Defensive Rebounding

From Jeff Rice’s story in today’s CDT.

Penn State (13-14, 5-10 Big Ten) entered the conference season allowing 62.4 points per game, but that number has since swollen to 66.7. Through 15 conference games, the Nittany Lions are 10th in the Big Ten in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and defensive rebounding and 11th in the league in 3-point field goal percentage defense.

Jeff makes the traditional error in judging a teams rebounding prowess by simply evaluating the number of boards that the team grabs. Yes, Penn State is tenth in the number of defensive rebounds they have but they are actually a pretty good defensive rebounding team.

What’s important is the PERCENTAGE of available rebounds that a team grabs, not the raw number. Because PSU has played at one of the slower paces in the league, and because opponents shoot very well against us, Penn State has fewer rebounding chances than the other teams in the conference.  Thus it should be no surprise that their per game average is low. However, on a percentage basis PSU’s defensive rebounding percent is actually a respectable sixth in the league.