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Willie Cauley-Stein blocks update: The blocks are drying up


Willie Cauley-Stein had one block Saturday against Vanderbilt. It wasn’t a season low; he had no blocks in the second game of the season against Northern Kentucky. Still, the last four games have tied a season-low drought of blocked shots for the Wildcats’ center. He has eight blocks in Kentucky’s last four games. Combine any four consecutive games in UK’s first 15 games, and the only other streak to produce eight blocks were games Nos. 2-5 (no blocks vs. NKU, two blocks vs. Michigan State, four blocks vs. Robert Morris and one block vs. Texas Arlington).

He’s now 11 blocks behind Anthony Davis’ pace, and Davis is pulling away. Through 15 games, Cauley-Stein’s 56 blocks are tied with Nerlens Noel’s pace. In Game 16, Noel had six blocks, and he had seven in Game 17. So Cauley-Stein better have some big games coming up to hold pace and warrant this series of updates to continue publication. More dangerously, his block percentage is nearing its season low, currently at 12.8 percent. That’s still 14th in Division I, but it’s well below where Davis (13.8) and Noel (13.2) finished.

Next up for Kentucky is Arkansas, and it doesn’t look good for Cauley-Stein. The Razorbacks have a 5.4 offensive block percentage. That means 5.4 percent of their total 2-point field-goal attempts get blocked, which is third-best in Division I. They’re actually tied with Louisville at 5.4 percent; Kentucky had four blocks against the Cardinals, and Cauley-Stein had three of those.

So again, who knows? I predicted Cauley-Stein would have approx. 1 billion blocks against Vanderbilt, and he had 999,999,999 fewer than that, well outside my usual margin for error. Here’s the updated chart. Click to embiggen.

0113 blocks


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