Mon Jan 28 12:11am EST
Yeah, we're talking about it. Yeah, we note that Nerlens Noel has 83 blocks through 19 games, an insane pace that would put him near the top of the NCAA freshman record books.
But we're not talking about it ENOUGH.
And it's because of Anthony Davis.
Remember around this time last year, when Davis went skyrocketing into his own stratosphere of the Kentucky single-season blocks record list? Remember how many articles, how many TV segments, how many pictures were devoted to his record-breaking accomplishments?
Well, Noel has nearly done the same thing. (Not to mention he's recording steals at a near-school record pace, as well.)
Let's pretend Davis and his records didn't exist yet. Here's what would be happening: Noel would have just tied the UK single-season record of 83 blocks in his 19th game. The other two record holders took 31 and 34 games to reach that mark.
Compared to Davis, Noel is just a slight tick behind his production. This time last year, Davis had six more blocks than Noel's recorded. Six. That's one-third less of a block per game.
"Nah, no chart," Noel said when asked if he keeps up with his blocks compared to Davis'. "I'm just playing my own game. I think I've really learned, especially under coach Cal, making sure I stay disciplined and on my feet. I think I've come a long way with it, just learning at this level."
Yet we're expending a fraction of the ink, airtime and words on Noel's swats.
Yeah, it makes sense. We're suffering from recency bias. Noel is coming RIGHT ON the heels of Davis' outlandish season.Because Davis just did it -- did it better, actually -- the type of season Noel is having has been normalized.
It shouldn't be.