To break an all-time school record as a freshman is great, but to do it only nineteen games into your collegiate career is nothing short of remarkable.
Tuesday night freshman forward Anthony Davis catapulted himself ahead of fellow Cats Andre Riddick and Melvin Turpin to take sole possession of the all-time single season blocks record. Both Riddick and Turpin held the record with 83 blocks in their respective seasons. Davis surpassed them both with 5:02 left in the first half of Kentucky’s 86-63 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks, and at that point Davis didn’t even know he had just made history.
“I didn’t even know how many blocks I had,” Davis said. “I can’t keep up. The game goes so fast. I just wanted to block every shot so they don’t have a potential to score.”
Davis had seven blocks in the game pushing his season total to 89, an average of 4.7 a game. With his outstanding shot blocking ability he forces opposing offenses to find other ways to score the basketball and allows his teammates to feel incredibly comfortable on the defensive end of the floor. Kentucky is currently leading the nation in blocked shots and is second nationally in opponent field goal percentage at 35.6%.
On his record breaking block night Davis also contributed 27 points and 14 rebounds capping off one of his best performances as a Wildcat. Davis continues to flirt with achieving the first triple-double in Kentucky history coming up only three blocks short in yesterday’s game.
Davis finished 10 of 12 from the field and 7 for 8 from the foul line, his best game with at least 10 attempts. He does all of this without plays being actually called for him. Most of his points come off of offensive rebound put backs and fast break alley-oops. Coach John Calipari compared his ability to finish broken plays to his former player Marcus Camby.
“I’ve coached Marcus Camby, and Bruiser Flint called me the other day and said this kid does what Marcus Camby did for us. He clears up all your errors, and he’s back there.”
Calipari continued, “This kid does the same. He also does it in the press attack. Now all of a sudden you make any kind of mistake, and we’re throwing it to him and he’s dunking the ball. That’s a tough one to deal with.”
There’s no telling where Davis can take this block record. If he continues on this pace he will block 178 shots which would rank 6th in NCAA history , 5th on Kentucky’s career list, and set SEC season record.