Nation's best rebounders

Branden Dawson among players most adept at crashing the boards

Updated: May 8, 2014, 10:33 AM ET
By Seth Greenberg | ESPN Insider

DawsonJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesBranden Dawson (No. 22) is tenacious on the glass at both ends of the court.

There's no one way to define an elite rebounder. Is it the hardest player to keep off the glass? Is it the player who rises above the rest in traffic for that memorable putback that registers on the "SportsCenter" Top 10 plays? Is it the player most physical in his blockouts and who grabs everything that comes his way?

Many factors go into deciding this category, but to me, a top rebounder must be a player who is consistent in his effort, gets in the air, rebounds balls outside of his area, has good instincts and is willing to fight every possession. Some jump high, use a strong lower body and "wedge" rebound, but they all must have a motor and pursue the ball.

The following six players do this and more. Here are my choices for the best rebounders in college basketball.


Branden Dawson | F | Michigan State Spartans

Dawson is a hybrid forward with a relentless motor. He averages nearly three offensive rebounds per game and grabs a board about every three minutes on the court. He is explosive off the ground and strong enough to fight the first hit and still get to the offensive glass.

Dawson runs the floor hard and puts himself in position to grab an offensive rebound off of a quick shot. On the defensive end, he is physical in his block out and quick enough to release and rebound balls outside his area.