by Conor Gereg


Modern basketball is changing. The reliance on the three point shot is far more widespread and, in turn, tapered blocked shots. A new age of offense has pulled defenders away from the hoop where shots can no longer be swallowed up by the human flyswatters that roam near the basket. 

A look back over the previous eight seasons of college basketball and there’s a looming trend when it comes to blocked shots: they’re disappearing. Here’s a look at blocked shot percentage, a formula created by Ken Pomeroy that reflects the rate of shots blocked per game. When this factor is juxtaposed with percentage of three pointers attempted it becomes clear that as the game moves further away from the basket, the opportunities to block shots precipitously declines. 


Blocked Shot %

Percentage of 3-PT taken/Game



30.9 %























When the 2021-2022 season tips this fall it will likely commence the sixth straight season where more than 30% of all field-goal attempts come from beyond the arc. In an era where the blocked shot is trending more anomalous than it is commonplace, today we’ll profile five players who’ll ensure that blocked shot will be alive and well for at least another season. All hail the shot-swatters. 

Ike Obiagu – Senior – Seton Hall 

Kevin Willard’s reloaded Pirates team will have familiar protection guarding the basket with Obiagu’s return for a senior season. A leviathan 7’2”, 270, Obiagu’s presence features more than just imposing size, Obiagu has a knack for the ball, leading the Big East last season in Blocked Shot Percentage, finishing 4th nationally. The biggest growth area for the Seton Hall big man? His ability to defend the rim and stay out of foul trouble. Obiagu averaged 4.2 fouls/40 minutes, a welcome improvement off of his sophomore year (6.9 fouls/40). There are a ton of variables in Kevin Willard’s game plan this year but Obiagu’s impact is one that’s remarkably dependable. 

Christian Koloko – Junior – Arizona 

Newly minted head coach Tommy Lloyd inherits one of the nation’s most efficient shot blockers with junior center, Christian Koloko. As an assistant under Mark Few at Gonzaga, Lloyd’s defensive schemes landed the Zags an uninspiring 262nd in the nation in Blocked Shot Percentage which makes having Koloko a welcome sight as a defensive backstop in Lloyd’s blueprint. A former top-100 recruit from the 2019 class, Koloko has seen 20+ minutes of action just nine times in his two years for the Wildcats. Despite limited minutes, Koloko has displayed elite instincts for blocking shots (4.1 blocks/40 minutes in 2019-2020) which will make him a powerful defensive deterrent for a new regime in Tucson. 

Dimon Carrigan – Senior – West Virginia 

Out is Oscar Tshiebwe who’ll be headed to Kentucky this season and in comes Dimon Carrigan, a shot-blocking menace who rejected 5.2 blocks/40 minutes in 2020-2021. Carrigan, a transfer, cracked the starting lineup at Florida International last season, his second at FIU following a JuCo year. Despite earning a spot in the lineup in Year 2, Carrigan logged only 19.4 MPG but in his limited action, he showed why he was a high-profile recruit at one point while he was a coveted prospect from the Boston area prep, Cambridge Rindge & Latin. West Virginia has a readymade interior presence in Carrigan who’s remarkably consistent with what he offers, blocking a shot in 18 of 20 games last year, and considering the Mountaineers finished 217th in blocked shots, Carrigan offers a welcome lift for Huggins’ defense. 

Isaiah Whaley – Senior – UConn 

Whaley’s return for a 5th year in Storrs not only vaulted the Huskies into a consensus top-25 team but also entrenches Dan Hurley’s group as an elite defensive unit yet again. Whaley, the Big East co-Defensive Player of the Year, blocked 10.59% of all shots last year, good for 20th in the nation. During Hurley’s second year as coach, he inserted Whaley into the starting rotation and since then the Huskies have grown into a top-flight team defense. A look back at UConn’s growth is in no small part due to Whaley’s development. 


Points Allowed/100 Defensive Possessions, per KenPom

Defensive Efficiency National Rank











Whaley will have plenty of help down low this year as he’ll be flanked by a healthy Akok Akok (28th in Block% in 2019-2020), Adama Sanogo (60th in Block%), and 6’10” freshman Samson Johnson. 

Osun Osunniyi – Senior – St. Bonaventure 

Adding more than 35 points of muscle over the past three seasons, Osunniyi is a serious factor in why the Bonnies are a consensus top 25 team. Osunniyi, a Putnam Science Academy (CT) product, played in the shadow of teammate Hamidou Diallo, an eventual Kentucky commit, which allowed Mark Schmidt to scoop up the 6’10” big man and develop him into one of the nation’s most feared shot blockers whose 78” wingspan helped him to earn the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year award last year. Osunniyi has finished among the nation’s top 22 in KenPom’s Blocked Shot Percentage in each of his collegiate seasons and there’s little doubt he’ll once again return to that level as a senior. Circle your calendars for a shot-blocking party on December 11th when Osunniyi and UConn’s Isaiah Whaley face off at the Prudential Center in the Never Forget Classic.