Like any skill, you only get really good at something when you are called upon to use it regularly in a real life setting. Practice is, of course, a must - but nothing sharpens those tools better than using them day in and day out to put food on the table.

I have wondered all year how a team so well balanced and fundamentally sound can be so seemingly weak in one of the key aspects of the game - rebounding, especially offensive rebounding. Several times in February, particularly during the period prior to the home win over Penn State, it seemed that four of our guys were getting back on defense as soon as our first shot of the possession went up. The fifth guy headed for the other end as soon as his feet hit the floor.

Painter is a solid coach who is firmly committed to the fundamentals. How in the name of Glenn Robinson can he not get better performance out of these guys on the glass?

Well, over several beers (such sessions is where much of my heavy intellectual lifting is done) a possible theory occurred to me - we rebound poorly because this team has not had to worry about such things for the two seasons prior to this one. We marvel at the fact that this year's team may be even better without our departed B1G PoY. That said, there is a case to be made that our rebounding woes are due to what I'll call "The Biggie Void".

The members of our current team were free to concentrate on developing many elements of their game while leaving nearly all rebounding responsibilities to Swanagan. I remember several instances when a good guy not wearing #50 appeared to get a board, #50 had taken it from him by the time they got back to the hardwood. I mean, if the wife does an excellent job cleaning the bathroom, and does it on a regular basis, us guys soon will focus our talents on other things.

We have seen several freshman come in green as grass and improve by leaps and bounds in their first two years (Carsen and Nojel are recent examples). I submit that if our seniors had needed to work hard on team rebounding for the last three years (instead of just this current season) they would much better at team rebounding today.

Of course, this is just a theory. But hey, this is a conference wide bye week - what do you guys think??

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