I’ll admit it. I am in love with blocked shots. Dominating shot blockers are rare, and teams that have one seem to be very good defensively as a team. But this was just my subjective opinion until today, when we can look at (on the stats page) how often each of the 330 D1 teams rejects the opposition.

block percentage = (blocked shots) / (opponents’ field goal attempts)

Block percentage is the percentage of an opponent’s shots a team blocks. Sure enough, this stat correlates well to a good defense – better than turnover percentage, anyway. Among the top 30 in block percentage are seven of the top 15 defenses in the nation. None of the top 15 defenses can be found in the bottom 129 of this stat. Not surprisingly, UConn dominates this metric, sending back one shot for every seven the opposition attempts.

As usual, there are some anomalies:

             Adj Def   Block %
Team          Eff Rk    Rank 
UNC              1      117 
Washington St.   2      169 
Oklahoma St.     9      201 
Colorado       183       17 
Iona           177       13 
Fairfield      119        2 

As a team in a power conference, you can have a great defense without blocking a lot of shots, but it’s almost impossible to block a lot of shots and not have a great defense. Colorado is the only power (top six) conference member in the top 90 in block percentage but in the bottom half of the adjusted defensive ratings.