Maryland men’s basketball has been getting offensive rebounds better than almost anyone else in the country. Through the Terps’ first six games, they’ve gotten an offensive rebound after 40.7 percent of their misses, which is tied for the sixth-best rate in the country.
Not surprisingly, Maryland big men Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith have been the driving forces in giving Maryland second — and even third — chances on the glass. Smith is hauling in 3.7 offensive rebounds per game; Fernando is contributing 3.0.
Sometimes, Maryland will be able to get a pair of offensive rebounds within seconds of each other, such as this play from Fernando against Marshall.
Other times, Maryland’s offensive rebounds can turn a missed free throw into a made three-pointer, as Ricky Lindo, Jalen Smith and Aaron Wiggins teamed up to do on this play.
This isn’t exactly surprising, but getting plenty of offensive rebounds is generally a good indicator of a successful team. In 2017, North Carolina led the country in offensive rebound percentage and they were national champions. Last season, Duke (eww) led the country in the stat, which helped them earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and make the Elite Eight before losing to Kansas.
It’s also worth noting Maryland’s first six opponents aren’t exactly powerhouses; at this point, stats should still be taken with a grain of salt, as Maryland prepares for one of its toughest opponents this season in No. 4 Virginia. The Cavaliers are holding their opponents to a 22.3 offensive rebound rate — and are coming off a victory over Wisconsin, where the Badgers only got an offensive rebound from 14.3 percent of their misses.
In Maryland’s first four seasons in the Big Ten, they never had a offensive rebound rate higher than 31.4 percent and were never ranked higher than 84th in the country; both of which they achieved last season. It’s possible that the addition of Jalen Smith, and the development of Bruno Fernando, has turned Maryland into one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country. Or maybe the Terps’ big men have just feasted on their inferior players on teams like North Carolina A&T and Mount St. Mary’s. The game against Virginia could go a long way to all of us figuring out which one it is.