Day looks to continue rebounding prowess as Syracuse takes on North Carolina Central

first_img Published on December 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Rebounding is Briana Day’s favorite part of playing basketball. More than scoring in the post. More than defending in the paint.But last year, the 6-foot-4 center played like the lanky, undersized inside presence that she was. She averaged just one rebound per nearly three minutes of game action. She was called for over the back fouls and let opponents box her out.“I’m not that big. I’m pretty skinny,” Day said. “… I might be undersized, but you’re not going to get the rebound over me. That’s your mindset, your mentality. You have to be a dog out there on the boards.”This season, that mindset has manifested itself in a prolific start for the sophomore. In 22.6 minutes per game, she’s averaging 11.4 rebounds to go along with 11.7 points. She’s improved her positioning and is going after everything — on every shot, she says — on the glass. She’s getting rebounds over players with more height and muscle.Against No. 1 South Carolina on Nov. 28, with a team that mixes in four players 6 feet, 4 inches or taller, Day almost single-handedly kept the Orange in the game with 17 rebounds to prevent the Gamecocks from dominating the boards. She’ll look to do the same to Sunday’s opponent, and will probably have an easier time of it when the No. 20 Orange (6-1) plays North Carolina Central (2-7) at noon in the Carrier Dome on Sunday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“This year I feel like she’s more aggressive as she goes in to get the rebounds,” forward Brianna Butler said. “Last year she might have waited for the ball to come to her, this year she’s going at it and going to get it herself.”SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said rebounding isn’t necessarily a skill, and it’s not something that you can perfect in practice. Of course, there are the basics that Day sticks to. She catches it, keeps it high, and brings the ball to her chin. But Hillsman insists that the skill in rebounding is just attacking the glass.After Day hauled down 13 rebounds against Penn State on Dec. 4, Nittany Lions head coach Coquese Washington praised Day as a quick jumper with great anticipation skills. In the 61-39 SU win, Day all but stole several weak-side rebounds out of the hands of 6-foot-6 center Candice Agee.“She finds a way to get to the rim,” Hillsman said. “She can rebound in traffic and she goes every time. And that’s the most important thing. You only get the ones that you go after, and she’s very resilient in going after the ball.”What Day lacks in size she makes up for in precision. She says because she’s skinnier, she’s more mobile, and can maneuver around opponents to establish her base. Once she does that, she likes to stay low before she tries to corral a missed shot.Day says that she’s imparting her will on the other team when she grabs a rebound. She gets help from the power forwards in boxing out opponents, but after the game, it’s Day’s name on the fully packed stat sheet.For a Syracuse team that is shooting just 39.6 percent from the field and 28.8 percent from 3, it’s her success on the glass that’s helped the Orange dominate possession, and take nearly eight more shots per game than its opponents.“It helps us get free points, get easy baskets, get second-chance points,” Day said. “Not let the other team get second-chance points also. It helps us on offense and defense.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img