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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Could This Be Kentucky’s Only “Weakness”?

It is so hard to find anything critical to say about the UK basketball season right now.  The guys are playing defense at an historic level, and while the offense has been inconsistent at time, overall it has been a fun year filled with fast breaks and more dunks that one could remember.  But if you had to try and find somewhere that UK could improve, I feel like I might have found the one area: DEFENSIVE REBOUNDING.

Just for comparison’s sake, consider this fact:  On the offensive end of the floor, Kentucky has 113 offensive rebounds this season and their opponents have 122 defensive rebounds.  Meaning so far this season, Kentucky has had almost a 50-50 chance of rebounding their missed shots.  That’s incredible.  But on the defensive end, Kentucky has allowed 84 offensive rebounds in just 7 games.  That is an average of 12 offensive rebounds per game that UK is giving up against mostly smaller and less talented opponents.

Now, I am certainly not saying that UK is getting hammered on the boards on the defensive end of the floor.  They have 195 defensive rebounds on the year.  That means that UK is rebounding 70% of missed shots on the defensive end.  That is nothing to be disappointed about for sure.  The problem is the competition is now going to be ramping up in the next few weeks and I wonder if teams have noticed that UK is in such a hurry to get a fast break going that they often leave their big alone to rebound on the defensive end of the floor.  So some teams have crashed the offensive glass and are essentially rebounding 4 on 2 against UK.

To be fair, if UK can keep up the 70% rebound rate for the entire season, then that is not really substandard.  For instance, last year’s team rebounded 70.2% of shots on the defensive end of the floor.  The 2012 national championship team only rebounded 68.7% of shots missed on the defensive end of the floor.  So this year’s team is actually on pace with those teams, but those teams also played full seasons against many more quality opponents.  I feel like it is difficult to know where this team might need improvement, but I feel like we have seen weaker teams able to rebound effectively on the offensive end.  Kansas had 20 offensive rebounds.  OK, they are a Top 10 team.  But Montana State had 13 offensive rebounds and UT-Arlington had 15 offensive boards.

But this is where UK is so great.  They are able to negate those offensive rebounds against weaker opponents because their size and shot blocking ability.  So even when pointing out a marginal weakness, you have to point out UK’s strengths.  Even when they don’t rebound well on the defensive end of the floor, it hasn’t mattered much because teams don’t have the skill and size to make the follow-up shot.  We’ll see if that continues when the Texas, UNC, and Louisville games roll around, but I have to think that will be mostly the case much of the year.

Do you think that defensive rebounding has been any kind of issue so far?  Or is that trying to find a flaw in a perfect team?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

16 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Could This Be Kentucky’s Only “Weakness”?



  1. I Love It
    9:13 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

    There have been some missed block outs, particularly from the freshmen, which is normal.

    However, I think you aren’t accounting for the fact that we are forcing teams into a lot of long contested jumpshots that are flying off the back of the rim and out to or beyond the free throw line.

    And while that’s not exactly an excuse, none of our backcourt is exceptional at rebounding, which leaves opportunities open on those long misses.



  2. Dubowski
    9:13 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

    I dont think its that a big of deal. You said it. We get 70% of the rebounds on the defensive end.

    the opponents offensive rebound total is high because our defense is so good, that they are missing more shots.

    more missed shots = more rebounds = more offensive rebounds for the other team. the % is what really matters.



    • Rixter
      11:32 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

      You are exactly right. When you hold teams to 20%, 25%, 30% shooting, that’s a LOT of missed shots, and a lot more than past teams have seen. We can’t get every rebound, so as long as our pct is up there…the opponent’s numbers are bound to go up.



  3. RealCatsFan
    9:25 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

    I recall the 2012 team having similar issues, and it was related to the fact that their defensive philosophy is to go for the blocked shot. When you do that, you take yourself out of position for the rebound if you don’t block the shot. The offensive player is at an advantage because he is already facing the basket and in better position to make a play on the rebound. The help side defense needs to do a better job crashing the boards when a teammate attempts a block. Many times we have more than one player trying to block the same shot. Better communication should help resolve that as the season goes on.



    • shmikey
      9:37 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

      Agreed, aggressively going after blocks shots leaves you out of position for a lot of rebounds, and outside of Ulis and Hawkins, the guards arent really quick enough to get a lot of the long rebounds either. I think it’s more so the weakside help block attempts that allow the rebounding, and when Kentucky plays a bigger team, I’m sure Cal will adjust to keep them off the boards.



  4. RealCatsFan
    9:29 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

    I’m not an English teacher, but how did the phrase “AN historic level” ever gain traction? Grammar rules state that you use the article “a” instead of “an” when the word following it starts with a hard consonant. You wouldn’t say “an heavy object”, would you? It’s just one of those little sayings that annoy me. Kind of like our former Commandeer in Chief pronouncing nuclear “nu-cu-lar”. Lesson over – carry on. 😉



    • Grammar King
      9:57 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

      As grammar and the English language are not static phenomena, but are rather constantly changing and evolving, the rules about this particular issue evolve as well. You would write “a history,” as the “h” in “history” is overwhelmingly pronounced with emphasis on the first syllable; however, in the words “historic” or “historical,” emphasis generally lies on the second syllable, and the “h” in these words is sometimes – if not most of the time – largely obscured or left out in pronunciation.

      In formal English, “a historic” would be the generally accepted form, but in less formal writing environments, such as a sports website, emphasis should and often does lie on how the words written will be pronounced when read aloud or to one’s self. Therefore, if when writing this piece, BTI said in his head while typing, “The guys are playing defense at an historic level,” then that is how he should be typing it.



    • blubo
      10:20 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

      realcatsfan i feel your pain. i have argued same with my daughter who was an (a?) english major. she pretty much recited what grammarking just said. don’t get me started on ‘supposably’. i know it is accepted spelling now but not so long ago it was supposedly different.



    • Musehobo
      10:38 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

      Yeah man, you didn’t think this one out. Would you say “He’s a honest man.”?

      Nope.

      “He’s an honest man.” is correct because like the guy above said, the “o” is what is stressed because if the silent “h”. While the “h” isn’t exactly silent in “historic”, “an” flows off the tongue more easily because of the specific enunciation of the “h”. BTI is no grammar king, but this one is not wrong.



  5. UKBigDaddy4
    9:39 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

    Please correct me, as I am definitely not positive…but doesn’t a blocked/deflected shot still get counted as a rebound? So, if KU player shoots, we get one of our close to 10 blocks per game, but the ball is deflrected into a KU player’s hands…is that a rebound for that KU player? If so, I think the tremendous amount of blocks per game needs to be considered in the total numbers. 2-3 blocked shots on one possession could lead to 2-3 offensive rebounds depending on where the ball is deflected(seen a couple of times where the ball is blocked right back to the shooter more than once on the same trip). I believe that a blocked shot counts as a missed FG, therefore recovery of said blocked shot equals a rebound…that being the case, opponents are picking up a few ‘garbage’ offensive rebounds by having their shots sent right back to them! Either way, how great is it that we have to try so hard to find something to complain about with this team so far!



    • UKBigDaddy4
      9:40 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

      Just used Kansas as a reference team above; and I remember a couple of trips that alexander got a rebound(or 2) off of blocked shots.



  6. AirForceOne
    9:57 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

    I am with the first post. Most of the teams we are playing are smaller, that live and die by the three point shot. Long misses tend to bounce back outside. I think as we play the taller and more athletic teams that drive the ball, this statistic will even out.



  7. Adam From Awesome Trot
    10:39 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

    Their weakness is that the inconsistent outside shooting and lack of a true 3 on either platoon means that for the first 12 minutes of every game, the cats are unable to create an offense out of a deeply packed zone. After the other team is worn out, this point is moot, however.



  8. chris47601
    10:40 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

    Teams are shooting like eFG of 32% against the Cats. That means there are MANY more offensive rebound opportunities per game.

    UK gives up an average of 12 OR per game and only 14 FG made per game. Seems like as long as teams shoot 30% and UK rebounds defensively at or near it’s current clip (why wouldn’t they), then it’s perfectly fine.



  9. Musehobo
    10:40 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

    Typical BTI post:

    “HEY GUYS I FOUND A WEAKNESS!”

    “Well, it’s not really a weakness because we’ve been pretty good at it”

    “BUT IT COULD TOTALLY BE A WEAKNESS LATER IN THE SEASON!”



  10. El_Joe
    10:54 am December 3, 2014 Permalink

    No, When teams shoot 28%, they get more offensive rebounds because there are more rebounds period. For comparison’s sake, in comparing opponents’ offensive rebounds to UK’s defensive rebounds, the ’12 title team allowed 31.1% of the rebounds to the other team. Last year’s team allowed 29.8%. This year’s team is at 30.1%.

    They’re fine.