good at swinging the ball from side to side, as 'Nove was doing very proficiently last night, it shifts the players on the zone, taking them out of good rebounding position. On one particular posession, 'Nove swung the ball around the arc three times before getting the open shot from the corner, which missed the target, but because the zone had shifted twice, both Jordan Williams and Landon Milbourne were on the arc, leaving Vaquez and Hayes down low to get the rebound, which was an easy putback for Pena. I was astonished that Gary stuck in that zone for so much of the second half considering how bad they were rebounding out of it, and how many open shots the Wildcats were getting, they missed a lot in the second half. Playing the percentages, they were bound to miss a bunch in the second half, but that doesn't excuse Gary from staying in that zone that doesn't create turnovers or hurry the other team into taking quick shots. 'Nove had no problem with the zone, and if it not for them cooling off in the second half and Sean Mosley's amazing effort, the Terps would have been blown out.

Posted by: Russtinator | December 7, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Gary went to the 3-2 because that's the best zone, normally, to stop 3 point shooting. Nova were shooting the lights out from behind the arc and that was his attempt to cool them off.

Posted by: CYork1 | December 7, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

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