If you woke up today and thought, “I hope I don’t have to deal with any math today because math is hard”, then I apologize. I wanted to expand on my thoughts from Saturday’s win over Belmont and VCU’s rebounding success this season.
Last year, VCU appeared to finally grow into Shaka Smart’s “Havoc”. The Rams defended and turned over the opposition at hard-to-believe rates. The Rams’ ability to turn other teams over and convert those extra opportunities into points is what bridged the gap between being a good team and a great one.
Like turnovers, offensive rebounds often lead to easy buckets. Buckets lead to wins. Consult “Basketball for Dummies” for further explanation. Two seasons ago, VCU was a decidedly below average team on the offensive glass. Last year, a little better, but still not great.
However, this season, the Rams are grabbing 39 percent of available offensive rebounds (Smart’s stated goal is 40 percent every game), which has led to an average of 14 points per game. Much like last year, when the level of talent and VCU players’ willingness to buy into Havoc yielded all those turnovers, it appears the same factors may be contributing to the Rams’ improved work on the glass.
Below, you’ll see just how important all those extra possessions and easy baskets are to VCU. What’s important to note is that the Rams are scoring 19 percent of their points off second chance opportunities (offensive rebounds). Pair that with Havoc, and you’re hard to beat.
OREB% = Offensive rebound percentage; 2nd Chance = Second Chance Points per game; TO Forced = Turnovers forced per game; Off TO = Points scored off turnovers per game.