Memphis Tigers Basketball Focusing on Improving Rebounding

By Patosha Jeffery

Beginning his fourth year as the head coach of Memphis Tigers, Josh Pastner realized some changes needed to be made. Memphis has not been a very good rebounding team during his first three seasons. The team has not finished any higher than seventh in CUSA during the three year time frame and last season the team ranked 136th nationally in rebounding margin.

“We need to be a better rebounding team offensively and defensively,” Pastner told the  Commercial Appeal. “It’s not about any conference. To be the team you want to be, you’ve got to be good in that area.”

The Tigers are bound for the Big East in 2013, a league in which rebounds will be even tougher to come by. Seven Big East teams ranked higher than the Tigers last season in rebounding margin.

To help improve the team, Pastner has implemented a drill called Cutthroat Rebounding with three rules.

Rule No. 1: No boys allowed. Once the ball is shot from the wing by an assistant coach, it’s mayhem. Bodies slamming against one another as players wrestle for position and try to gather in the ball.

Rule No. 2: The ball must be grabbed with two hands, then properly passed with two hands back out to an assistant coach as if throwing a quick outlet pass to a teammate.

Rule No. 3: No excuses. The team that doesn’t grab the rebound is off the floor, with the next team quickly rotating in to compete against the one that remained. Points are only awarded for offensive rebounds, and a team has to grab a defensive rebound first before it can switch sides to offense.

The Tigers first game is Nov. 7 against Christian Brothers Bucs at the FedEx Forum.

Patosha Jeffery is the Memphis Tigers Featured Columnist at Rant Sports. Be sure to follow her on Twitter: @patoshajeffery

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