When I was a 6-foot-1 college basketball player who played a lot in the low post block area, I had to play the game from the shoulders up.
I learned very quickly that an easy way to score was to go to the offensive boards.
Not only did it provide more shot opportunities, it also got me to the charity stripe because I usually had inside position to take power layups.
I’d like to pass on some of those offensive rebounding tips.
The first thing I learned about offensive rebounding was to know what type of defense opponents were playing. Against a zone, it was easier to get offensive rebounds because defenders are blocking out areas, not players.
Learning the type of shooting touches my teammates had also assisted with offensive rebounding. Did their ball bounce off the rim without a chance to go in or was it soft and stayed near the rim?
If the shot was by a player without a soft touch, like many of today’s 3-point shooters, then I waited to see where the ball would bounce. If the shot was by soft touch shooter, then I went to the rim as soon as the ball was in the air.
If the shot between the foul line and corner, I would go to the opposite side of the rim that the shot was taken because the closer the shot was taken from the free throw line extended to the corner, then the percentages favored a rebound on the opposite side.
By doing this, I usually didn’t get blocked out by my defender because I left the area where he last saw me, so I was free to get the rebound if it went to the opposite side of from where the shot was taken.
If the shot was from between the two free throw lines extended, then it was hard to know which side the ball would bounce off from on a miss. I would go to the middle of the lane in front of the basket to prepare for the ball coming off on either side of the rim.
When I took a shot, I always knew which side of the rim the ball would hit. If it hit the rim, it usually was to the left side because my left leg was my dominant leg. I was right-handed but I got more leg depth from my left leg because it was the strongest, so the ball would favor the left side of the rim.
If both legs were bent the same depth, then the ball usually would go in, but the more my leg depth was to the left, the more the ball would go to the left of the center. If the ball hit the rim, it was going to bounce off to the left.
So, after releasing my shot, I landed forward and waited to see where the ball would go and if it hit the rim. I would then head to that spot nearest where the ball came off the rim.
Figuring our team took 60 to 70 shots a game, if I could get five offensive rebounds, I was going to get points just on offensive rebounds for put-backs and foul shots.
Today’s high school and college players can do the same.