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Pitt’s offensive rebounding

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Through games on Sunday, January 16, Pitt’s offensive rebounding rate stood at 46.2%, the highest of any team in KenPom’s database. Let’s look at some of the ways they corral almost half of offensive rebounding chances and dominate the offensive glass.

Smart rebounding

Even when Pitt players can’t grab the rebound, they know how to help the team secure the loose ball. In this first clip, we see Gilbert Brown unable to grab the ball with both hands. Instead, he taps the ball out to a teammate for a second chance.

This is a smart play because it is assumed that 5 defensive players are crashing the glass, while 1 to 2 of his teammates are tracking back to play transition defense. By tapping the ball back, Brown assumes a teammate is going to be the first one to get there, which turns out to be correct.

Gain position

Watch this clip that shows how Pitt fights for position on the offensive glass. All three offensive rebounders have inside position on their Seton Hall counterparts.

They fought for that position and used it to get the offensive rebound. Instead of settling for trying to out jump their opponent, they fight just as hard for position as they do on the defensive glass.

In this second clip, if you only watch the big men, you would think Pitt is on the defensive glass. They completely outwork the Syracuse players as they box them out to gain position. This shows they are committed to owning the offensive glass, as they work to box out their opponents on the offensive, something that is rarely seen.

Crashing the glass

We almost always see 3 Panthers crashing the offensive glass. Watch this clip to see three Pitt players attack the glass. Most teams will only see 2 players crash on a regular basis, with three players going to the rim occasionally. Pitt sends three players hard on a regular basis, putting a ton of pressure on the defensive rebounders.

At times, we can see 4 Panthers on the offensive glass. In this clip, we see 4 Pitt players crashing the glass.

While this is a gamble, as a defensive rebound could lead to a transition basket, Pitt is willing to take the risk to have a better chance of getting the offensive rebound. It pays off in this clip, as they get the rebound.


Sometimes, strength wins on the glass. Gary McGhee, Talib Zanna and others are very strong and can push smaller players under the basket to get the rebound. Even though they are not the most athletic players and able to outjump other players, they can use their strength to get position for the rebound.

As seen, there are several ways Pitt works on the offensive glass. Thanks to their relentless work ethic and desire to rebound, they are able to dominate the glass. I believe Pitt could finish with the highest offensive rebounding percentage in KenPom’s database and could play a big part in a deep tournament run.


Written by Joshua Riddell

January 18, 2011 at 3:44 am

Posted in Team Breakdowns

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  1. […] A look at Pitt’s offensive rebounding […]

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