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Film Review of Friday’s Defensive Rebounding

Friday’s opening game against Mark Turgeon’s Maryland Terrapins was certainly an interesting one to say the least.  From Kyle Wiltjer picking up where he left off on the offensive side to the unbelievable performance of Jarrod Polson; this game was certainly a good one to open up with.  However there were some severe problems in Friday’s performance which included foul trouble and, most notably, a total lack of defensive rebounding.  This total ineptitude on the defensive glass can be attributed to many things like lack of preparation, lack of experience, the foul trouble we were experiencing at the time, or even Maryland’s scheme; but this bad rebounding performance was the primary cause of the Terrapins second half comeback.  So in order to find just what was causing the problem I re-watched the game (particularly the second half run) to see where we were lacking in rebounding performance.

(Note that in the pictures the orange dot represents the ball’s current location, the blue dot represents the key UK player position, and the red indicates the key Maryland player position.  Also, apologies for the “Bigfoot Photo” image quality.)


Scenario #1: Kentucky 53, Maryland 40 (17:05 remaining).  Cauley-Stein throws a reckless inbound pass that is intercepted by Pe’Shon Howard.

This turned into a fast-break opportunity for Maryland which understandably caused Mays (blue dot) to be out of position, leaving his man with a clear path to the board.

The shot was missed short and right of the rim allowing for a Nick Faust offensive board which set up a Dez Wells lay-up seconds later.  The score at this point was 53-42 Kentucky.


Scenario #2: Kentucky 53, Maryland 42 (15:45 remaining).  Pe’Shon Howard takes and misses a jumpshot, the ball falls into five people (3-2 Kentucky advantage).

Cauley-Stein correctly blocks his man out while Poythress who is free jumps for the rebound.  Noel (blue dot, behind Alex Len in the above picture) doesn’t correctly block Len out who then tips the ball from Poythress to Dez Wells.  This possession didn’t lead to a Maryland point, but it’s notable because of Kentucky’s tactical advantage.


Scenario #3: Kentucky 53, Maryland 48 (12:53 remaining).  Jack Layman shoots a lightly contested three point attempt.

Archie Goodwin (blue dot) focuses on the shot rather than finding his man, Nick Faust (red dot).

Faust releases to the basket uncontested while Goodwin still looks at the shot.  The end result was a Faust rebound after Cauley-Stein and his man neutralized one another under the rim.  This possession, again, didn’t result in a point for Maryland, but it shows a lack of attention by Goodwin.


Scenario #4: Kentucky 68, Maryland 63 (2:03 remaining).  Seth Allen finds a crease in the defense and drives to the basket while challenged by Noel.

Cauley-Stein (blue dot) who is under the basket is following the ball rather than his man who is behind him.

Cauley-Stein fails to recognize that Noel has the man covered, but he goes for the block, leaving his man open on the other side of the basket.

After a high arcing shot that sails the rim, Cauley-Stein is on the opposite side of the rim while his man, Charles Mitchell, grabs the easy rebound for a tip in.  The score is now Kentucky 68, Maryland 65.


So after reviewing the tape, I’m inclined to believe that this performance is largely due to young Kentucky players spacing out thus allowing Maryland to get uncontested rebounds.  During the run there were very few instances where Maryland had a schematic advantage against Kentucky so this is really the only conclusion that can be reached.  Before we freak out let’s remember one thing; it was this team’s first game together and many of the players had never played an actual college game before.  If this trend continues late into the season it will become alarming, but this issue will improve immensely as this team gathers more experience.

What about tomorrows match-up with Duke?  Luckily for us, Duke didn’t grab many offensive boards against Georgia State (only 20.7% of potential offensive boards claimed, ranking them 251st).  I understand that may be a bit skewed after only 1 game, but the Blue Devils did lose their leading rebounder from last season (Miles Plumlee) to the NBA Draft.  So, while Kentucky will still have issues against Duke, I wouldn’t anticipate rebounding to be the main issue this time around as Duke isn’t the rebounding team that Maryland is.



Article written by Jonathan Schuette

25 Comments for Film Review of Friday’s Defensive Rebounding

  1. Bulldawg
    9:40 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    nice post.

  2. Shawon
    9:48 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    Second longest post in KSR history?

    Hopefully the Cats do better in this area tomorrow night…

  3. rasky262
    9:49 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    Red dot, blue dot, mustard bottle, ketchup bottle. Jesus Christ people.

  4. List
    9:56 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    Multiple times I saw Willie and Noel go for the block, leaving us with 3 players to box out 4. If we get the block great, but if not there is a great chance of an offensive rebound.

  5. Dickie Z
    9:59 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    If I had a penny for every pixel in those photos I would have 75 cents!

  6. Don't geek
    10:01 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    I wanna see every person on pukes roster get dunked on, hard.. Including coach ratitouie!!

  7. thanks
    10:02 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    thanks for your time illustrating this. I enjoyed it,

  8. barn
    10:05 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    all this and not even a gratuitous pic of nearly/completely naked babes?

  9. Capt
    10:16 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    Tis better to lose to duke now than to lose to the f## king tards in a month.

  10. Blue Jesus
    10:16 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    One Kentucky advantage that I don’t think can be overstated is that we’ve already played in a close game, and Duke hasn’t. If it comes down to it, I like our chances.

  11. coachg
    10:24 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    Absolutely stupid! Stein has to rotate to stop ball. we have shot blockers that are supposed to rotate and leave there man. The rotation behind the bigs is the problem.

  12. mike
    10:25 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    @11 Better to lose? I’m sorry, I don’t quite follow you. I know the meaning of each individual word, but I don’t believe I have ever seen them assorted in that particular combination before. I’ve been a UK fan all of my life and I have never heard this phrase once.

  13. tdogg40330
    10:44 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    ” We aint losin brah”

  14. Relax
    11:01 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    Relax guys. As far as I’m concerned, coming up with ideas to post on this site on such a regular basis is pretty awesome. It gives me something to read everyday, and I’m thankful for that. Nice post. I enjoyed the insight into the rebounding issue.

  15. mudcreekmark
    11:04 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    13)Yea, I was OK with his analysis until the last one. Cauley-Stein was not the problem in that one it was Poythress or whoever that person was on the outside next to the player that eventually gets the rebound.When he saw Cauley-Stein going to help he should have rotated down to CS’s man.

  16. mudcreekmark
    11:14 pm November 12, 2012 Permalink

    These Freshmen are so used to rebounding in high school by pure height or by being so athletic. Now they are playing against players their own size and comparable athletic ability and now they cannot just “go get it” when the ball goes up. At the college level and above that doesn’t work. You have to find a man and put your butt against him. Once you make contact, then you can worry about watching the flight of the ball.Our guys are standing there watching the flight of the ball and not blocking their man out. This should be easily fixed.

  17. James K
    7:11 am November 13, 2012 Permalink

    I can shorten this down for you considerably. We try to block everything (which, hey, that’s fun and is one of our strengths) and we don’t box out all the time yet. That causes rebounds. Pretty simple.

  18. RealCatsFan
    7:13 am November 13, 2012 Permalink

    Interesting post, but it would have been infinitely more effective if you could have used video clips or GIF’s.

  19. RealCatsFan
    7:15 am November 13, 2012 Permalink

    The Cats had similar issues with defensive rebounding last year – going for the block left the rebound open if the shot was missed, as it usually was after being altered by the block attempt. Adjustments were made as the season went on – as will happen this year.

  20. Peter Pan
    8:16 am November 13, 2012 Permalink

    This game was obviously on a non-HD channel

  21. UK
    8:31 am November 13, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe you should wash the mayo off the camera lens next time! I’ve seen better resolution on google satellite images

  22. SeaCat
    8:35 am November 13, 2012 Permalink

    Great post!!

  23. Will S
    9:24 am November 13, 2012 Permalink

    10) Duke has played in plenty of close games, they start 3 seniors (all of which won the Nationa Title in 2010). Plenty of experience in big, neutral site games vs quality opponents.

  24. Hey 3, don’t forget Cal first learned the DDO by watching a coach move sugar packets around a table at a diner!

  25. mudcreekmark
    10:15 am November 13, 2012 Permalink

    17) You are correct on the drives to the basket. However, there still has to be help. When CS or Noel go help then their man has to be covered by someone else. We didn’t rotate. Also, on the outside shots that they missed, and there were plenty, we stood there watching the flight of the ball instead of finding our man and putting out butts against them. In man to man, that should be really easy to do. All of this of course is correctable with a little instruction.