Posted On: 10/7/19 12:31 PM

Rebounding is underrated. Not by coaches, sure. But in this era of $37/hour training sessions, rebounding is just something you pay somebody to do while you work on “your game.”

Guess what, though, they’re giving scholarships for kids that get it done on the boards, too. After all, a good defensive possession is worthless unless it’s completed. Conversely, the top rebounders routinely turn an ugly possession into two points with their combination of will and physical power. 

Alphabetically, here are our top 10 men of the glass in Northeast Ohio:

Nehemiah BensonNehemiahBenson6'6" | PFLutheran East | 2020StateOH (2020) | 6-6 F | Lutheran East

Benson both crashes from the perimeter and rebounds outside of his area when he’s battling inside. His strong legs, nimble feet, and secure hands allow him to win 50-50 balls off the rim. Good lift off the ground, especially considering his strong frame. 

Jalin BillingsleyJalinBillingsley6'7" | PFLutheran East | 2021State#191NationOH (2021) | 6-7 PF | Lutheran East

Billingsley is relatively more productive on the offensive glass, where his second jump is showcased. He demoralizes the opponent on put-backs with a soft touch. The MM/HM prospect has offers from the likes of Dayton and VCU in part because of his graceful feet combined with rare size — a combination that lends itself to rebounding. 

If Billingsley becomes equally aggressive as a defensive rebounder, his team-best 7.2 rebounds per game could jump to double-digits as a junior.

Luka EllerLukaEller6'8" | PFLake Catholic | 2020State#492NationOH (2020) | 6-7 PF | Lake Catholic

Long, active arms and mobility are crucial factors to Eller’s success on the glass. He uses an impressive standing reach to board in traffic. Crashes the paint when he’s stretching the floor. Also shows physicality on screens and drives. Averaged a team-high 10.8 rebounds last year.

Josiah HarrisJosiahHarris6'7" | PFRichmond Heights | 2022State#115NationOH (2022) | 6-6 PF | Richmond Heights

Even at a young age, Harris is very physical. The GlenOak transfer uses his strong shoulders and size advantage to punish opponents. Impressive second jump. If opponents put a smaller forward on Harris to defend him away from the basket, he becomes especially dominate. 

John Hugley (2020) | 6-9 C | Brush

Hugley would be on a top ten rebounders list if we extended the scope to the entire Midwest. The HM prospect has a thick, physical body and good hands. He moves people and has become increasingly mobile. Truly dominate presence around the basket. With former Brush teammate Andre Harris off to Wright State, we expect a spike in Hugley’s rebounding numbers from 12.6 per game to … heck, is 15 per game crazy?

Josh IrwinJoshIrwin6'6" | PFWest Geauga | 2021StateOH (2021) | 6-6 PF | West Geauga

Fifteen per game wasn’t crazy for Irwin last season because that’s what his average was as a sophomore. Elite hands. Strong frame and mobile athlete who can track down boards. Irwin secures the ball at his chest when he comes down with one. Other than said physical tools, Irwin’s intelligence and effort are his most notable assets.

Jonathan ManningJonathanManning6'6" | CMidview | 2020StateOH (2020) | 6-6 PF/C | Midview

Manning hustles. He sprints the floor. He fights for position. And for the purpose of this article, darn it, Manning gets boards! Possesses chiseled frame that will pack weight on over the coming years. Actively pursues the ball. Averaged just over 10 per game last season.

Anthony MaxieAnthonyMaxie6'4" | CRichmond Heights | 2020StateOH (2020) | 6-4 C | Richmond Heights

This 6-foot-4 post operates the dunker spot mostly looking for drop-downs so he can flush a dunk. When that ball doesn’t come, though, Maxie is exploding for a tip-back opportunity. Big-time vertical leaper. Maxie also takes charges and sets screens — a do-whatever-it-takes type of guy who maximizes his athleticism. 

Chris RingfieldChrisRingfield6'7" | CSt. Edward | 2020StateOH (2020) | 6-7 C | St. Edward

Athletic, lean post player who gets to his spots in traffic. Active rebounder. Ringfield has a good standing reach and solid hands. Should continue to add muscle at the next level. 

Brenton WalkerBrentonWalker6'6" | CCanton McKinley | 2021StateOH (2020) | 6-6 C | Canton McKinley

If you’ve ever seen Walker operate the hardwood, you understand how obvious a choice he was. His frame and playing style can be described in one word: physical. That’s Walker’s identity — power. Good hands. Actively goes after it. Keeps possessions alive. Nobody is taking it from him once he has the ball. Game-changing presence in the paint.


Honorable Mention: Vernon SmithVernonSmith6'7" | CBuchtel | 2021StateOH, Jagger HaynesJaggerHaynes6'6" | PFMassillon Perry | 2020StateOH, Chris Livingston, Malaki BranhamMalakiBranham6'5" | SGSt. Vincent-St. Mary | 2021State#23NationOH, Tavian TatumTavianTatum6'5" | CGarfield Heights | 2022StateOH, Noah PeeplesNoahPeeples6'3" | PFBuchtel | 2021StateOH, Branson Taylor, London MaidenLondonMaiden6'6" | CBenedictine | 2022StateOH