The Mikan Drill

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Wichita State’s offensive rebounding strategy

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Wichita State had an overall offensive rebounding percentage of 35.9% (52nd in the nation) during all of 2011 with a 33.4% in conference play (1st in the MVC). The team did have an effective height of +1.3 (77th in the nation) so some of their prowess came simply because of their height advantage. However, they also had a clear strategy to attack the glass which helped them attain their offensive rebounding percentage.

What Wichita State loves to do is after a player attempts a long jump shot from the wing or corner, the player on the opposite side of the floor crashes the back side of the glass. The player often has a free cut to the rim, as the defender usually neglects to box out the weak side wing player. By crashing hard to the rim from the weak side, this gives the Shockers the advantage on the glass and helps them increase the percentage of offensive rebounds they grab.

Wichita State likes to employ this method against either a zone defense or a man defense, as you will see in the following clips. It can be effective against either defense because defenders often fail to box out a player who is on the far wing as the defender does not consider that player a threat on the glass. That player is expected to provide floor balance and not crash the rim, which is part of the reason this strategy can work so well.

The following clips show the weak side man moving toward the rim to try to get the offensive rebound. Focus less on who comes up with the rebound and more on how they send the extra man to the rim and where he comes from.

Downside

There is a downside to this strategy and it is the lack of defensive floor balance that can occur when you send the extra man to the offensive glass. When a player takes a shot from the wing or corner and the weak side man goes crashing, this can leave only one player back tracking for balance.  If Wichita State is going to send the extra player to the glass, they need to drill into their shooters to immediately track back to half-court for defensive balance. However, if a player watches his shot for a split second too long or is too far deep into the corner, the defense can secure the ball and start the break.

This is shown in the following frame. Notice that there are four offensive players below the foul lane with the shooter in the near corner and the far side player cutting toward the offensive glass. This leaves only one player giving balance to the team and when the defense secures the rebound, they are able to get out on the fast break. While a second defender does back track to defend the break, Alabama is still able to get out on a 4 on 2 fast break.

This should not deter the Shockers from hitting the offensive glass hard. The adjustment they need to make is drilling into their shooters to immediately sprint to half-court and be ready for a fast break. They may lose out on the occasional rebound opportunity if the shot is short and would bounce right back to the shooter but that will be made up for in opportunities gained as they crash the weak side glass.

Written by Joshua Riddell

September 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm

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