MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–In West Virginia’s win over Kansas State on Saturday, the Wildcats outrebounded the Mountaineers, 37-24.
It’s not the first time this season WVU has been beaten on the glass.
For the Mountaineers, they are adjusting to playing during a pandemic and many unknowns. On top of that, WVU lost starting forward Oscar Tshiebwe, who transferred to Kentucky.
Prior to that Isaiah Cottrell was lost for the season after suffering an Achilles injury.
Now, the Mountaineers are left with their leader junior Derek Culver, who is averaging 10.3 rebounds per contest.
Behind Culver, WVU has Jalen Bridges (1.6 rebounds) Gabe Osabuohien (4.9) and Seny Ndiaye (0.3) down low.
“We definitely got to give DC more help down there. He can’t be the only one rebounding,” Bridges said. “I feel like a couple times I was in there. I just got to grab the ball, secure the ball, tap it to my teammate or something just to help out, not stand around the 3-point line when my teammates shoot.”
Deuce McBride (3.4 rebounds) and Taz Sherman (1.6 rebounds) have contributed on the boards some but the Mountaineers need more help there from their guards.
“I think the problem was that they were shooting all 3s, which they’re going to rebound long,” head coach Bob Huggins said after the win over Kansas State. “It wasn’t our bigs. Our bigs can’t rebound it whenever they shoot a bunch of 3s. They never have. The ball is bouncing well over their head. It’s a matter of if you want to play three guards or four guards, those guards have to do a better job of blocking out, staying between their guy and the rim and rebounding the ball to help us. It’s not our bigs. It’s not our bigs in any way, shape or form.”
Currently, WVU is second in the Big 12 in rebounding (39.8 rebounds per game) and 65th in the nation.
If WVU wants to remain dominant in rebounding, Culver will need more help from his teammates on the glass.
Photo Credit: Scott Weaver- KSU Athletics