Cleaners of glass, Wonk salutes you!
Meet the best rebounders in the Big Ten so far this season--overall, on the offensive glass, and on the defensive boards. (Includes all games through December 7. Read more about rebounding percentages here.)Rebound pct.1. J.J. Sullinger, Ohio State (24.5)2. Graham Brown, Michigan (21.1)3. Milos Bogetic, Penn State (19.9)4. Paul Davis, Michigan State (19.1)5. Courtney Sims, Michigan (18.8)6. Marquise Gray, Michigan State (17.8)7. Marco Killingsworth, Indiana (17.4)8. Shaun Pruitt, Illinois (17.0)9. Doug Thomas, Iowa (17.0)10. J'son Stamper, Minnesota (16.8)11. Matt Kiefer, Purdue (16.8)12. James Augustine, Illinois (16.3)13. Roderick Wilmont, Indiana (16.0)14. Brian Butch, Wisconsin (15.6)15. Greg Brunner, Iowa (15.5)16. Warren Carter, Illinois (15.2)17. Terence Dials, Ohio State (15.1)18. Ben Allen, Indiana (15.0)19. Mohamed Hachad, Northwestern (14.6)20. Geary Claxton, Penn State (14.0)Offensive rebound pct.1. J'son Stamper, Minnesota (15.8)2. Milos Bogetic, Penn State (15.8)3. Courtney Sims, Michigan (14.8)4. Matt Kiefer, Purdue (14.8)5. Warren Carter, Illinois (14.3)6. J.J. Sullinger, Ohio State (13.6)7. Terence Dials, Ohio State (13.6)8. Geary Claxton, Penn State (13.3)9. Marquise Gray, Michigan State (13.1)10. James Augustine, Illinois (13.1)11. Brandon Hassell, Penn State (12.5)12. Shaun Pruitt, Illinois (12.4)13. Graham Brown, Michigan (12.2)14. Paul Davis, Michigan State (11.6)15. Marcus Landry, Wisconsin (11.4)16. Brian Randle, Illinois (11.4)17. Ben Allen, Indiana (11.1)18. Brian Butch, Wisconsin (11.1)19. Greg Brunner, Iowa (10.3)20. Marcus Arnold, Illinois (10.3)Defensive rebound pct. 1. J.J. Sullinger, Ohio State (32.5) 2. Graham Brown, Michigan (28.0) 3. Marco Killingsworth, Indiana (27.0) 4. Paul Davis, Michigan State (25.2) 5. Roderick Wilmont, Indiana (25.0) 6. Mohamed Hachad, Northwestern (24.1) 7. Milos Bogetic, Penn State (23.8) 8. Doug Thomas, Iowa (23.8) 9. Courtney Sims, Michigan (21.9) 10. Shaun Pruitt, Illinois (21.8) 11. Marquise Gray, Michigan State (21.6) 12. Brian Butch, Wisconsin (20.6) 13. Greg Brunner, Iowa (20.2) 14. James Augustine, Illinois (19.5) 15. Matt Kiefer, Purdue (18.8) 16. Ben Allen, Indiana (18.4) 17. J'son Stamper, Minnesota (17.8) 18. Chris Hunter, Michigan (17.8) 19. Ron Lewis, Ohio State (17.4) 20. Marcus Landry, Wisconsin (16.4) Three things to note here: 1. J.J. Sullinger's only played three games. In a blowout win against Chicago State he pulled down 11 boards in only 21 minutes. And in a close game against Butler that went into OT, Sullinger had 14 rebounds. So basically this board-crashing Buckeye has "distortion from small sample size" and "unsustainable numbers" written all over him. Make no mistake, Sullinger is indeed a monster on the boards (he's only 6-5) and I've praised him accordingly. But take a last long look at that 24.5--it's about to dive. EXCLUSIVE Wonk translation for one blog! J.J. Sullinger is the greatest rebounder in the history of the species. Millennia will pass before we see his like again. He is better than Dennis Rodman, Bill Russell, and George Mikan combined. I anticipate Ohio State games this year where no other player on the court gets any rebounds. Unless, of course, Sullinger has to face future lottery pick, NBA career scoring leader, and first-ballot Hall of Famer Errek Suhr. 2. Michigan is rebounding on the defensive end like they're supposed to. The Wolverines have height both in the starting five and--especially when Brent Petway returns--off the bench. They underachieved on the defensive boards last year but the signs so far this season are good. Graham Brown is fast becoming the Matt Trannon of Ann Arbor--only, um, without the football thing. 3. Note the missing name here. Can you guess? Anyone, anyone?....It's Alando Tucker. In previous seasons Tucker played the role now being filled so ably by J.J. Sullinger--an undersized rebounding monster on an undersized team. Only this year Tucker's mates are anything but undersized (only Kammron Taylor is shorter among the Badgers' starting five) and so Tucker has happily donned the mantel of outside penetrator/gunner. In today's less Wonk-ish venues....Iowa guard Jeff Horner will be out two to five weeks with a torn ligament in his left knee. In the short-term this means the Hawkeyes will play at Iowa State tomorrow night without their senior backcourt leader. Medium-term we'll have to wait and see: two weeks is manageable. Five weeks, on the other hand, would take Horner out of action during a crucial eight-day stretch where Iowa plays at St. Louis (the Billikens gave North Carolina a game last night in Chapel Hill), at Wisconsin, and at home against Illinois. Stay tuned....Backfilling on Tuesday night's loss at Northern Iowa, canonical Hawkeye Hoops blogger Ryan Kobliska has two simple questions: 1) should Greg Brunner (even the sassy new-look svelte Greg Brunner) have been in the center circle for the jump-ball to start OT? and 2) in light of the fact that Horner leaving the game may have made the difference, is losing at Northern Iowa really so bad? Ryan answers both questions in the strong negative and has the heft to back it up--make haste! Northwestern big man Mike Thompson is no longer with the team, Wildcat coach Bill Carmody announced yesterday. Citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Carmody would not discuss specifics, however, the ever-present "sources close to the program" relate that Thompson has been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. Illinois plays Georgetown tonight in Champaign (ESPN, 9 ET). Illini backup point guard Chester Frazier will be out four to eight weeks with a slight tear in his left quadriceps. Bruce Weber says it's too soon to discuss a possible redshirt for Frazier, who conceivably could return as soon as mid-January....Get your daily comparison between freshman Jamar Smith and former Illinois slasher-turned-marksman and current Houston Rocket Luther Head here....Weber frets about Georgetown's Princeton-only-with-better-athletes offense here and here. Wisconsin beat Wisconsin-Green Bay 82-62 in Madison last night. Now here's the Wisconsin I know and love: Turnovers: 7. Offensive rebounds: 8. Defensive rebounds: 25. Free throws: 29. Opponent FTAs: 16. Bo Ryan's signature style is low-turnover, low-foul, low-offensive-board hoops. It was all there last night. Note for example that giving away only seven TOs in a not-slow game (68 possessions) yields a 10.3 TO pct., one of the lowest I've seen this season. Alando Tucker led the Badgers with 18 points and helped turn what was still a three-point game early in the second half into a relatively comfortable win. Now the bad news: Tucker went 1-of-7 from the line. Ye gods, that'll ding your PPWS. (Box score.) Columnist Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal salutes Coach Ryan for his come-one come-all attitude toward scheduling in-state hyphenates....At SI.com this morning, Seth Davis says Brian Butch is poised to have a breakout year. Michigan beat Delaware State 69-49 last night in Ann Arbor. Courtney Sims posted a downright gaudy dub-dub: 33-and-13. "I came confident," Sims said after the game. He should have been confident: the Hornets have one player over 6-7. (Box score.) Penn State beat UMKC 75-71 in State College last night. The Nittany Lions trailed the 'Roos 48-34 in the second half before reserves Mike Walker (17 points) and Milos Bogetic (14) came to the rescue, helped along, granted, by token starter Jamelle Cornley (17 points). (Box score.) Minnesota guard Adam Boone says winning on the road at Arizona State Monday night "says a lot about our character and our heart."...Seems like coach Dan Monson started looking a lot smarter about the time that assistant coach and reputed defensive guru Jim Molinari arrived in Minneapolis last season. So note the observant Grants (yes, there's two of them) over at Gopher Hoops this morning. Wonk couldn't believe his eyes! This article about Purdue big man Carl Landry's decision to redshirt and the resulting opportunities for who-dat Boiler PT did not quote anyone using the words "step up" until the 13th paragraph! For one fleeting heady moment I thought I might make it through the entire article (getting woozy, have to catch my breath) without a "step up"! O, that such a day might come.... Michigan State wing Mo Ager is averaging over 21 points a game so he gets his senior-has-matured story this morning. Hey, it sounds like he has matured, don't get me wrong. Still, is it alright to point out Ager's scoring more because he's shooting a lot more and that his efficiency has in fact gone down? (Last year: 1.22 PPWS. This year: 1.13.) It's not? OK, never mind....Paul Davis is tapped as a "first-month All-American" by Gregg Doyel at cbs.sportsline this morning. IN-State apocalypse, vol. I Indiana lost at Indiana State Tuesday night and (prepare to be surprised) Hoosier fans are miffed! So says Terry Hutchens in this morning's Indianapolis Star. Hutchens says IU fans want the "real" Marco Killingsworth to please stand up: "Against Duke and reigning national defensive Player of the Year Shelden Williams, Killingsworth looked like an NBA lottery pick. Against Indiana State and Florida A&M, he looked like a guy who might be playing in Istanbul next year." What's the deal? As usual, a hoops nation turns its lonely eyes to blogger extraordinaire Ken Pomeroy for answers: On Tuesday, I mentioned that Indiana was unrealistically hot from three and on Tuesday night Indiana State decided to shut down Marco Killingsworth and take their chances with shooters beating them. Non-Australian born players for the Hoosiers went 3-of-18 from three....There was more to this game than the Hoosiers' less than stellar outside shooting, but look for opposing defenses to continue to focus on defending the paint, even more so when DJ White returns. Just so: in the aftermath of the Duke game, I tried to make this point--the Blue Devils chose to defend the perimeter and take their chances with Killingsworth but most IU opponents will do the exact opposite--but as usual Ken puts it better and uses fewer words. One additional note, though: even with their non-Australian shooting woes in Terre Haute, the Hoosier still shot better than the Sycamores. 'Twas TOs killed the beast, at least that night. Indiana coughed up the ball 22 times and that proved to be about four too many to overcome. Wonk back!Don't just mutter ineffectually; email me! IN-State apocalypse, vol. II Yesterday I noted that Tuesday's listing of current Big Ten PPWS leaders had ricocheted around the blogosphere enough to alight at what appears to be an honestly uncomprehending Kentucky-based sports blog, one that could not possibly have more woefully and indeed laughably missed the meaning of said listing. Also yesterday: a quite lame recap of the Indiana-Indiana State game. Alert reader and die-hard Hoosier fan Nate addresses both topics with brisk efficiency.... Wonk, First of all, pay no attention to the idiots south of Big Ten land. For your hard work to be appreciated, one needs to understand mathematics, something I am not sure they "do" in Kentucky. Trust me, Indy's city crews will be busy Sunday morning, cleaning up empty Jim Beam bottles and cigarette butts after our guests crawl back south, crying about IU's victory over UK. OK, about the debacle in Terre Haute....Who cares how many possessions you have if you don't do anything with them? I mean, 22 TOs? I worried about this earlier in the season and, lo and behold, it came back to haunt us. Marshall: you are a senior. Play like one EVERY game, not some games. The only player that came to play was Ben Allen--a freshman, how sad is that? Royce Waltman deserves a lot of credit. He called a great timeout when IU scored the first six points of the second half and ISU was down 11. ISU took care of the ball, was more physical, and, quite honestly, wanted the game more. These games against in-state schools are trap games for the Hoosiers because the opposing rosters are filled with kids that IU didn't want. They're itching for a chance to show IU what they missed. Same thing happened to an unnamed Big Ten team down at Evansville (though a lack of talent probably hurt them too). IU needs to match these teams' intensity and bring the fight to them. I like scheduling in-state schools because IU knows that they will get ISU, Butler and Ball State's best games. And if you can't find a way to win these games, you'll have big problems in the Big Ten and (hopefully) in the NCAA Tourney. Looking forward to the game Saturday. Hope IU remembers to bring their A game, instead of the @#$% they played at Indiana State. Nate D. Indy Thanks, Nate!