Let’s Talk Rebounding

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Let’s talk about the last ten champs have dominated the boards.  We’re going to specifically look at Rebounding Percentages, that is, the percentage of available rebounds a team actually collects.  From a formulaic standpoint, total rebounding percentage is pretty straightforward because it’s just the number one team gets divided by total rebounds collected by both teams in the game.   There’s a little more work to be done for offensive and defensive rebounding percentage.  An offensive rebound for one team is a missed defensive rebound for the opponent.  So it would make sense that a better team would give up less offensive rebounds and therefore have a HIGHER defensive rebounding percentage.

To that end, defensive rebounding percentage is the most consistent number across all levels of basketball.  Take a look at how these numbers came out over the last ten champs in each group:

Defensive Rebound Percentage

Men Women
NCAA D1 69.3% 69.9%
NCAA D2 71.6% 69.4%
NCAA D3 73.5% 72.1%

As you can see, 70% is a pretty good benchmark for this stat, it means you’re not giving up many second chances.

For offensive rebounding percentage, there was definitely an uptick on the women’s side versus the men:

Offensive Rebound Percentage

Men Women
NCAA D1 36.0% 40.4%
NCAA D2 33.4% 37.9%
NCAA D3 31.0% 39.8%

As we discussed in previous weeks, there have been a few dominant programs on the women’s side and those programs have won by wide margins – generally in blowouts, you’re getting more second chances because you’re either bigger and/or more athletic than your opponent.

Not surprisingly, the above results, give more of a slant toward the women when looking at Total Rebound Percentage:

Total Rebound Percentage

Men Women
NCAA D1 53.5% 56.6%
NCAA D2 53.2% 54.0%
NCAA D3 53.3% 56.1%

You can see the men’s side is pretty dialed in to that 53% mark.  The women just a few points higher due to the offensive rebound advantage you saw in the previous table.

We all know rebounding is important but it’s good to get some numbers around that to set some real goals for your team this season.