As always, it’s time for another edition of…
The Weekly Fives
What is the one surefire way in basketball to instill fear into the hearts of your opponents? to completely deny them the chance to score? What is the one way to singlehandedly prevent a shot from going into the basket? That’s right – blocks. Blocking may be the most exciting stat in basketball behind points, as it is not only thrilling to watch, but can make a huge difference in the success of a team. A big man who can play above the rim is always welcome on a basketball team, at all levels across the world.
As it stands now, only one player has ever averaged more than five blocks per game over a single season in the NBA. That player, Mark Eaton, a 7’4 monster from UCLA, averaged 5.56 BPG for the Utah Jazz in the 1985 season. Similarly to steals, blocks weren’t actually recorded until the 1973 NBA season, and since then, the big men across the league have been dominant in this category. Behind Eaton, 7’7 mammoth Manute Bol averaged 4.96 BPG for the Wizards in 1986. Currently, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz holds the season high for blocks per game, averaging over 2.5 a game. However, Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis isn’t far behind, at 2.48 BPG.
Locally, Creighton’s Justin Patton, the seven foot Omaha native, has 1.8 BPG to his name. Zach Pirog of Omaha also averages a block per game, an impressive stat at the college level. The blocks leader in the NCAA is Liam Thomas from Nicholls, with an astounding 3.7 blocks per game!
On the high school level, both Brady Heiman of Platteview and Jeffrey Widhelm of D.C. West have over 80 blocks on the season, averaging over four per game each. Overall, blocking on the high school level can be very hard, on account of the smaller size of the post players. Also, fouls tend to be called easier on driving plays and fast breaks in high school, negating any possible block attempts along the way. However, these two performers have shown extreme poise in racking up the blocks this season.
- Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz (2.51 BPG)
- Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans (2.48 BPG)
- Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers (2.19 BPG)
- Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat (2.04 BPG)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia 76ers (2.00 BPG)
- Justin Patton, Creighton (1.8 BPG)
- Zach Pirog, Omaha (1.0 BPG)
- Michael Jacobson, Nebraska (0.96 BPG)
- Isaiah Roby, Nebraska (0.96 BPG)
- Tre’Shawn Thurman, Omaha (0.81 BPG)
- Brady Heiman, Platteview (4.7 BPG)
- Jeffrey Widhelm, Douglas County West (4.3 BPG)
- Ed Chang, Papillion-LaVista (3.7 BPG)
- Will Gallagher, Kenesaw (3.2 BPG)
- Micah Dolnicek, Lawrence-Nelson (3.1 BPG)
(Stats as of 2/12/17)
As always, Home Court Advantage is your place for basketball at all levels.
Senior App Associate, Nebraska
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, COJMC