He wants Hodzic to be just as relentless on the boards as he is in exhorting him to be more aggressive as a rebounder.
“Adnan has been very consistent scoring,” Sanderson said. “The thing I am on him about all the time is rebounding the ball. When he rebounds the ball and gets double figures in rebounds our chances of winning go up.”
Hodzic is averaging 21.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Guard Josh Slater is averaging 17.5, guard Jordan Burgason is averaging 12.8 and forward Brandon Brown is averaging 10.8.
The Bisons, 15-12, 12-6 in the A-Sun, play Kennesaw State, 12-17, 7-11 in the conference, Thursday night at 7:30 and then play Mercer Saturday at 5 to close out the regular season. The Bisons are still in the running for first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference, but they have to win both games at Allen Arena and get some help from a couple of other teams.
Rebounding will be a major key to that success. The Bisons are second overall in the A-Sun with a rebound margin of plus-2.7. They are averaging 36.4 rebounds per game while holding opponents to an average of 33.8. Sanderson thinks his Bisons can do an even better job.
“We have to have a sense of urgency about rebounding,” Sanderson said. “We have done a little bit better job of defending. And when you do a better job of defending there are going to be more rebounds to be had.
“We have not got our share of rebounds on a consistent basis. Have we outrebounded teams? Yes. But it has been by such a small margin and many of our games this season have come down to one or two possessions.”
Sanderson has been addressing the rebounding issue with his team this week.
“Our turnovers are down to almost 14 a game which is very, very good,” Sanderson said. “Our shooting percentage has stayed around 47 t0 48 percent. We are consistently averaging 78 to 79 points all year long. But our rebounds have not been quite as consistent. We have to keep people off the glass.
“Rebounding controls a lot of things. A lot of teams in our league live off the offensive boards and getting stick backs. If you cut out their stick backs and their second shots then all of a sudden you are cutting out a big portion of their offense.”
The Bisons finished conference play 7-3 on the road. They are 5-3 at home. Sanderson is hopeful that the Bisons can defend their home turf. The Bisons lost 97-91 at Kennesaw State Dec. 5.
“We have played better on the road than we have at home,” Sanderson said. “We have not played as well at home consistently for whatever reasons. We need to play well at home.”
Freshman forward Markeith Cummings leads Kennesaw State with 17.2 points per game. Sophomore guard Kurtis Woods averages 12.8 points per game. Redshirt freshman forward LaDaris Green leads the team in rebounding with eight per game.
“Kennesaw State is a scary team,” Sanderson said. “They are extremely athletic. They hit 19-of-25 in 3-point shots against us but that is not really what they do. Markeith Cummings doesn’t play like a freshman. He is an all-league player and he has a lot of support.
“The best thing they do is drive the ball. We have some bad match-ups with them from a speed standpoint. They can make athletic plays. They are capable of beating anybody.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations