Maybe it has something to do with wearing red uniforms.
Louisville stands a good chance of finishing this season ranked seventh in modern ACC history in blocked shots per game. In doing so the Cardinals would join five red-clad Maryland squads among the top eight collections of rejectors since the stat was officially recognized in 1976.
Parsing of statistics began in earnest in the mid-70s. Until then measures we take for granted today were only tracked by a few enterprising sports information directors. Steals, turnovers, blocks, assists, offensive rebounds all began appearing on official reckonings of game activity and among cumulative season achievement between 1973 and 1977.
Gary Williams’ Terps were masterful blockers of shots, particularly during the 2000s. Deflecting field goal attempts can be an intimidating defensive tactic, not to mention a cause of swallowed pride among opponents. But ill-timed or ill-considered shot-blocking attempts can also result in defenders flinging themselves into the air and thereby out of position to keep opposing players from attacking the basket.
Emphatically blocking shots out of bounds, often accompanied by manful strutting by the likes of UNC’s Brice Johnson earlier this decade, may also deprive a defensive team of a chance to control the ball. The best shotblockers learn to keep the ball within reach.
UL’s Anas Mahmoud leads ACC players so far in 2018 with 83 blocks, 3.07 per game. Last season’s leader, Ben Lammers of Georgia Tech, averaged 3.4 rejections over 37 games, 125 overall. That ranked fifth nationally and seventh in modern ACC history.
Top Shot-Blocking Teams in Modern ACC History
(Through Games of Feb. 17, 2018)