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Jeff Withey's Pursuit of the Kansas Career Blocks Record

Jeff Withey's is closing in on a huge milestone - the school record for blocked shots in a career

Jamie Squire

For just about a year now I have talked about Jeff Withey's defensive prowess. He led the nation in block percentage last year and is second this year (though I will be very surprised if he doesn't end up number 1. And regardless he will be the most valuable shot blocker considering the current #1 guy in block percentage plays in fewer than two thirds of his team's minutes). But while block percentage is more indicative of how good he is at shot blocking, raw totals are much more fun to look at.

Withey, who transferred from Arizona before playing a game in Tucson, currently has 220 blocked shots for his career. Greg Ostertag has the school record for blocked shots at 258, putting Withey's just 38 shy of the Kansas record for career blocks. Withey has 55 this year already, making it all but certain that he will break Ostertag's record sometime in the second half of the season (although he had just one against Ohio State and two against Michigan State, so he has done an overwhelming amount of his work against KU's cupcakes, which is mildly worrisome from a blocks standpoint.*)

*not from a defensive standpoint though. I think we all saw how much his mere presence affected the Ohio State game.

Withey is currently averaging exactly 5 blocks per game, putting him 8 games away from the record, meaning he would set it January 26th at home against Oklahoma. However, just for fun let's take a closer look at how the upcoming opponents do in terms of getting blocked and try to make an educated guess as to when Withey will break the record.

Opponent 3pa/fga blocked%
American 33.3 (169th) 13% (316th)
Temple 37.8 (75th) 8.4% (121st)
Iowa State 39.4 (47th) 7.4 (68th)
Texas Tech 32.9 (181st) 6.1%(20th)
Baylor 33.8 (156th) 6.5% (32nd)
Texas 29.6 (249th) 7.8%(86th)
Kansas State 28.4 (274th) 10.5% (236th)
Oklahoma 27.3 (294th) 5.7% (11th)
West Virginia 27.1 (296th) 7.4% (68th)
Oklahoma State 34.4 (132nd) 5.9% (13th)
TCU 20.7 (343rd) 6.3% (27th)
Oklahoma 27.3 (294th) 5.7% (11th)
Kansas State 28.4 (274th) 10.5% (236th)

Even though Kansas plays some pretty bad offensive teams coming up (looking at you, Texas Tech), they do not play a lot of teams who get their shots blocked a lot, and in the first few games they do not play teams who take a ton of threes either. If he doesn't have a 5 or 6 block night against American he will be behind the eight ball a bit, but I feel pretty confident in saying he will break the record by the time the Kansas State game at home happens.

If Withey gets just 3 blocks per game, that will have him breaking the record February 11th at home against Kansas State. 2.5 per game would have him breaking it at home against TCU on February 23rd. I'm going to be a bit more optimistic and say that he will do it at TCU on February 6th, which means he needs to average just over 3.5 blocks per game until then to make it happen. Feel free to leave your respective guesses in the comments and maybe we can make some sort of contest out of it.