Travis Wear talks about rebounding:
TW: yeah, I know. I guess I just have to dig in. Coach [Howland] is pointing out our defensive field goal percentage is great. Our defense has gotten so much better. But the one thing we still have to improve on is rebounding. And I think once we do that, it's all going to come together.
Q: he pointed out the guards in particular. How much help does that give you guys, as the "bigs", when they're coming in there and they're rebounding? And can you tell?
TW: yeah, oh definitely. It helps us out a lot because we're not necessarily that big of a team so we really have to focus on boxing out the other teams' bigs. And we've got guards coming in to pick up the short ones or you know, being around to pick up the ones that go over our heads. It helps us tremendously.
Q: how much better are you guys defensively right now than when the PAC-12 started?
TW: I think it's night and day. We were giving up such easy buckets at the beginning. We've eliminated those pretty much lately. Our defensive rotation is a lot better now. Ball pressure is really helping us out a lot too. Overall communication and just comfort is there.
Q: is that a product of just kind of playing together more and understanding each other's tendencies?
TW: yeah, I think so. And just realizing that if we want to win, we're going to have to play defense. Limit other teams' field goal percentage.
Q: is there any other answer other than "play harder" when it comes to getting better on the rebounds? Is there… "block out harder". Is there any other…
TW: just make a conscious effort to get 5 guys on the glass. The more guys we have on the glass is just going to benefit us. Sending 3 guys every time to the glass on offense.. if you just have 1 going or 2 going, it's a lot easier to block out 1 or 2 guys than 3. So, you know.
Q: how much would you say you hear about your rebounding over the course of a normal practice? Is it something he's talking about all the time?
TW: yeah, Coach told me 2 days ago before practice. He wants me to focus on offensive rebounding a lot more as well as defensive rebounds. I feel like I'm a lot better rebounder than my numbers have been showing. He wants me to get about 8 a game. He was pointing out that last year I was getting 3 offensive boards a game, and he wants me to get back on the offensive glass like I was last year.
Q: how do you get back to that? Do you know? Or that just something you have to kind of feel out?
TW: I'm trying to make a conscious effort to go every time. I don't really know. I'm just going to keep going to the offensive glass and just hope they start falling my way.
Q: is it different to crash the boards when you're on the perimeter as a shooter as opposed to on the blockdown?
TW: a little bit yeah because you're already in position. You don't have to go 20 feet rather than 3 feet.
Q: do you think you could maybe sneak up on people if you're on the perimeter maybe?
TW: yeah, sometimes it gives you a little bit of head of steam to get in there, but also it gets you out of position because you're running full speed. It's a little bit more difficult running in from the perimeter. But it really doesn't make… you still have to get the rebound.
Q: the quicker offense this year… could that also be playing a role? You don't have time to get into position because the shot's going up a lot quicker?
TW: yeah, that could be. Our offense is playing a lot quicker this year. Offensive boards… it's transition, you know. It's a lot harder. When you're trailing and you're at the 3 point line and the shot's already being put up, but also I think there's a lot more defensive rebounding opportunities right now because we are limiting teams to low field goal percentage so I think we should be taking advantage of that a little bit more.
Q: do you find that teams are gameplanning against your perceived lack of rebounding abilities? Are they doing anything special?
TW: I don't think they're doing anything special. Because generally, teams that send 3 guys to the glass are going to keep sending 3 because we're such a fast breaking team this year so if they send more than that, we're just going to beat them in transition. I'm sure they're telling their bigs, "go to the offensive glass because they're susceptible to giving up offensive rebounds" but other than that, I don't think they're sending more guys to the glass.
Q: guys aren't talking trash like "I'm going to outrebound you."?
Q: does it feel lucky that you guys are still winning some games in spite of being outrebounded by almost double digits over the past few games?
TW: not so much. I know we're getting outrebounded and stuff, but I feel like the games that we've won and even gotten outrebounded, I feel like that we've just like been able to control the tempo for the most part and really been in control of those games. I feel like we're still in charge even though we might be getting beat on the glass.
VIDEO: Wear on Offensive Boards
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