Listening to announcers reminiscing this year you'd think Anthony Davis had been the best shot blocker in the past decade. But the reality is that he wasn't even the best shot blocker last season. The best shot blocker didn't play for UK, he played for KU. Jeff Withey blocked 15.3% of the shots when he was on the floor. Anthony Davis was 3rd nationally at 13.8%.
Now Withey is getting more minutes, so his raw numbers are up. His blocks per game have risen from 3.6 as a junior to 5.7 as a senior. But is that just due to the minutes, or is he actually getting better?
It turns out that he is better. This year he's blocking 20% of the shots. Think about that. One of every five shots put up by a Jayhawk opponent gets swatted if Withey is on the floor. Nate Maxey, of Texas Corpus Christi is doing even better, blocking 23.5%, but he doesn't even play half his team's minutes.
In the past decade, only Mickell Gladness has finished the season with a block rate at 20% or above. During the 2006-07 season he blocked 20.5% for Alabama A&M.
So if Withey keeps it up, he'll not only (most likely) lead the nation in blocks for the 2nd straight year, but he'll also has a chance to be the best in a decade.
Not that announcers will strip that title from Anthony Davis.