Jeeps' Riecker excels getting offensive boardsJanuary 16, 2020
By JONATHAN SAXON
DUBOIS — Basketball is often seen as the ultimate expression of a team sport because of the different roles teammates work together to fill on the floor. The scorers are relied on primarily for their adept skills at getting the ball into the bucket. The floor generals direct traffic on the court and make sure everyone is where they need to be for the execution of the offense.
Then there's the “glue guys," players who are willing to do all the little things that sometimes get overlooked, but are essential to the success of the team. They grab rebounds, dive for loose balls and take on the tough assignments on defense. To that end, meet Northeast Dubois junior forward Ty Riecker.
“The main thing I look for is offensive rebounds,” he said. “I think that’s one of the best ways I can help my team right now, just try to get extra possessions for us and work hard as I can on defense.”
Riecker is the kind of player who packs his lunch pail when it’s time to suit up for a Jeeps game. He’s not going out to be flashy, as his intentions are set toward getting the Jeeps extra shots and denying the same of the opponent through his rebounding. Fighting for a spot on the glass against opposing frontline players isn’t always fun, but Riecker believes the value of getting boards goes beyond helping the Jeeps gain extra shots.
“It helps get some energy to the floor,” he said. “You get a rebound and everything gets uplifted a little bit. It helps everything flow better.”
“It creates that bond and trust your players have to have,” Jeeps coach Terry Friedman said. “Ty is one of those guys that’s always positive, working hard and very unselfish. It’s that type of a player that the guys can rally around.”
Riecker does more, though, than just clean the glass during games. On any given night he’s doing some combination of setting screens, playing defense against a team’s top option or even using his length to tip rebounds into the arms of his teammates. He takes pride in doing the blue-collar kinds of things that casual onlookers may take for granted, since all those little things add up when it comes to earning wins on a consistent basis.
“He may not show up in the stat book, but what he does is a huge part of our success,” Friedman said. “We’re really looking to him for the hustle plays he can generate. Not everybody can go out and be the leading scorer every night. It’s a lot of little things needed by your team to be successful. Doing those things is just as important as scoring the points.”
That doesn’t mean Riecker doesn’t get his chance to see the ball go through the hoop. If given the chance, he’ll turn an offensive rebound into points, and he’s been working on his shot so he can make the most of opportunities that come from teams focusing on the likes of seniors Reece Bauer and Ethan Ziegler or junior Lane Knies. He’s working to get better on his decision making and figuring out where he wants to go with a pass when the ball comes his way, but that will improve with time. Right now, Riecker has solidified himself as the Jeeps’ glueman and believes that role is the most direct way he can contribute to the team’s success.
“I just want to win,” he said. “That’s the best way to do it — get more possessions than the other team. If I can get my teammates shots, that helps them and our offense get into a flow. Everything opens for more shots to get up."
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