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Cal called this the “tallest bad defensive rebounding team in the history of the game”

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

We’ve all been struggling to find things to nitpick with this team, but John Calipari had no problem finding several in his press conference today. “We’re the 13th best defensive rebounding team out of 14 in our league. Really? The tallest bad defensive rebounding team in the history of the game,” Cal said. “There are things that I look at right now and I’m like, ‘Come on.’”

Cal was particularly hard on his guards. “Our guards right now, we may have the worst group of rebounding guards in the country, too. So we’re doing stuff to hold them accountable,” Cal said, mentioning drills the group will do from now through the end of “Camp Cal,” which starts after the Louisville game.

On the flip side, Steve Alford called UK “the best rebounding team–hands down–in the country” during the CBS Sports Classic teleconference earlier this afternoon. Who’s right? While Kentucky is tied for 23rd nationally in total rebounds per game with 41.1, they are tied for 81st in defensive rebounds per game, with 25.9. Ouch. (Fun fact: guess who’s also 81st? Duke.)

Always good to have something to work on, I guess.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

16 Comments for Cal called this the “tallest bad defensive rebounding team in the history of the game”



  1. ClutchCargo
    4:15 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

    Cal is dead on. We have too many guards who like to run the other way when the ball goes up. Let’s make sure we get the rebound and then worry about getting back in transition in time for the highlight dunk, shall we?



    • Sublem
      4:38 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

      UK was the best last season, but was the worst in transition. You have to give something up, I rather have our guards get back on transition D than try an grab a RB.



    • ClutchCargo
      5:01 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

      I’m talking about not hitting the defensive boards and instead, running back on offense before your team actually has the ball. Getting back on defense is always a good thing.



    • Sublem
      5:15 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

      I understand that, but they can develop that habit on the other end. I’m okay with our guards running out ahead, that’s their job, it’s the big’s job to RB.



    • ClutchCargo
      5:46 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

      ^ Cal disagrees with you.



    • Sublem
      2:53 am December 19, 2014 Permalink

      I don’t care what you THINK Cal disagrees with.

      What he made was a statement, last season he also said we had to be one of the worst transition defensive teams out there, this season, UK is far from the worst, why? Because you have to make sacrifices on other aspects of defense.

      Usually top rebounding teams lack in transition D, top transition D teams lack in rebounding. It’s extremely hard to have both, you are going to give up a little on one of the two things to better one aspect.



  2. JLP
    4:37 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

    A statistics that has limited value. One needs to factor in strength of schedule. If we only played Upper Middle Lower State teams rather than Texas & North Carolina etc we would rank much higher.



  3. mrsaturdaypants
    4:43 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

    I’m glad Cal’s working on this. Kenpom is weighted by possession and strength of competition, and defensive rebounding is the Cats’ only real weakness on the defensive side of the ledger.

    National average for offensive rebounding is 31.5%. UK is #1 in offensive rebounding, at 46.3%, but is only 233rd on the other end, allowing opponents to pick up 33.1% of their misses.

    If they clamp down on this, their defense will be even nastier. (If the Cats had held Texas and North Carolina to 30% on the offensive boards, instead of 46% and 58%, they would have won much bigger than they did.)



    • Rixter
      9:54 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

      We do need bigger wins.



  4. RealCatsFan
    4:46 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

    I think one reason this is happening is that we put so much emphasis on blocking the shot that the defender gets taken out of position for the defensive rebound. Often times we have more than one player trying to block the shot, so then you have two players out of position. I think it’s hard to have a great shot blocking team that gets a lot of defensive rebounds for this reason. IIRC, the 2012 team had some similar issues, at least early in the year until they made some adjustments.



    • Leuther
      9:17 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

      Bingo! Spot on RealCatsFan!



  5. rainman
    6:09 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

    Hard to rebound when your trying to block every shot!
    Trade-offs!



    • RandyB
      6:50 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

      Hard to rebound shots you’ve blocked.



  6. sonnyg333
    6:59 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

    This is a clear case of the “Nerlens Factor”. Why rebound, Willie or Towns will get…



  7. Rixter
    9:51 pm December 18, 2014 Permalink

    It’s like the kid who gets a perfect score on the SAT, all you can do is criticize is the clothes he wore to take the test in.

    Those pants? Really?



  8. EdC
    9:24 am December 19, 2014 Permalink

    I believe what Cal is saying is that the guards are releasing on defense just assuming the big guys are going to get it. Sometimes that is OK but when the other team is getting a lot of long rebounds, as has happened in several games recently, it is time to re-think it.