Even as Jevon Carter aims to repeat as the national defensive player of the year, there’s blossoming debate as to whether he’s even the best defender on his own team.
Sagaba Konate’s nine blocks vs. Baylor on Tuesday night matched the West Virginia record set by D’or Fischer in 2004 against Rhode Island.
“It felt great,” the sophomore center. “I thought I can do more than that.”
Huggins joked after the game that Konate contended he actually had 10 blocks, which would have clinched a triple-double.
With Konate protecting the rim, Baylor shot only 33 percent.
“We needed to do a better job of getting into the paint and kicking to open people or dumping down to bigs,” said Bears coach Scott Drew.
Konate’s 91 blocks are second on the school’s single-season list behind Fischer’s 124 in 2004. Among career totals, Konate ranks sixth (144) with the chance to soon surpass John Flowers and Marcus Goree (157) who are tied for fourth. Fischer’s 190 leads West Virginia all-time.
Konate blocked seven shots in the previous win over Baylor in January.
“He’s a big dude and he is really physical and he has great timing and great instincts,” said Baylor guard Jake Lindsey. “He’s a great defensive presence. To beat someone like that you’ve got to be good. You’ve got to attack him and get him in foul trouble.
“I know when I watch the film there’s going to be a bunch of times where we drove and got him lifted and didn’t drop it off.”