Commentary

Starting 5: Rebounding translates

Breaking down the boards, pre-summer top fives and more recruiting buzz

Updated: July 2, 2013, 4:44 PM ET
By Dave Telep | ESPN RecruitingNation

Editor's note: During the busy month of July on the recruiting trail with so much time spent on the road at events, our usual weekly Starting 5 feature will be biweekly. Make sure to check back July 16 and 30 for our next Starting 5 installments, and in between, we'll have daily coverage from the biggest events on the trail.

In the final Starting 5 before hitting the road, we look at why rebounding stats matter in recruiting, the five best underclassmen, five players we need to see more of in July, five favorite summer recruiting stories and why this year's NBA draft was a referendum on makeup.

1. Inside the EYBL rebounding statistics

Last year, the Indiana Pacers selected Miles Plumlee in the first round of the NBA draft. It was a surprise. Until a friend sent an email with the minutes-played-per-rebound statistics of the big men in the past two drafts, I wasn't sure why Plumlee went in the first round.

But one look at his minutes-per-rebound number and it was obvious. Granted, this statistic is still a little new to me, but I'm told that if you grab one rebound for every four minutes played in a college game, you're doing work. Anthony Davis was the No. 1 pick in 2012, and his number was one rebound per 3.09 minutes. In 2012's first round, only four players had sub-3.0 rebound numbers in college. One was Thomas Robinson (2.68), which surprised no one. The others? John Henson (2.93), Tyler Zeller (2.93) and Miles Plumlee (2.88). I can't say for certain, but I'm guessing that's why the Pacers took a chance on Plumlee at No. 26.

A year later, when Andre Roberson went No. 26 in last week's draft, it seemed early. However, his rebounding number was 2.99, the only sub-3.0 player selected in the first round.

Advanced statistical analysis is becoming more and more a factor in evaluating basketball players, but at the high school level, only one place provides reliable enough statistics to be analyzed: the Nike EYBL.

You know what's coming next. It's late Sunday night and I'm running numbers of EYBL rebounders because, well, it matters to me. And because rebounding happens to be one statistic that translates at the next level.