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Reader Correction!

Contrary to the DBR write-up on the game against W&M yesterday, the stat crew didn't miss a block shot for Dunleavy. On the play you are thinking of, Mike swatted the ball out of the shooter's hands. According to the Statistician's Manual (yes, there is one), that is not a block (sic) shot.

Section 7 of the NCAA Basketball Statisticians' Manual reads: "A blocked shot is credited to a player any time the player appreciably alters the flight of [a field goal attempt] and the shot is not made. the shot clearly must have left the hand of the shooter, and there must not be any goaltending. if there is doubt about whether the ball was in flight, the interpretation shall be that it was not [emphasis added]."

In this case, the ball appeared to have never left the shooter's hands. Because Mike recovered the ball, he was credited with a steal, and the shooter was charged with a turnover. Had Mike not recovered the ball and the ball remained in W&M's possession, it would have counted as nothing. The rule on blocked shots is probably the most misunderstood statistical rule in basketball.

One more comment on yesterday's game. DBR wrote:

...there were two W&M students who made the trip who were hilarious...they argued every call and screamed at the ref constantly....

Sitting directly in front of those two jerks, I can assure you it was not hilarious. For the second time this season I was truly concerned about the behavior of visiting fans to the point of being ready to summon a stadium official. I find it fascinating that visiting fans come into Cameron, not to cheer on their own team but to spend the whole game screaming obscenities at the officials or Duke players.