April 2, 2012

NCAA Final: The New Paul Mokeski

One might think that shotblocking in basketball would be a skill that correlates well with other skills like scoring and rebounding. And for some all-around talents like Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson, it does. But much of the time, it mostly just correlates with height, if anything. It seems like more of a knack than a skill. As a playground player, for example, I couldn't rebound, couldn't jump, and couldn't play offense with my back to the basket, but I could block shots. 

Kansas, the underdog in tonight's NCAA final game against Kentucky, has another late-blooming tall white guy in the tradition of Paul Mokeski, Jeff Whithey, who has average 5.4 blocked shots in the five tournament games so far.

21 comments:

Justin said...

Blocks are indicative of good reaction time and floor positioning, both of which are boosted by high IQ.

Being athletic is also a sin qua non of an excellent shot blocker.

Being tall without being athletic just means you will commit a lot of fouls trying to block shots. Being athletic without being intelligent will result in the same.

not a hacker said...

Over the last 5-6 years, the best shot blockers in the NBA were Rony Turiaf and Adonal Foyle, both of whom were less than 6'9".

Truth said...

" Blocks are indicative of good reaction time and floor positioning, both of which are boosted by high IQ."

Yup, JeVale McGee is Mensa

Dutch Boy said...

Withey credits his shot-blocking ability to his backround as a high school volleyball player.

dave chamberlin said...

Height for rebounding is far more accurately measured not by your height but by how far over your head you can reach with your hands, it is called reach and it is closely correlated with wingspan. You will see year after year that the first picks in the draft have a freakish wingspan, it is up to six inches more than their actual height. I have no idea why height is emphasized over the rather obscure reach measurement because you don't rebound with your head but with your hands extended over your head. Players such as Kevin Durant, and Dwight Howard play larger than their height because of freakishly long arms.

Anonymous said...

Truth said...
" Blocks are indicative of good reaction time and floor positioning, both of which are boosted by high IQ."

Yup, JeVale McGee is Mensa


Take that racist bs somewhere else.

Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

Yup, JeVale McGee is Mensa

Judging from the handful of interviews I've heard, Anthony Davis of Kentucky might actually be retarded.

He's a helluva basketball player - if he stays healthy, then he shouldn't have any problem making the Naismith HoF - but wow, his interviews sound like a kid with an IQ in maybe the 70s or even the 60s.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, I just turned on the NCAA game to check the score and damned if POTUS isn't shilling for votes.

Can't a person even watch a sports broadcast w/out him sticking his nose in it?

Truth said...

What's racist? He's a dumbshit.

Luke Lea said...

Boring game. Kentucky is faceless but overpowering. Indiana was the only team that matched up well and the first three and a half quarters of their game was basketball at its finest.

The One and Done has ruined college basketball. I think it also hurts the pro game at the box office (or rather on tv) because unless you live in a city with a franchise you never get to know the players. Does that make sense?

john marzan said...

paul mokeski? or mark eaton of utah?

jj said...

I wish people would invent new sports. I'm bored with the existing sports. There was such a rush of creativity 100-150 years ago when the first boys schools were established. And it's been stasis pretty much ever since.

There are surprisingly few types of team sports.

There are the ones where you have to get the ball over a line -- football, rugby, etc.

The ones where you put the ball/object past a goalie who guards the net - soccer, hockey, water polo, lacrosse, field hockey, team handball.

Basketball's innovation was to put the net so high it wasn't really possible to have a goalie and to make goal tending illegal.

There are the hit the ball over the net games and not let it bounce N (where N=1 or 2) times- volleyball, tennis, ping pong, badminton,

Oh, and the hit the ball and run to a safe base games - baseball, cricket, kickball.

I have noticed that the sports with goalies have big next while the sports without goalies like basketball and golf make the target just slightly bigger than the ball. I find games with goalies boring.

Hockey, soccer, and lacrosse should try a variant without a goalie but with a very small and hard to hit target. If you make it small enough you have low scoring. If you make it big enough you can score like basketball. People like scoring so I'd recommend making it pretty big to boost scoring.

Steve Sailer said...

Right, we need new team sports. At present, the future looks like everywhere outside the U.S., Canada, Australia, and India will wind up as a soccer monoculture. Soccer is a good game, but foot-eye coordination is a pretty bad basis for the global monopoly sport.

jj said...

Aussie Rules is a fun rugby variant. But can't spread outside Australia since it's called Aussie Rules.

I don't understand why the countries who aren't good at soccer keep obsessively playing it. After a 100+ years of being no better than the 35th or 54th best country at a sport -- why not just give up? Make up some weird national variant and be the best at that. Isn't that more fun?

I get a kick out of obscure sports and tried to watch Team Handball. It's pretty big in Europe. But it just looks like a slow hockey power play to me. The Danes seem to love it though.

Some guys in Philly invented a sport they called Kronum a few years ago. They have youtube videos. Tried to be a combo of basketball, soccer, and handball.

I've also long been surprised that no indoor variant of baseball was ever developed. All these arenas with empty seats looking for sporting events to fill them up. Yet hockey and basketball are pretty much it.

Drunk Idiot said...

Anonymous (4/2/12 7:37 PM) said...

"Jeez, I just turned on the NCAA game to check the score and damned if POTUS isn't shilling for votes.

Can't a person even watch a sports broadcast w/out him sticking his nose in it?
"

Yeah. Saw that. It was pretty annoying, but he's done a halftime presentation at each Final Four since he's been president. Can't imagine that G.W. Bush would have been given the time by CBS if he'd requested it back when he was president (not that he would have had any business being there either ... sports should be a politics-free zone).

The funny part of the Obama basketball chat was watching the schtick with him teaching basketball skills to those schoolgirls. When he was teaching them shooting basics, he had his hands misplaced on the ball. His guide hand was under the ball and his shooting hand was on top. That's one of the most common mistakes kids make when learning basketball. If you do that, your elbow will stick WAY out (which it's not supposed to do). No wonder the balla-in-chief's supposedly "smooth jump shot" always looks so funky. A shooter is supposed to have the ball secured in a tight shooting pocket, but when Obama shoots, he's got wilder hand and arm movements than the voguers in Paris is Burning.

That's pretty emblematic of Obama's presidency though: always lecturing and pushing the American people to change their unenlightened ways, while often being tragically out of his depth on the "teachable moment" of the day himself. It's like the time he was lecturing the press on the economy and he started trying to authoritatively explain P/E ratios ... even though he obviously didn't know what they were, and kept calling them "profits and earnings ratios".

Anonymous said...

jj: I wish people would invent new sports. I'm bored with the existing sports. There was such a rush of creativity 100-150 years ago...

Have you seen the Winter X-Games?!?

Dudes were popping 360's on SNOW-MOBILES.

jj: There are surprisingly few types of team sports.

Steve Sailer: Right, we need new team sports.

Not sure how you make "team sports" out of dudes on snow-mobiles.

Short of maybe Stalin invading Finland...

jody said...

i don't pay attention to NCAA basketball, but according to what i read here, withey did set the NCAA tournament record last night, getting 31 blocks total.

also it looks like when he was in man defense against davis, he held him to 1-10 shooting. davis only scored when withey was off the court. so he held the NCAA player of the year scoreless, essentially. that's just one game but it was a good one.

jody said...

"The One and Done has ruined college basketball. I think it also hurts the pro game at the box office (or rather on tv) because unless you live in a city with a franchise you never get to know the players. Does that make sense?"

completely the opposite in my opinion. the rule is good for both the NBA and NCAA.

"I wish people would invent new sports. I'm bored with the existing sports. There was such a rush of creativity 100-150 years ago when the first boys schools were established. And it's been stasis pretty much ever since."

then tell those "vibrant" people, who make up 90% of humans, to start developing new sports. it gets old for whitey, coming up with every single thing on earth. including every team sport in international league play in 2012.

every sport you listed was developed by boring, dreadfully unvibrant european men. how about somebody else comes up with new sport for a change? interesting you identified a period of peak sports development creativity - initiated 100% by the group we're told today is the least important, least valuable in the world.

when white guys enter a golden age of development and invention and a flurry of activity goes on, with tons of new stuff emerging, it helps all humans. when other groups start doing this...well, let me know when that happens. ever.

the next sport that somebody other than european men come up with, which turns into a league where the players are paid over 1 million dollars a year, will be the first.

dave chamberlin said...

The aztecs had a very interesting sport. It involved a long line of women in front of a long line of men. They would start running and the men had to have sex with every women they passed that wasn't already in the act. The crowd cheered uproariously when the men started failing in thier later attempts. OK, it's rediculous, but it is a true story, that was a favorite form of entertainment for Aztecs. They also had a ball game where it was incredibly hard to score but once you did the players on the team that scored would pursue the then fleeing crowd and if they caught anybody they would then own all of their worldly possessions. Truly odd games, be careful what you wish for with new games.

Truth said...

"They would start running and the men had to have sex with every women they passed that wasn't already in the act."

League MVP, right here, and we haven't even chosen up sides yet.

dave chamberlin said...

"league MVP. right here, and haven't even chosen up sides yet."


I hope the sex race games commissioner doesn't let people have an option as to what side they are on, the sport is kinky enough without that. Besides if men got into the front line the popularity of the sport would plummet, I know I wouldn't watch it.