Shane Southwell has boosted his stats in several areas since switching from guard to forward. In his last nine games, the Kansas State junior is averaging nearly 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.
So far, he is enjoying his new role with the Wildcats. But he was noticeably frustrated about one aspect of his game following a practice Thursday evening. He wants to improve as a rebounder.
Though he has grabbed seven boards in back-to-back games, he feels haunted by a loose ball that got away.
“I know I keep saying this, but it is still killing me that I let Kevin Young get that rebound and then Ben McLemore hit that three,” Southwell said. “… I’m still messed up on that one play, but I’m over it in a sense that I am learning from what we did wrong.”
The missed rebound came in the second half of a 59-55 loss to Kansas at Bramlage Coliseum. Southwell had just made a jumper to pull K-State within 48-43 and was in position to get the ball back when Elijah Johnson missed a three. But Young came away with the rebound, Kansas moved the ball around and McLemore made a three that put the Jayhawks ahead 51-43.
Southwell said he has been pushing himself in practice the past few days, and spending extra time on rebounding drills so the mistake doesn’t happen again. He already seems ready for a rematch with Young.
“I should never have let that guy get that rebound,” Southwell said. “I mean, it’s Kevin Young.”
Rebounding should once again be key for Southwell and the Wildcats when they take on Iowa State on Saturday at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones like to shoot three-pointers, and that leads to long rebounds. The Cyclones are also a strong rebounding team. They average more than 41 boards, while holding their opponents to 34.
Oh, and Southwell will be competing for rebounds against Melvin Ejim, the Big 12′s leader in rebounding (9.5) and double-doubles (8).
“No lie, Ejim is stronger than I am,” Southwell said. “I just have to use my smarts and my quickness to beat him in the post.”