Many will point to point guard Myck Kabongo, who dished out 10 assists to one turnover in two games in the Big 12 tournament, and serves as the highest ranked player on roster. Others will finger the defense and potential shot-making of Julien Lewis. Still more would look at the smooth scoring of Sheldon McClellan or the inside-out potential of power forward Jonathan Holmes.
But few, if any, will name the final remaining freshman from last year's class, Jaylen Bond. Which is interesting in that, in Bond, the Longhorns return one of the elite rebounders in the Big 12.
Offensive Rebound Percentage
3) Jaylen Bond, Texas — 13.29 (68)
5) Thomas Gipson, Kansas State — 12.58 (105)
7) Jamar Samuels, Kansas State — 12.04 (151)
8) Jonathan Holmes, Texas — 11.85 (167)
9) Clint Chapman, Texas — 11.27 (220)
10) Thomas Robinson, Kansas — 11.07 (237)
Defensive Rebound Percentage
1) Robinson, Kansas — 30.63 (1)
2) Royce White, Iowa State — 24.58 (32)
3) Philip Jurick, Oklahoma State — 22.77 (79)
4) Bond, Texas — 21.38 (123)
6) Ejim, Iowa State — 20.41 (170)
7) Henriquez, Kansas State — 19.88 (201)
8) Ratliffe, Missouri — 19.61 (217)
9) Jordan Tolbert, Texas Tech — 19.23 (236)
10) Chapman, Texas — 19.15 (244)
First, a note on the percentages. Offensive rebound percentage is the percentage of available offensive rebounds that a player pulls down when he is in the ball game. So if Texas missed five shots when Bond was in the game, and Bond pulled down one offensive rebound, he would have an offensive rebound percentage of 20 percent. Similarly, defensive rebound percentage is the percentage of available defensive rebounds that a player grabs.
Why use that measure? For one, it's more detailed than just looking at rebounds per game. And it strips away the people who are ranked highly largely because they play a lot of minutes, or because they have more opportunities at rebounds due to playing a faster tempo.
Now, note that Bond was the only player to show up in the top five on both lists. Also note that he is one of only three players to show up in the top four of either list who will be be back in the Big 12 next year. Ratliffe graduated, Robinson and White are turning pro early and Ray Turner is headed to the SEC.
Bond is also the only Big 12 player to rank in the top-125 players in the country in both offensive and defensive rebounding.
So it wouldn't be a stretch to rank Bond as the top returning rebounder in the Big 12 next year. As somebody who builds their game on energy, and who could see his minutes increase, the player who might be most interesting to watch might just be the Texas sophomore-to-be that nobody's talking about.