Monday, February 11, 2013

Anosike Joins MAAC's Elite List Of Rebounders

Numbers are often a good measure of one's ability, and in college basketball the number 1,000 has always carried a sense of special accomplishment.

We still recognize players who score 1,000 points over a career, but that scoring number, particularly in light of the increased number of games teams can play in the current era, has become a measure of being very good but no longer great.

In the MAAC record book there are 50 players listed with more than 1,580 career points. An informal estimate is that there are close to 200 men's players with more than 1,000 career points from the conference in its 32-year history.

But, 1,000 rebounds ... that indeed remains a special number, particularly entering this season when there were only eight conference players to ever surpass that number.

On Sunday, a ninth name was added to the list when Siena's senior forward O.D. Anosike had 16 rebounds against Saint Peter's. It pushed Anosike's career total to 1,010 rebounds. With a minimum of six remaining games, Anosike could wind up No. 4 on the league's all-time rebound list (if he averages 12 per game down the stretch), and almost assuredly No. 5.

What makes Anosike's achievement even more impressive is that he was 12-minute-per-game reserve as a freshman, and had Ryan Rossiter (13.2 rpg.) grabbing the majority of missed shots for Siena as a teammate when Anosike was a sophomore.

The past two seasons, though, have been very good ones for Anosike in terms of retrieving missed shots. Last season he led all Division I players nationally in rebounding (12.5 per game), becoming the second conference player in MAAC history (Darren Phillip of Fairfield, who averaged 14,0 per game in the 1999-00 season is the other) to top the Division I rebound list for a single season.

Anosike is once again atop the national rebound list this season, averaging 11.92 per contest. That's just slightly ahead of current No. 2 Andre Roberson of Colorado (11.61).

If Anosike can maintain his national lead in rebounding he would become just the sixth player since the NCAA began keeping rebound statistics in 1950 to lead in that statistical category in back-to-back seasons.

The others are Leroy Wright (1958-59 and 1959-60), Jerry Lucas (1960-61, 1961-62), Artis Gilmore (1969-70, 1970-71), Kermit Washington (1972-73 and 1973-74)  and Paul Milsap (2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06).

And, for those wondering, here's the list of other MAAC players who have eclipsed the 1,000 mark for career rebounds: La Salle's Lionel Simmons (1986-90) 1,429, Rider's Jason Thompson (2005-08) 1,171, Siena's Ryan Rossiter (2007-11) 1,151, Fairfield's Drew Henderson (1989-93) 1,080, Niagara's Juan Mendez (2001-05) 1,053, Siena's Lee Matthews (1989-93) 1,037, Niagara's James Reaves (2000-04) 1,020, and Manhattan's Keith Bullock (1989-93) 1,012.

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