Pittman a rebounding machine for Rangers
Published 2:48 pm Thursday, January 7, 2016
You don’t have to be tall to be a good rebounder.
Cassopolis senior Matt Pittman proved that on Dec. 15 in the Rangers game against Bridgman.
The talented 6-footer pulled down 18 rebounds to go with his 11 points and was a bright spot for Cassopolis in an 87-67 loss to the Bees.
“I know you can’t win without rebounding,” Pittman said. “It prevents teams from getting second chance points. I take a lot of pride in my rebounding.
“Last year, I wasn’t really aggressive when it came to rebounding so I’m trying to change that this year.”
Evans has noticed Pittman’s different mindset when it comes to attacking the glass for missed shots.
“Matt’s a good ball player and a good rebounder,” Evans said.
So how does Pittman make up for his lack of size when it comes to rebounding?
Above average leaping ability, improved physical conditioning and desire are strengths that give the second-year varsity starter an edge in that area.
“I did a lot of squats, lifting and wall jumps to help my legs in the offseason,” Pittman said.
Being more familiar with varsity competition has also benefited Pittman.
“You see the growth and maturity,” Evans said. “A year of starting on the varsity has helped him.”
Next for Pittman is continued growth offensively. Pittman thinks he can improve on his 9.6 points a game average.
“I”m trying to be more aggressive on the offensive end,” Pittman said. “If I’m not making the outside shot I need to take the ball inside. If I’m hitting from the outside I need to let shots fly if I’m open.”
Pittman showed the ability to make shots from the perimeter when he nailed two 3-pointers in a 13-point performance.
“I just want him to be more aggressive on the offensive end,” Evans said. “I’d like to see him take it to the basket more.”
Pittman has the speed to blow by opponents. After basketball season, he competes in the 400 meters and on the 1,600-meter relay team for the Cassopolis boys track team.
“Basketball is my favorite sport,” said Pittman, who has been playing basketball since he was five years old.
Pittman hopes there are better days ahead for the Rangers, who dropped to 1-2 after the Bridgman loss.
“I believe we can go far as a team if we put in the work and hustle,” he said. “We also need to learn from our mistakes. “We’ve just got to be better on defense. We were late on a couple rotations and (Bridgman) got open threes.”