Through its first three games, Kentucky is trailing its opponents in rebounding, having lost the battle to both Stephen F. Austin and Michigan State, and only beating out Canisius by three boards.
Today, Kenny Payne acknowledged his team is underachieving in that aspect, but he expects things to improve in time.
“With out athleticism and energy and length, we haven’t dominated teams on the glass this far,” Payne admitted reporters. “I don’t see it as a long-term problem, but it’s something we have to focus on and getting better at.”
Payne said he’s a little surprised by his frontcourt’s slow start, but, “We’re basically playing with a high school team.”
Obviously, a lot of the blame for the low rebounding totals falls on Bam Adebayo, who has had trouble staying on the floor. Adebayo had only one rebound against Stephen F. Austin and five against Michigan State, but hauled in 11 in the one game Kentucky controlled the glass.
Payne said Adebayo is trying too hard to push his guys completely under the basket, which is why he is drawing too many foul calls.
“The good thing is the fouls aren’t happening on the defensive end; they’re all happening on the offensive end.”
“He’s literally trying to push them all the way under the basket.”