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Rutgers Head Coach Steve Pikiell on Houston: "This team just rebounds at a whole different level."

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The Saxenian Family

POSTED: March 21, 2021 -- 3:01 p.m. CT


The 2-seed Houston Cougars Men's Basketball team play the 10-seed Rutgers Scarlet Knights Sunday evening, March 21, in a second round match-up in the Midwest Region of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

Steve Pikiell, Rutgers Men's Basketball Head Coach, spoke with the media Saturday, March 20, about of the Coogs. Here are a few of his comments:

"They got great length," Coach Pikiell commented. "They're athletic. Guys are all long, lean like Caleb McConnell (6'7", 195). A bunch of those guys. They're the best rebounding team in the country. Offensive rebounding.

"It's an unbelievable stat: they rebound like 93 percent of their misses. They're great at attacking the glass."

"Not many weaknesses on this team; but, we gotta play great. It's that time of the year anyway in this Tournament. You've got to play well on both ends."

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Coach Pikiell was asked if Rutgers' height advantage in the post would be an advantage.

"They're really big at the guard spots. They're as big as we are certainly. We got a couple inches in the post. They do a great job doubling down. They make it very difficult on post guys.

"They rebound much bigger than their size. They're long. They're built like Myles Johnson (6'11", 255).

"They got great length; and, they really are athletic.

"You gotta try to advantage of, it's really about positioning and boxing out and getting yourself in the best position because they're really big and bouncy, too."

"They send four guys to the glass. They're very unique. No team really does that.

"Our guards have to do a great job. This is a game where Jacob (Young) and Geo Baker have to do an unbelievable job of tracking long rebounds. They take a lot of threes, too - one of the most threes than anybody we've faced; so, that means those balls come off at a different length.

"So our guards have to do a great job.

"They've got to do it the whole game because I talked to a few coaches about Houston; and, they keep saying the term 'relentless' 'relentless' when they talk about this basketball team. That's a great compliment to Houston.

"Our guards have to do a great job."

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Next, Coach Pikiell was asked to compare Houston to the Clemson Tigers - the team Rutgers defeated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

"These guys are a lot bigger on the perimeter. Their point guard (DeJon Jarreau) is 6'5". He's the Defensive Player of the Year in their league.

"(Justin) Gorham has 105 offensive rebounds which is an unheard of number for a player.

"They're very athletic at every position.

"They have more weapons offensively."

"Terrific hands. A lot of steals. This team just rebounds at a whole different level. They attack offensive rebounds.

"They're a very, very deep basketball team.

"When you have the (Conference) Player of the Year, Quentin Grimes, he can score 30 points. He's 6'6" and big. 210. He's an elite wing scorer and can handle the ball, too.

"Really talented team."

Game time is 6:10 p.m. Central on TBS.

CLICK HERE for news and info about the Coogs' men's basketball team.

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