Sunday, December 9, 2012

Clemson Part II: Blockage

The Cats shot the ball a season high 62 times on Saturday evening, yet they made only 22 of those shots.  This ties for the second lowest number of field goals made all season.  Their field goal percentage (35.5%) was easily the lowest of the season.   One big reason for our poor shooting on paper was blocks. Clemson had a lot of them.   The Tigers came into the game averaging 5 blocks per contest.  Now, they average 5.9 as a team, good enough to be ranked among the top shot blocking teams in then country (No. 15).  In all, they blocked 12 of our shots.

The Cats were blocked a lot in part because they were banging the ball inside, which is nice to see.  Solomon Hill alone was blocked five times.  He did get two back on the defensive end.   Blocks are not a particularly intuitive stat, so just to show you that 12 is a big number, check out the distribution of our opponents' numbers of blocked shots for the Cats' last 80 games:

This goes back through the 10-11 season, which is as early as my database goes at the moment.  The most a team has blocked us over the last two seasons is 11 times.  That was against Washington in February of 2011.  One week later, UCLA blocked us 10 times.  The most common type of game is one in which we are only blocked once, but anywhere from 0 to 5 is normal.  Twelve is off the charts.  If you are wondering why the Cats shot the ball so poorly against Clemson, twelve of our shots never even had a chance.

So, how many times have the Cats blocked 12 shots on defense over the last 80 games?  You would be correct if you are thinking of a very small number.   The answer is zero.  Over the last 80 games, our team high for blocked shots was against Stanford on the road last season when we got eight.  Clemson deserves a lot of credit on the defensive end.  They ensured that 1 out of 5 of our shot attempts were doomed before they reached the rim.

Parenthetically, Jordan Bachynski alone blocked 12 shots on his way to a triple-double for Arizona State in their win over Cal State Northridge on Friday.  The NCAA individual record for a single game is 13. As a team, the Sun Devil's blocked 13.

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