"I'm very concerned, at this point, in our rebounding in conference play. It's unacceptable," Herrion said. "We have not been able to understand what our identity is, night in and night out. Rebounding has to be a component and it's not been."
These Owls could be ripe for feather plucking on the glass. They have 6-foot-8 Bahrom Firozgary and two 6-7 regulars, but their top rebounder, Jackson, is 6-3, 194. Rice has a minus-11.6 rebounding margin.
Jackson (16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds per game) is not only the Owls' only fourth-year player, he would also be their only third-year man. Sophomore Julian DeBose is the No. 2 scorer at 10.0 per game, and freshman Max Guercy average 10.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in league games.
Guercy has emerged since the new year, being named the conference's freshman of the week three times. In his last eight games, his assist-to-turnover ratio is a solid 32-to-12.
Braun, the former California coach with 608 career wins, is always a steadying force that makes a difference between being mashed every game and being competitive. He's been in worst situations, such as when he inherited a Rice team went 0-16 in league play the previous season.
"Coach Braun has been around a long time," Herrion said. "I don't really know all about what happened there; they've got their own issues. But his track record has proved he's a terrific coach."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.