AP Hoops: (Re)Bound for Greater Things?

Three of the four NBA Call-Ups this year have fallen in the top 20 in rebounding percentage. Do boards equal boarding passes?

Names to Know

Rebounding, as you might imagine, plays an essential part in successful basketball.

But you might not know just how essential. In a game where every possession equals an opportunity, and every lost possession a missed chance, a successful offensive rebound allows the team that missed a chance to redeem itself -- a defensive board, on the other hand, might as well be a fumble recovery. And measure the best of the individuals who pound the boards, we employ a statistic called rebound percentage (REB% -- find out more here) which indicates the percentage of available rebounds a player hauls in while he is on the floor.

This is a more valuable statistic than the standard measure of rebounds per game because it adjusts for differences in opportunities (i.e. teams that play at a higher pace have more possessions per game and therefore produce more shots and, thus, rebounding opportunities).

Not only is rebounding essential for success, but it is also a statistic which tends to translate well between levels. For instance, player such as Kenneth Faried and Blake Griffin were very capable rebounders during their college careers and enjoy similar success as professionals.

And it's not just that rebounding success can predict future success in the NBA. For our purposes, being able to win the battle of the boards can predict who gets the chance to even play in the NBA. Below, you'll see a list of the top 20 players according to REB% in the NBA D-League.

You will notice that, so far, NBA teams have valued players who excel in this statistic as 3 of the 4 players that have received GATORADE Call-Ups this season (Jeff Adrien, Kevin Jones, Daniel Orton) rank in the top 20 in REB%. It is also interesting to note that the player who leads the NBA D-League in REB%, Arinze Onuaku, does not lead the NBA D-League in rebounds per game. But, with 9.3 boards in 20 minutes a game, he probably would if given more time on the floor.

Top 20 Players In Rebounding Percentage
PlayerTeamPER
Onuaku,ArinzeCanton26.0%
Eric,MichaelCanton20.2%
Jackson,RickAustin20.0%
Butch,BrianBakersfield19.8%
Cooper,ChrisBakersfield18.0%
Cowan,JazwynAustin17.1%
Davis,MikeSioux Falls16.9%
Strong,BenIowa16.8%
Gladness,MickellSanta Cruz16.7%
Adrien,JeffRio Grande Valley16.7%
Famous,JarridLos Angeles16.3%
Evans,SeanIdaho16.2%
Jones,KevinCanton16.1%
Honeycutt,TylerReno15.9%
Griffin,TaylorSanta Cruz15.8%
Leslie,TravisSanta Cruz15.5%
Orton,DanielTulsa15.4%
Ohlbrecht,TimRio Grande Valley15.1%
Thomas,IbrahimaTexas15.1%
Benson,KeithErie14.6%


Going forward, we'll also include the Top 25 Most Efficient Players in the League every week, given the importance of PER in association with the likelihood of a player receiving a GATORADE Call-Up. As of Dec. 12, these are the league's kings of efficiency.

Top 25 Most Efficient Players (PER)
PlayerTeamPER
Jones,KevinCanton26.45
Douglas-Roberts,ChrisTexas25.88
Griffin,TaylorSanta Cruz25.26
Varnado,JarvisSioux Falls25.13
Rojas,SadielFort Wayne24.45
Onuaku,ArinzeCanton23.53
Adrien,JeffRio Grande Valley22.78
Jackson,RickAustin22.00
Singletary,MikeRio Grande Valley21.93
Roberts,ChrisTexas21.76
Tyndale,MarkSioux Falls21.55
Ohlbrecht,TimRio Grande Valley21.47
Wright,Chris C.Maine21.31
Leslie,TravisSanta Cruz21.19
Evans,SeanIdaho20.98
Howard,RonFort Wayne20.88
Temple,GarrettReno20.41
Uzoh,BenSpringfield20.28
Dentmon,JustinAustin19.84
Richardson,AnthonyReno19.81
Russell,WalkerFort Wayne19.65
Ayer,ChristopherMaine19.60
Liggins,DeAndreTulsa19.56
Johnson-Odom,DariusLos Angeles19.51
Lamb,JeremyTulsa19.48