Of all the statistics in basketball there are perhaps none carrying more significance than the three listed in the title. In every loss, teams need only look as far as one, two or all three of these areas to see why their team fell short for that game.
In order to win, a team must get to the line and make a high percentage of free throw attempts. Be confident at the line. This is the one time we like our players to be selfish...it's time to "get a point for you."
The Lady Cats gave up 19 and 18 offensive rebounds to their opponents this past weekend. Both games were close and had the Ladies been more successful in this area, they would have won both conference games. Rebound "the first one" and you'll win nearly every game...yes, rebounding is that critical!
Rebounding (locating, locking up and blocking out) is simply a commitment. Good rebounders are great team players. They are committed to doing the dirty work, the little things that in the end are huge. Good rebounders block out EVERY time and are committed to the technique necessary to get the ball, secure it and to keep the opponent from getting it back. There is no such thing as a good defensive team that doesn't finish the possession with the ball. The rebound finishes the defense.
Finally, take care of the ball. Possession is everything. You can't score without the ball. Don't be careless with it, protect it with your life. How many points are we getting per possession? If it's over one point per possession we'll more than likely win the game. Turnovers limit our possessions and give our opponent more opportunities to score. Nothing changes the momentum of a game more than a turnover that leads to points.
This week as we prepare for our opponents, let's commit to making our free throws, rebounding the first one, and taking care of the ball. These we can control...the winning will take care of itself.