Before we go into how dominant James is on the glass, let's take a moment to think about what rebounding really is. Students of the game the world around will tell you that rebounding is not one skill but two. On the defensive end, it's all about fighting your guy for that valuable real estate around the rim where the ball is likely to fall. You've gotta be committed to getting good position, strong enough to hold or expand that space, and athletic enough to be the first to the ball when it drops.
On the offensive end, it's a lot less about physical skills and a lot more about commitment. Sure it helps to be tall, strong, and athletic, but - as JP Macura's rebounding numbers attest - a lot of offensive rebounding comes down to a willingness to throw your body into the fray, first betting that the shot is one of the 55% or so that will generate a rebound and then wagering that it will fall into the portion of your opponent's real estate that you've stolen from him. Then you make that bet again and again until it pays out for you.
James Farr is one of the rare players who has both skill sets and can put them in play consistently. Just how dominant is he on the glass? Farr ranks in the top ten in the nation in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. No other player does that. No other player ranks in the top 20 in both categories. Only seven other players rank in the top 50.
I took a quick survey of the top 100 players in DReb% and then sorted them by OReb%. The result was 27 names of guys who appeared in the top 100 rebounders on both sides of the ball. The results speak for themselves:
|Shevon Thompson||George Mason||18.0%||21||33.7%||5||13|
|Charles Mitchell||Georgia Tech||17.1%||30||31.4%||9||19.5|
|Wayne Martin||Tennessee St.||15.9%||41||30.2%||16||28.5|
|Shawn Long||Louisiana Lafayette||17.4%||26||28.0%||35||30.5|
|Devin Williams||West Virginia||16.4%||33||27.9%||37||35|
|Chris Horton||Austin Peay||14.1%||81||29.9%||18||49.5|
|Lew Evans||Utah St.||18.3%||20||24.2%||100||60|
|Zach Auguste||Notre Dame||14.7%||62||26.1%||59||60.5|
|Grandy Glaze||Grand Canyon||13.9%||86||27.2%||43||64.5|
|Khaliq Spicer||Kent St.||13.6%||96||26.2%||57||76.5|
|Jameel Warney||Stony Brook||13.6%||95||25.6%||66||80.5|
|Nate Kratch||Santa Clara||14.3%||75||24.4%||92||83.5|
The aggregate rank, in case it wasn't clear, is just the average of where the player ranks in each category. This table is just another illustration of the point this whole post is driving home: nobody goes and gets it on the glass like Big Game James, and the drop off from him to the horde of guys who don't even approach his production is pretty precipitous.
The season has just begun and much is already being made of how good Kentucky is going to be next year because of their incoming freshman class. There's certainly something to be said for having half a dozen guys stop at your campus for a year before heading off to the NBA. Xavier has built a consistently competitive program in a different way, on the backs of guys who come in with fairly little fanfare and then work their tails off to become the players the team needs them to be. In his final go-'round as a Musketeer, James Farr is proving to be just that sort of guy in a way that nobody else in the nation can approach.