Fab Melo’s rebounding rate: update
I recently wrote a post discussing whether Fab Melo’s poor defensive rebounding rate was a cause for concern. To see the full post (click here). The conclusion was that there was right to be concerned, as Melo was displaying little athleticism in being able to go up and get a rebound.
He showed some encouraging signs tonight against Cornell. His defensive rebounding rate was a very respectable 22.1% and he showed several times that he can use his height to his advantage and maneuver his way past the offensive rebounders.
In the clips I looked at in the original post, Melo got little elevation in going for the rebound. He was in decent position but was unable to finish the play and secure the rebound. In this first clip, he gets himself between the basket and the Cornell player and finishes the play strong by getting off the ground and grabbing the rebound.
This may seem like a small point but it is a positive to Melo becoming a better defensive rebounder. It seems as though part of the reason Melo is struggling on the glass is his focus on playing the 2-3 zone the right way, which takes away part of his focus from rebounding. However, I saw what looked to be a lack of athleticism in the W&M game, which included getting outjumped by smaller defenders.
Tonight, he showed a bit more promise, even if it was just a small factor. While this rebound is uncontested, it is a positive takeaway because it shows something Melo did not do earlier- go after the ball. Instead of waiting for the ball to come to him, he makes an effort to grab the ball off the rim, which would keep other big men at bay.
The only thing he did not do was grab a tough rebound in traffic. However, I am a bit more encouraged today, as Melo was more aggressive on the defensive glass, even if there was not much competition. He needs that confidence come Big East time because Syracuse will need his rebounding.