Big Ten Wonk
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Offensive rebound pct. (scroll down for more info)
Oreb pct. = orebs/(orebs + opp. drebs)

2005, conference games only
1. Michigan State (40.5)
2. Iowa (38.0)
3. Purdue (37.6)
4. Minnesota (36.1)
5. Penn State (35.2)
6. Illinois (34.8)
7. Michigan (33.7)
8. Wisconsin (33.1)
9. Indiana (33.0)
10. Ohio State (26.4)
11. Northwestern (22.8)

Rebounds are like hits—and missed shots are like at-bats
Measuring rebounding as a function of opportunities seized or squandered is much more enlightening than simply using boards per game. To take just one example: in the bizzaro world of per-game stats, Penn State usually “leads” the conference in offensive rebounding, as seen here on the Big Ten’s official stats page.

How can this be? Mainly because the Nittany Lions (the poorest shooting team in the Big Ten last season) miss so many shots and thus have so very many opportunities to record an offensive rebound. So last year in conference Penn State hauled in about 11.7 offensive boards a game while Michigan State had “only” 11.1.

Does this mean PSU’s really a better offensive rebounding team than the Spartans? Of course not. In fact, Tom Izzo’s team was outstanding on the offensive glass last year, far and away the best in the Big Ten at rebounding their misses….

Michigan State offensive rebound percentage:
MSU orebs/(MSU orebs + opp. drebs) = 177/(177+ 260) = 177/437 = 0.405 or 40.5 percent

Penn State offensive rebound percentage:
PSU orebs/(PSU orebs + opp. drebs) = 187/(187 + 345) = 187/532 = 0.352 or 35.2 percent

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