Jarred Vanderbilt struggled with injuries this past season, and because of it, he wasn’t at his best. But despite the issues, one thing was clear: Jarred Vanderbilt could rebound.
This isn’t news to former Wildcat De’Aaron Fox, who says that Vanderbilt is the best rebounder he’s seen play.
“For him, once he gets healthy ... he’s the best rebounder I’ve ever seen,” Fox said on The Ringer NBA Podcast with Kevin O’Connor. “He can really handle the ball, he can play point guard if you really need him to. But he can go get the rebound and push the ball down the floor with anybody.”
Vanderbilt averaged 7.9 rebounds per game last year, but played just 17 minutes per game. He averaged 18.5 rebounds per 40 minutes, and 26.5 rebounds per 100 possessions. He had a rebounding percentage of 25.7, which was better than Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns’s rebound rates in their single seasons at Kentucky.
Vanderbilt had five double-digit rebound performances, which includes his one point, 11 rebound performance against the West Virginia Mountaineers, a game in which he played just 11 minutes. His season high was 15, which he recorded against the Missouri Tigers. He also scored 11 points in that game, registering his only double-double of the season.
An anonymous Eastern Conference executive had this to say about Vanderbilt, according to an article from The Athletic:
“I like him because he does a lot of winning things. He can do a little bit of everything. He can defend, rebound and score. I like him because he doesn’t do a lot of turnovers and make mistakes. He’s an energy guy who plays hard. He’s young and only going to get better.”
Injuries have plagued Vanderbilt, and there’s no chance he goes in the first round of this year’s draft. However, this increasing interest in him from NBA scouts and executives could lead him to stay in the draft anyways.