Reserve guard Trey Zeigler is 6 feet 5 and does not spend a lot of time banging under the hoop competing for rebounds. Zeigler does have a knack for offensive rebounding, though, and since he was given the green light to crash the boards before the Marquette game he has been one of Jamie Dixon’s most effective offensive rebounders.
Zeigler has nine offensive rebounds in Big East play, but seven of those have come in the past four games since Dixon and Zeigler had a talk about how he could help the team. One of the areas addressed was going to the boards rather than getting back on defense.
It’s nothing new for Zeigler, the transfer from Central Michigan who is in his first season at Pitt. At Central Michigan, Zeigler averaged 6.7 rebounds per game last season and 2.3 of those were offensive rebounds. His father, Ernie, was the head coach at Central Michigan allowed him to crash the boards. Now Dixon is letting him do the same.
“Offensive rebounding was something my dad definitely let me do,” Zeigler said. “Coach [Dixon] came up to me at Marquette and told me to start going to the offensive boards. That’s part of my game so I’m glad to be able to do that again.”
Pitt’s top offensive rebounders in Big East play are Talib Zanna and Steven Adams, who each have 13. Reserves Dante Taylor and J.J. Moore are next with 12 and 10 apiece.
But when you break it down to rebounds per minutes played Zeigler and Moore are just as effective, if not more effective, as Adams and Zanna. Zeigler has grabbed his nine offensive rebounds in 114 minutes and Moore’s 10 in 118 minutes. Zanna has played 184 minutes and Adams 171. Taylor is most effective at getting offensive rebounds, but none of the post players are great at converting those into points.
That was one of the reasons Dixon gave the green light to Zeigler. He is much more effective at converting those offensive rebounds into points than the post players.
“It’s just being in the right place at the right time,” Zeigler said. “I’m not as big as the other guys, but I can try to sneak in there and try to get one or two a game.”
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