Like any horror movie, you are forced to watch and powerless to stop it. You scream, “watch out!
Behind you!” But your pleas fail to be recognized. Another Tennessee offensive rebound is put back up and in. This terror of offensive rebounds was counterbalanced this time: While Tennessee scored 30 second-chance points, they scored only 58 in total.
It was Nightmare on High Street except Freddie Kruger had plastic spoons on his glove.
The Wildcats have been allowing 12.6 opponents’ offensive rebounds per game. According to StatSheet.com, the team is ranked 279th out of 330 teams on allowed average offensive rebounding. This is no surprise. When you have up to three players — mainly all three of your frontcourt members — making a quick adjustment to challenge the a drive, almost all of those players will be out of position to block out for rebounds.
Have those lost offensive rebounds been hurting the Cats, as they did against Tennessee? Despite those opponents offensive rebounds, the team still gets it done on defensive rebounds. From StatSheet, Kentucky is 3rd in the Nation in defensive rebounds per game (19.3). The Wildcats are also 14th in the nation in number of total defensive rebounds (522). The NCAA’s statistics show Kentucky with an overall — offensive, defensive, and team — rebounding margin of 6.4, good for 19th in the nation. Even though Kentucky gives up more offensive rebounds than they get, Kentucky gets significantly more defensive rebounds than their opponents.
Does Kentucky end up struggling when they are out-rebounded by their opponent? Not really. Consider this chart showing UK’s total rebounds and opponent’s total rebounds per game:
There have been 6 games in which Kentucky was out-rebounded by their opponent. In those 6 games, Kentucky won 4 (Delaware State, Appalachian State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee) and lost 2 (@ Ole Miss, @ Vanderbilt).
What happens when Kentucky’s opponent gets more (or an equal amount) defensive rebounds than Kentucky?
Kentucky is 1-4 when an opponent has an equal or more defensive rebounds than Kentucky: A win against Delaware State, 4 losses to Miami, @ Ole Miss, Mississippi State and @ Vandy. In those four losses, Kentucky allowed their opponents to shoot better than 43% FG. (Kentucky has averaging holding opponents to 37% FG.) Also in those three games, Miami and Vandy shot better than 42% for 3-pointers, Mississippi State made 42 points on 51.9% 3FG shooting and Ole Miss scored 30 points on 38.5% 3FG shooting.
Its difficult to grab a defensive board when your opponents are making their baskets. Opponents’ offensive rebounding isn’t nearly as scary as an opponent with a good jump-shooting team. In Columbia Wednesday night, Kentucky faces a monster that can feast on Kentucky’s weaknesses.
Now that’s terrifying.