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More Than a Number: Minnesota’s Rebounding Edge

February 16, 2013
More Than a Number: Minnesota’s Rebounding Edge

We know the story: The Gophers are great at offensive rebounding, not terrific at defensive rebounding.

If we compare Minnesota to their opponents in Big Ten play, the net of their OR% minus their opponents’ OR% is very good. The table below shows the net OR% for each Big Ten team in order from best to worst (includes all Big Ten games through 2/15/2013):

Team OR% Opp OR% Diff
Minnesota 41.7 32.1 9.6
Indiana 38.3 32.3 6
Michigan St. 31.5 27.7 3.8
Wisconsin 31.1 27.3 3.8
Michigan 31.9 29.1 2.8
Iowa 33 31.3 1.7
Ohio St. 29.9 28.4 1.5
Purdue 35.4 34.3 1.1
Illinois 34 35.1 -1.1
Penn St. 29.1 30.4 -1.3
Nebraska 24.9 34.5 -9.6
Northwestern 24.8 42.1 -17.3

Minnesota is easily the best. Northwestern is by far the worst and Nebraska has struggled as well. The Gophers have abused both the Wildcats (twice) and Huskers on the boards and that accounts for much of Minnesota’s net rebounding dominance in Big Ten games. If we back out those three games for the Gophers, their rank falls considerably:

Team OR% Opp OR% Diff
Indiana 38.3 32.3 6
Michigan St. 31.5 27.7 3.8
Wisconsin 31.1 27.3 3.8
Michigan 31.9 29.1 2.8
Minnesota 37.1 34.6 2.5
Iowa 33 31.3 1.7
Ohio St. 29.9 28.4 1.5
Purdue 35.4 34.3 1.1
Illinois 34 35.1 -1.1
Penn St. 29.1 30.4 -1.3
Nebraska 24.9 34.5 -9.6
Northwestern 24.8 42.1 -17.3

The facts don’t change – Minnesota is great at earning second chances. However, against most competition they are not gaining a big advantage on the boards and in fact have been outrebounded (OR%) in five of their 12 Big Ten games this season.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers Draft Shorts – Maroon
Minnesota Golden Gophers Draft Shorts - Maroon

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