15 Best Rebounders in College Basketball
Rebounding is one of the most important phases of the game of basketball. On the defensive end it gives you possession of the ball and offensively it allows your team extra chances to score.
While there is no exact science to determine who is the best, there were some factors that went into it.
Statistically, rebounds per game (RPG) and rebounds per 40 minutes (REB/40) were taken into account. Performance against top competition was factored in as well as the ever-popular “eye test.”
15. Reggie Johnson, Miami: 9.0 RPG, 10.0 REB/40
Johnson has one of the biggest bodies in the country at 6’10” and 303 pounds.
He is strong, physical and can dominate underneath. Due to his size he sometimes slows down late in games.
Played in his first game of the season on Saturday and grabbed nine rebounds off the bench. Last season he averaged 9.6 rebounds per game and 14.8 per 40 minutes.
14. Mason Plumlee, Duke: 9.7 RPG, 12.7 REB/40
A high-energy player, Plumlee is very active on the boards. He is a great athlete and can jump with anyone.
His biggest asset is his constant effort. Matching his type of talent with his determination is a dangerous combination.
Head-to-head with three other members of this list he held his own, but was out-rebounded by all three, by a total of just five.
13. Herb Pope, Seton Hall: 11.9 RPG, 14.3 REB/40
A strong presence under the basket, he mixes his large frame with great athleticism.
Pope never quits while the ball is alive and will do everything he can to come away with it, evidenced by his 10.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore.
He has a big matchup with a Big East nemesis on the horizon. He just so happens to be the next one on the list.
12. Kevin Jones, West Virginia: 11.0 RPG, 12.7 REB/40
Kevin Jones is by far outperforming his rebounding numbers from previous seasons. He never averaged more than 7.5 per game.
He is tied for second in the nation with 4.8 offensive rebounds per game.
At 250 pounds he is tough to handle and his huge wingspan allows him to outreach taller players. He has no fear in the paint.
In three games against Seton Hall’s Herb Pope, Jones has won the rebounding battle 35-28. They meet again on December 30.
11. John Henson, North Carolina: 10.2 RPG, 14.0 REB/40
Henson is one of the longest and lankiest college basketball players since Tayshaun Prince at Kentucky.
He overcomes a lack of strength and bulk with his athleticism and freakishly long arms. Not many players in the college game put more effort into cleaning the glass.
Would be higher on the list, but in four games against top rebounders Henson has only grabbed 33 rebounds to his opponents’ 57.
10. Draymond Green, Michigan State: 9.7 RPG, 12.1 REB/40
No list of college basketball rebounders would be complete without a Tom Izzo-coached player.
Green is only 6’6” but he is solid at 235 pounds. There is no doubt he is one of the toughest, smartest and most experienced players in the nation.
He has played in 12 NCAA tournament games and advanced to two Final Fours. In games against Henson and Plumlee this season he has outrebounded them by a combined 25-12.
9. Andre Roberson, Colorado: 11.8 RPG, 16.3 REB/40
The best rebounding guard in the country. He’s been in double figures in eight of nine games this season.
Roberson is as tough as they come and is tenacious among the trees. He is tireless and an explosive leaper.
In nine games against Top 25 teams he has averaged 12.6 rebounds per 40 minutes.
8. Anthony Davis, Kentucky: 10.0 RPG, 14.6 REB/40
Just a freshman, Davis is hard to handle on the glass because of his height, leaping ability and extra-long arms.
He is thin, but tough and he is a high-energy, high-effort rebounder.
In his three games against top competition this season he pulled down a total of 24 rebounds, and grabbed 18 on Saturday against Chattanooga. He is only getting better.
7. Dennis Tinnon, Marshall: 10.1 RPG, 15.2 REB/40
A junior college transfer, Tinnon is shining in his first season at Marshall. He led the nation's junior colleges in rebounding last year.
He is a tough, hard-nosed player who just seems to know how to come away with the ball. He is tied with Kevin Jones for second in the nation in offensive rebounding.
In tough games against Cincinnati and Syracuse, Tinnon grabbed 14 and 15 rebounds respectively.
6. Arsalan Kazemi, Rice: 12.3 RPG, 17.7 REB/40
Currently the nation’s leading rebounder, he suffered on this list due to his lack of competition thus far.
He ranked this high because he has a good track record. As a freshman he averaged 9.1 rebounds per game and he saw his average spike to 11.0 as a sophomore.
He is undersized for a post player, but he is long and aggressive. In eight career games against major-conference opposition he has averaged 13.9 rebounds per 40 minutes.
5. T.J. Robinson, Long Beach State: 10.9 RPG, 13.2 REB/40
Robinson is one of the country’s most underrated players. Despite playing for such a small-time school, he has played against outstanding competition.
Against major-conference teams in his career he has pulled down 12.6 rebounds per 40 minutes.
Robinson doesn’t have good size or strength but he has averaged over 10 rebounds per game for the past three years.
4. Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State: 11.4 RPG, 13.9 REB/40
Moultrie is making a great impression in his first year at Mississippi State. He played his first two seasons at UTEP.
Moultrie is the tallest player on the list at 6’11”. He is quick and explosive, and his long arms ensure no one on the court can outreach him. He is a great offensive rebounder.
In his only meeting with a top rebounder this season, Moultrie outplayed Kevin Jones. Moultrie put up 21 points and 13 rebounds to Jones’ 14 and nine.
3. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State: 9.3 RPG, 14.1 REB/40
His numbers are down based on leaving Saturday’s game after six minutes with only two rebounds.
Sullinger averaged over 10 per game last year and is likely to achieve the same this season. In six postseason games last year he swiped 75 rebounds.
The least athletic player on the list, Sullinger is a monster. He has great size and strength, he gets great position and he plays to dominate.
Not the most impressive numbers or specimen, but if you needed one rebound it would be hard to choose someone else.
2. Mike Moser, UNLV: 12.2 RPG, 16.0 REB/40
Moser has absolutely burst onto the college basketball scene this season. After playing just 70 minutes for UCLA he took his talents to The Strip.
UNLV has played a brutal schedule this year but nothing and no one have been able to slow Moser down.
Against North Carolina he grabbed 18 rebounds and he pulled down 11 each against Wisconsin and Illinois.
Moser is frail at just 195 pounds, but he makes up for a lack of beef with length and explosiveness.
1. Thomas Robinson, Kansas: 11.4 RPG, 14.5 REB/40
It may be disappointing to see someone so obvious top the list, but Robinson is obvious for a reason.
He is probably the best-built player in college basketball at 6’9” and 237 pounds. Despite his big body, he is still one of the most athletic big men in the country and nobody is more determined.
His averages from his freshman and sophomore years are relatively paltry at 2.7 and 6.4 rebounds per game respectively, but look deeper.
Over his first three seasons he is averaging an astonishing 16.1 rebounds per 40 minutes. In 13 combined games against Top 25 opponents and in the NCAA tournament, Robinson is averaging 18.9 rebounds per 40 minutes.
Simply put, there is just nobody on any college basketball team anywhere in the United States that rebounds the basketball like Thomas Robinson.