Stats Analysis: Offensive Rebounding

The Bootleg's Basketball Stats Analyst Cameron Tana offers the faithful a comprehensive look at the world of offensive rebounding in regards to opponents faced and those to come once again for the 2008-09 edition of the Stanford Cardinal.

Washington arrives at Maples Pavilion for Sunday's game with the best offensive rebound rate in the nation at 43.5% according to kenpom.com. Stanford knows the damage the Huskies offensive board work can do. In their earlier matchup in Seattle, Washington had 23 offensive rebounds to Stanford's 19 defensive rebounds . The Huskies scored 21 points on the 17 possessions extended by an offensive rebound and of course got the winning basket on a Jon Brockman putback for a one-point win.

The effect on defensive efficiency from giving up offensive rebounds was obvious in the first Washington game, and is sizeable looking at Stanford play-by-play information available on gostanford.com. Stanford gives up a defensive rating of 117 on possessions it surrenders an offensive rebound, compared to a total defensive rating of 99. Stanford is not a bad defensive rebounding team with an opponents' offensive rebound rate of 30.4%, which kenpom.com ranks as 75th in the country. However, it has been worse than its average in all of its losses except the Washington State road game. In those losses, the defensive rating on opponents' possessions with an offensive rebound was a big part of the high defensive ratings given up in those games.

In order to analyze how Stanford gives up offensive rebounds and what happens directly after those offensive rebounds, I charted the opponents offensive rebound possessions from the following Pac-10 games: Arizona, at Washington, at Washington State, Cal, Oregon State, at USC, and at UCLA. There were a total of 69 offensive rebounds by these opponents. The primary defender on the offensive rebounder was recorded. Also, it was noted whether the primary defender helped on the missed shot, hurting his defensive rebounding position. The player who was the primary defender on most offensive rebounds was Landry Fields. However, Fields also has the team's best defensive rebound rate. This combination indicates that he sometimes goes after the ball at the expense of putting a body on the player he is guarding. Josh Owens and Lawrence Hill are next on the list, but were helping on a high percentage of those offensive rebounds.

The fact that a primary defender helped does not excuse the primary defender from giving up the offensive rebound. It may not have been the right strategy to help if it risks giving up the offensive rebound. In fact, it appears that offensive rebounds that result from helping are more likely to lead directly to a made basket. On the 18 charted offensive rebounds resulting from helping, eight led to made putbacks or tip-ins. On the other 51 offensive rebounds, only nine led to made putbacks or tip-ins.

The primary defender on the shooter who received the help from the primary defender on the rebounder was also recorded. Mitch Johnson received help five times and Will Paul received help three times. A full evaluation of Stanford's helping strategy and execution would require charting each defensive possession, not just offensive rebound possessions. We know it may not look good as Stanford ranks 308th in effective field goal percentage and when Stanford does force a miss by helping, the above numbers show that a basket may soon follow despite the initial miss.

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