We knew that Joel Bolomboy of Weber State was going to be good coming out of high school. He had offers from schools such as New Mexico and Texas A&M, so obviously he had the talent to excel at the Big Sky level. When he signed, I wrote: "He is athletic and has a long wing span (which is a bit of a cliche, but still worth mentioning) and a quick jump, which allows him to be a solid shot blocker. He is still developing there, and could be a force on the glass and defensively inside for Weber State."
Still, I had no idea he was going to be this good, this quickly. As a freshman coming off the bench, all he has done is average 8.2 rebounds per game (in 22.2 minutes - he is third in the Big Sky in rebounds per game), and have one of the top three rebounding rates in all of college basketball.
Here are the top five rates, as of Wednesday night:
A couple notes...
1) Kevin Hill is leading the country, but he plays 10.9 minutes per game. Of the top five, Bolomboy is second in minutes per game (far away trailing Cooley in that category).
2) According to KenPom's numbers, Bolomboy is 18th in OR%, and 8th in DR%. Only two other players crack the top 20 in both categories (and neither of them is Cooley... who is the best offensive rebounder in the country but 26th in DR%).
3) Again, Bolomboy is a true freshman whose game could still be described as raw. But he has insane leaping ability (just watch any of his putback dunks), and seems to have a knack for going up to get the rebound right after it comes off the rim. When I saw him in person, I noticed that most of his rebounds seemed to come at the rim, meaning he wasn't letting the ball come down to let anyone else get it. This is what makes him such a terrific rebounder.
There is a lot to like about his game. He shoots 55% from the field and blocks a bunch of shots (his 7.7% block rate is top 100 in the country)... but he stands out because when it comes to rebounding, there are few players in the entire country that can match Joel Bolomboy.
* Thanks to Nathan Walker for the link.
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