Duke's rebounding problem
Can the Blue Devils overcome their terrible rebounding numbers?
The Duke Blue Devils have deservedly earned respect in the first month of the season because they have successfully negotiated a difficult schedule without a loss. What's more interesting to me is that they have done so while being a particularly poor rebounding team. Heading into the weekend, they rank well outside the top 200 in both offensive (252nd) and defensive (245th) rebounding percentage. Among the 78 other teams in this predicament, the closest things to at-large teams are Davidson and Georgia, two teams who aren't very close. (UConn is also on the list and obviously would have a shot for an at-large bid were they eligible.)
You might be curious what this means for Duke. Can a team rebound like a low-major and still succeed? Given the Blue Devils' accomplishments over the first month of the season, one might assume the answer to that question should be yes. Indeed, Duke has won enough games over quality teams to demonstrate that a team can play at a high level without rebounding well.
This isn't some form of basketball magic: If a team makes enough shots and forces enough misses, its rebounding ability is marginalized. And so far, Duke is ranked 26th in both offensive and defensive effective field goal percentage. But there has to be some fear that things may not go as well in the shooting departments during tournament time and that ultimately the lack of rebounding will doom this team.
To read Ken Pomeroy's full take on Duke's poor rebounding numbers, you must be an ESPN Insider.
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game