Anthony Davis has been described as a one-man wrecking crew for his shot-blocking ability. It’s not just another cliché with the 6’10” Kentucky freshman. Through yesterday’s games, Davis’ 138 blocks were more than 303 teams. There are 32 conferences in NCAA Division I basketball (345 teams), and if Davis alone was a team, he would lead 14 conferences—including the Pac-12 and WCC—in blocked shots.
Coaches often say “there’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM,’” but which other individuals outperform entire schools? Iona’s Scott Machado is the country’s assist leader, averaging 10.1 per game. His 302 assists this season exceed 22 teams, including BCS-conference schools USC, Utah, and Maryland. Fittingly, Machado out-assisted Maryland, 15-9, in a November match-up.
Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins, the nation’s most prolific three-point shooter, has made more treys (109) than six schools. This is particularly embarrassing for Fairleigh Dickinson, since their shooters have attempted 147 more threes than Jenkins and still haven’t made as many.
The men are not alone in achieving such feats. Baylor’s Brittney Griner, 6’8” and extremely athletic, is on pace to become the all-time Division I leader in blocked shots. Her 155 rejections this season are more than all but 14 teams.
Sometimes a player’s hyper-production is harmful. Take Eastern Washington’s starting forward Laron Griffin. The 6’8” 220-pound senior has fouled out of 13 of his team’s 28 games this season. According to StatSheet.com, there are 187 schools that have not had 13 foul-outs. Griffin started the season with three straight disqualifications and, after hitting a midseason wall, fouled out of six straight contests in February.
It’s a safe bet that Griner and Davis will out-block most college teams for the rest of the season. The more interesting race is between Davis and the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. Through the All Star break, Davis had more blocks than Detroit despite the Pistons having played more games (35 to Kentucky’s 29) and sporting a roster composed entirely of, you know, NBA players.
Detroit had an eight-block outburst last night to push its total to 145. Kentucky plays Georgia tonight. The ball is in your court, Mr. Davis. Feel free to swat it.