Rebounding woes a hot topic (video)

The following topics were covered during UConn's pre-practice availability on Thursday:

Rebounding.

Rebounding.

Rebounding.

And rebounding.

Okay, so that might be exaggerating a bit.

Rebounding will likely be the hot topic for the entire season.

Emeka Okafor and Jeff Adrien aren't walking through the Gampel Pavilion doors.

UConn simply lacks the muscle, size and mentality to dominate the boards. The Huskies have been out-rebounded in all but one game.

Kevin Ollie is a smart coach. But he isn't a miracle worker.

Rebounding continues to be a point of emphasis.

"I just do the same things that we've been doing," Ollie said. "It's just yelling a little more and losing my voice and emphasizing it a little bit more. There's no secret to it. I'm not inventing anything else.

"… Results come after effort. I'm not going to come up with any fancy drills because all the drills I got are retreads anyways. I took them from someone else. Somebody is going to take them from me.

"It's nothing different that we're going to do. We've just got to emphasis it more and we've got to coach our guys up that we've got in this gym."

When asked about productive undersized rebounders from his past, Ollie came up with a quick answer.

Kevin Freeman, UConn's director of basketball administration, was at the top of Ollie's list. At 6-7 power forward, Freeman led the team in rebounding as a freshman (1996-97) and junior (1998-99), averaging 6.4 and 7.3 rebounds, respectively.

"He's not the biggest guy, but he was fearless and he was relentless," Ollie said. Hopefully, they see examples like that. I can't think of anybody else that exemplifies that. … It's about going to get the basketball. It's about every time the shot goes up, you think it is a pass to you. Hopefully, these guys understand that."

Junior Enosch Wolf could help out in that department. Wolf, a 7-foot-1 center, had his best game of his career in Tuesday's loss toNorth CarolinaState, finishing with a career-best nine rebounds.

"We work on it every practice because it's been our biggest problem," Wolf said. "We're going to continue to work on it because it is going to win us games eventually."

Heading into Friday's game against Harvard in Storrs, junior Tyler Olander and sophomore DeAndre Daniels share the team rebounding lead at 4.5 per game.

Daniels has been battling a sore back. But he is expected to play tonight.

Veteran guard R.J. Evans (right collarbone area) also will be available. He returned to the team against N.C. State after missing two games.

"I was a little sore the next day but that was expected," Evans said.

The Huskies will have a 10-day exam break following tonight's game.

For more from Ollie on rebounding and Wolf's inspired play, check out the video link.

Reader Comments

MORE BLOGS

Pre-game preview: Cincinnati

   Senior Ryan Boatright knows what’s at stake in the final 12 regular season games, starting with tonight’s action at Cincinnati at Fifth Third Arena.

Injury sidelines Cassell Jr.

  Good thing UConn has depth in the backcourt.

Post-game breakdown: South Florida

  UConn did what it had to do during its two-game home-stand.

Pre-game preview: South Florida

UConn enters today's game sitting in fifth place in the American Athletic Conference.Tulsa (7-0) and SMU (7-1) are pulling away from the pack.

Post-game breakdown: Central Florida

  UConn has had issues putting teams away this season.  It happened again on Thursday.

Pre-game preview: Central Florida

   UConn begins an important two-game homestand tonight with an American Athletic Conference game against Central Florida.

Post-game breakdown: Stanford

After its latest damaging loss, UConn faces a long, hard road to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

Pre-game preview: Stanford

UConn didn't lose its seventh game last season until March 8.The Huskies (9-6) are trying to avoid suffering their seventh defeat tonight at Stanford.

Post-game breakdown: Tulsa

   UConn suffered a major letdown against Tulsa on Tuesday night.   Almost nothing went right for the Huskies, who were simply out-played and out-worked for the first time in recent weeks.

Pre-game preview: Tulsa

  Remember when UConn’s big conference games used to be against Syracuse and Georgetown?

Post-game breakdown: Cincinnati

UConn is heating up at the right time.The Huskies scored an important 62-56 victory over Cincinnati today before a sold-out XL Center crowd of 15,564.

Pre-game preview: Cincinnati

It's too early in the season to place today's game in the must win category.

Post-game breakdown: South Florida

UConn completed a successful road trip on Tuesday.

Pre-game preview: South Florida

UConn is one of four American Athletic Conference teams still without a conference win heading into tonight’s game against South Florida at the Sun Dome.

Purvis: Time for us to turn our season around

UConn worked out at the University of Tampa’s beautiful Bob Martinez Athletics Center on Monday.