Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Keep Grabbing the Boards

Rick Jackson pulled down another 17 rebounds last evening in the Orange’s win over Providence. Jackson now has 171 rebounds in the first 14 games this year, for an average of 12.2 rebounds per game.

How good is Jackson’s rebounding this year? The last Orangeman to have 10+ rpg was Carmelo Anthony in 2002-2003 when the fab frosh had 349 rebounds in 35 games for a 10.0 rpg average. Prior to Anthony, was Billy Owens in 1990-1991. [Click here for list of Syracuse rebounding leaders]

Jon Cincebox holds the Syracuse record for the best rebounds per game with an impressive 16.4 in the 1957-1958 season. Cincebox had 345 rebounds in 21 games that year. He would return his senior year for 365 rebounds in 23 games for a 15.9 average.

Cincebox’s rebounding average will likely never be challenged by a player in the ‘modern’ era unless the nature of the game changes. In the 1950s the shooting percentage was a lot lower, so there were a lot more rebounds to get. Teams also tended to have a couple of big guys do all the rebounding, so the rebounds were not being shared around as much.

Derrick Coleman holds the Syracuse record for most rebounds in a season with 422 in his junior season, 1988-1989, for 11.1 rpg. He would have 12.1 rpg his senior year, but the Orangemen would only have 33 games that year, so his total was a little lower at 398 rebounds.

As I’ve commented in previous articles, Coleman’s rebounding efforts are really impressive when you consider that he spent his entire career having to fight for rebounds with the likes of great rebounders such as Rony Seikaly, Stephen Thompson and Billy Owens.

Jackson is finally playing hard and focused each and every game. I criticized him the past two years for his inconsistent play, but that has not been the case this year. His off season dedication is paying off, as is the 25 lb weight loss.

Jackson has a good chance at the Syracuse single rebounding record set by Coleman. Syracuse has 31 scheduled games this year, and we can safely assume they will have at least four post season games (two Big East, two NCAA), so at least 35 games. Jackson’s current pace of 12.2 would give him a total of 427 rebounds, just breaking Coleman’s mark. If Syracuse were to make any post season run in the Big East Tournament or NCAA, they may have 38-39 games, which would require Jackson to average only 10.9 rpg for the season, and only a 10.0 rpg for the remaining games of the season.

The Big East will be tougher for Jackson, but if he remains focused and healthy, he has a good shot at it.

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