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Barry Jacobs On Blocked Shots!

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ACC leadership in blocked shots is based on per-game average, a coarse measure. Last year's leader in total blocks, Florida State's Solomon Alabi, had 75 rejections in 32 games, 2.3 per contest.

ACC Leaders in Fewest Minutes Played Per Blocked Shot
(Minimum 100 Minutes Played, Through Games of Jan. 4, 2011)
Per Min. Player, School No. Mins Per Game
6.3 Ty Walker, WF 52 327 3.7
7.9 John Henson, WF 40 316 2.9
8.0 Bernard James, FS 34 273 2.3
9.3 Jerai Grant, C 40 373 2.7
9.4 Daniel Miller, GT 28 263 2.2
10.8 Ryan Kelly, D 20 215 1.5
12.9 C.J. Leslie, NS 24 309 1.8
14.0 Carson Desrosisers, WF 14 196 1.1
14.2 Chris Singleton, FS 32 454 2.1
14.6 Xavier Gibson, FS 17 248 1.3
14.7 Mason Plumlee, D 21 309 1.6
15.9 Dino Gregory, M 24 381 1.8

But Alabi was only third among ACC regulars in the more revealing rate of minutes played per block (one per 10.9). By that measure, the 2010 league leader in stuffing opponents' field goal tries was North Carolina's John Henson. The looong-armed freshman, who played much of the season on the wing, blocked a shot every 9.7 minutes he was on the floor. Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors, another freshman, was second in rate of minutes per block with one every 13.4.

So far, five players are recording rejections at a faster rate than anyone achieved last season, although clearly the competition is about to get a lot tougher.

The leader after 14 games is Wake Forest junior Ty Walker, a 7-footer who previously rode the bench. Entering this season the Wilmington, N.C., resident had played a combined 90 minutes in two years, and likely would have remained an afterthought had 6-11 Tony Woods not been invited to leave school after a scuffle with his girlfriend.

Walker has 52 blocks, one every 6.3 minutes played. At his current rate, with 18 games likely remaining for the Demon Deacons, he projects to accumulate 126 blocks. (That assumes only one Wake game in the ACC Tournament.)

The last ACC player to reject more than 126 shots in a season, or to surpass 3.7 blocks per game, was Duke's Sheldon Williams in 2006. That year "The Landlord" had 137 blocks, 3.8 per game and one every 8.7 minutes played.

Note that, among current players, Duke's Ryan Kelly is sixth-fastest to block a shot but only 10th in per-game average. Kelly also was tied with Kyle Singler through Jan. 4 for the team lead in charges taken (8), an esoteric stat reported by few other schools but further indicative of the sophomore's defensive value.

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