By now, you should be more than familiar with our series of regularly updating leaderboards for various Marquette Golden Eagles sports accomplishments. Keep checking back to that link in the previous sentence for our charts as the seasons continue to churn through history and MU’s various teams continue to create new memories and accomplishments.
This time around, we’re going to take a look at the single season blocks record in men’s basketball. It’s time to update this bad boy for the 2021-22 season and talk about Kur Kuath.
Over the past 20 years, it’s been rare for Marquette to have a truly great shot blocker. We saw a run in the 1990s of guys who could erase shots in the air starting with Jim McIlvaine completely eradicating all previous records with the four best seasons in program history to that point, and he was followed close behind by Amal McCaskill and Faisal Abraham, both of whom are in the top 10 more than once. Chris Otule was the first 21st Century guy to break into the top 10 all-time, and he only managed to tie for what was 10th place at the time. Henry Ellenson came close, recording 49 blocks in his one year in Milwaukee. Luke Fischer almost made it into the top 10 twice, falling just two blocks shy in both his senior year and sophomore year. Fischer’s sophomore season is probably technically the best shotblocking year that Marquette fans have seen since 1997, as he had to sit out eight games because of the NCAA’s transfer rules. Extrapolated for the whole season, Fischer would have landed in Marquette’s top seven all-time with those extra eight games. We can’t ignore what Theo John did during his Marquette career, as he recorded two of the 12 best blocked shot seasons in Marquette history. We’re sadly left wondering what would have happened with his final year in blue and gold were it not for the coronavirus shortened season and the knee injury that limited him to “only” 40 blocks at a 1.5 per game pace.
That brings us to the 2021-22 season, and yeah, it’s early December and we’re rebooting this for Kur Kuath. Even after recording zero blocks in his 10 minutes of action against Wisconsin, Kuath has 25 blocks already this season in just nine games. That leaves him just 30 shy — yes, he’s already almost halfway there — of the three-way tie for the 10th most blocks in any Marquette season ever. At this rate, he’ll pass the trio of Amal McCaskill, Chris Otule, and Theo John to get into the top 10 sometime before the spring semester starts on Marquette’s campus. His current pace of 2.8 blocks per game has Kuath on track for another 64 swats over MU’s final two non-conference games, the 20 game Big East schedule, and the conference tournament game that’s guaranteed to show up on the schedule. That would give him 89 blocks this season.
Jim McIlvaine is the only Marquette player to ever record more than 85 blocks in a season. Kuath might/should/does have a shot at being the second guy to ever hit 90 in a year.
If the current Marquette students out there are wondering what it was like to have a defensively dominant center like Jim McIlvaine on the floor, someone who had the potential to record 100 blocks in a year.... well, quite honestly, you’ve been watching it to this point of the season. Can Kur Kuath keep it up? I’m sure he can, so the only real question is where does he eventually end up on this list?
Here’s what the list looks like following Marquette’s January 23rd game against #20 Xavier.
Marquette Men’s Basketball Single Season Blocks Chart