Nation's best shot-blockers

Willie Cauley-Stein among best players at rejecting opposing attempts

Updated: May 9, 2014, 11:31 AM ET
By Fran Fraschilla | ESPN Insider

Cauley-SteinPaul Abell/USA TODAY SportsWillie Cauley-Stein blocked 12 percent of opponents' 2-point field goal attempts last season.

The average college basketball team blocked less than 10 percent of 2-point field goal attempts last season. Outpacing that rate is not necessarily a prerequisite for elite team defense, but it helps to have a defender on the front line who can erase his team's mistakes by blocking shots and protecting the rim.

These five guys are among the best shot-blockers in college basketball. Though there is a range in size, athleticism and style, all are effective defenders who should make their marks next season on that end of the court.


Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky Wildcats

I don't know how many minutes Cauley-Stein will average next season because the Wildcats have the nation's deepest frontcourt, but I do know that coach John Calipari will utilize his shot-blocking ability to anchor his defense. This past season, Cauley-Stein blocked 12 percent of Kentucky's opponents' 2-point field goal attempts, good for 12th in the country.

The 7-foot junior is already the sixth all-time shot-blocker in Kentucky history, blocking 166 attempts. Another season like 2013-14 and he could be the Wildcats' all-time best at protecting the rim. He'll likely utilize this summer to improve his offensive game and get stronger, but he'll hang his NBA hat on his defense around the rim.

Fran Fraschilla is a college basketball analyst for ESPN. He formerly was the head coach at Manhattan, St. John's and New Mexico.