52% of all 2s, 65% of 3s and 31% of free throws result in missed shots. That’s a lot of potential rebounds. If the offensive team grabs it, then it’s a reset, and one that often begins close to the rim. If the defensive team controls the board then that’s one possession (out of an average game of 66 possessions) in which the opponent comes up empty. Rebounding requires skill and knowledge, but more importantly it requires will. Hard workers get rebounds. Tough players get rebounds.
Heading into the 2012-13 season, here are the eight best (in alphabetical order):
O.D. Anosike, Sr., 6-8, Siena: Siena wasn’t a great team last year, and so not many people outside of the MAAC know who O.D. Anosike is. But he led the NCAA in rebounds per game last season, and though he was certainly helped by playing 92% of his team’s minutes, he was also in the top-40 nationally in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. He was the only player in the nation to average more than 12 boards a game.
Jackie Carmichael, Sr., 6-9, Illinois State: If you recognize this name it’s likely because his three at the buzzer (first of his career) was ESPN’s top play of the week in early January. But it’s his rebounding which makes him a special player. In each of his three seasons his defensive rebounding % has increased significantly, going from 16.1% to 21.8% to 28.8%. If you’re looking for someone to lead the nation in rebounding in 2012-13, Carmichael might be a wise choice.
Jack Cooley, Sr., 6-9, Notre Dame: Cooley isn’t a matchup that opponents cherish. He’s big, physical, and loves to mix it up beneath the rim. It’s no wonder that he grabbed 17% of his own team’s misses. He’s tough. He has a high motor. That’s what makes for offensive rebounders.
Jamelle Hagins, Sr., 6-8, Delaware: One of five players nationally to average at least 11 rebounds last year. Hagins had eight double-doubles only counting defensive rebounds. He had 17 defensive boards against Delaware State, and 15 in two separate games vs Hofstra.
Arsalan Kazemi, Sr., 6-7, Rice: Through his first three seasons Kazemi – a native of Iran – has averaged a double-double. Two years ago he was the 2nd best defensive rebounder in the nation. Last year he was No. 3. At one point last season he recorded double-digit rebounds in eight straight games, and in 12 of 14. In the past two years he’s recorded at least 15 rebounds eight times.
Tony Mitchell, So., 6-8, North Texas: Mitchell didn’t begin his freshman season until his team had played ten games. He played 20 minutes in his debut and recorded what would become one of ten double-doubles. He had one of the six performances in the nation where a player recorded at least 20 points and 20 rebounds.
Mike Moser, Jr., 6-8, UNLV: If Rebel fans were going to take the big head cutout fad to its logical conclusion, Moser was a good choice. The UCLA transfer was a beast on the court, and had the 9th best defensive rebounding percentage in the nation. On a team that likes to get out and run, he’ll be able to pile up huge raw numbers this season.
Andre Roberson, Jr., 6-7, Colorado: Roberson might be the best player in the nation at clearing the defensive glass. Last season, only Kansas’ Thomas Robinson grabbed a higher percentage of potential rebounds. Through his first two seasons he’s averaging 14.4 rebounds per 40 minutes. He’s also a pretty solid offensive rebounder, and had the 5th best rate in the Pac 12.