17 Sep

WBB : Tyson-Thomas leads Syracuse’s rebounding attack

first_imgNo player has bought more into Syracuse’s rebounding philosophy than Carmen Tyson-Thomas.The junior guard constantly attacks the glass. She’s always talking to her teammates about the team’s necessity to snatch every possible rebound. And in the weight room, Tyson-Thomas is always doing specific exercises to get the leg up on the competition.‘We all go to the boards hard, especially on the offensive end. We try to get putbacks,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘And on the defensive end, it’s just about boxing out and knowing where you need to be on the floor. I’m always somewhere where the ball is, and I always try to make an effort to do that, and you just got to go hard with a lot of effort.’Tyson-Thomas has assumed the role as the team’s leading rebounder this season. Despite her 5-foot-9 frame — seven inches smaller than SU starting center Kayla Alexander — Tyson-Thomas grabs about eight boards per game. And with her maximum effort level, she has willed SU to grab the fourth-most rebounds per game in the nation. Syracuse (17-11, 6-8 Big East) will look use its rebounding advantage to overwhelm No. 15 Georgetown (21-6, 10-4 Big East) when the two teams square off at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Carrier Dome.Syracuse has found success against Big East opponents in recent games, winning four of its last six. And Tyson-Thomas’ focus on rebounding has served as a driving force. She’s grabbed 8.5 rebounds per game during that stretch, which has included two consecutive double-doubles.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDuring SU’s 74-55 loss to Notre Dame Feb. 7, Tyson-Thomas’ resolve was overshadowed by a tough loss. With SU cutting into the Fighting Irish lead with 9:27 remaining, Tyson-Thomas rocketed into the key from the right wing after SU guard Elashier Hall missed a 3-pointer. She smothered the offensive rebound and got a layup to narrow the gap to 13.Although the Orange couldn’t climb out of the early hole, Tyson-Thomas grabbed five rebounds in the second half to help SU tie the Irish in the final 20 minutes.‘It’s her willingness to go the glass every time the ball is shot,’ head coach Quentin Hillsman said. ‘The more you go, the more you get, that’s all we keep talking about, and she goes to the glass every possession and that’s very important for us.’In practice, players are awarded for attacking the basket and grabbing rebounds. In certain scrimmage situations, a player that grabs an offensive board is awarded seven points for her team. The practice system reinforces how crucial it is to get offensive rebounds that lead to more opportunities.Tyson-Thomas knows it and never takes a play off.‘Sometimes it’s funny because she’ll rebound over us,’ Hemingway said. ‘She goes to the ball, and I don’t think she sees nobody but the ball. That’s the great thing we have.’In SU’s marquee 81-65 win over No. 21 DePaul on Tuesday, Tyson-Thomas grabbed 15 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end, to lead the charge for the Orange. After the game, Hillsman said her athleticism and determination to get to the glass was the key to Syracuse winning the basketball game.Tyson-Thomas added a game-high 22 points, and her ability to keep offensive possessions alive led to a balanced effort on offense for SU.‘It helps us a lot,’ Hillsman said. ‘It gives us extra possessions, extra opportunities and that’s all you look for in that situation, is just to get more possessions and get more opportunities to get shots up.’With other teams looking to contain Alexander and Hemingway, Tyson-Thomas has exploded on the scene as one of SU’s main rebounding threats. With a supreme blend of athleticism and enthusiasm, she has guided Syracuse to the top of the nation in rebounding for the second consecutive season.And she knows for the team to succeed, it’s what needs to be done.‘I want to say we’re ferocious on the boards, that’s the word I would like to use,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘We’re very aggressive and ferocious. We make an effort, it’s very conscious and, I mean, it’s what we do. That’s what makes us Syracuse.’[email protected] Comments Published on February 22, 2012 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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