IU: Way, way better at rebounding than you think

  • 01/26/2009 2:56 pm in

In a season as desolate as this, you’re bound to have some sever statistical, and Saturday Basketball Prospectus’ John Gasaway gave us a doozie. Of course, you would think the stat would be a negative outlier — proof of the Hoosiers’ historic failures this season. Not so much:

No major-conference team in the nation has dominated its opponents on the defensive glass during conference play the way Indiana has. Yes, Indiana, the same team that is 0-5 in the Big Ten, losing each game by an average of 15 points. While you’ve been looking away in Edvard Munch-level horror, the Hoosiers have in fact secured an unheard of 79 percent of their opponents’ misses in league games. Not even Michigan State in 2000 was able to match that figure.

Gasaway jokes that rebounding makes you lose, but the real upshot is this: The Hoosiers are so bad, they allow very few offensive rebounds and still lose by an average of fifteen points a game. Why? Because teams are so effective at making the first shot against them, the defensive rebound isn’t really an advantage. That’s why. Like I said: mind-blowing.

The upshot is that it also portends future success. If the Hoosiers (and by the Hoosiers, I mean Tom Pritchard) are rebounding at such a high rate when they’re this bad, it’s likely they’ll keep it up when they figure out how to challenge perimeter shots and play better defense. In other words, it’s a building block. I’ll take it.

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