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Yor Anei isn’t letting anything get past him

It looks as if Oklahoma State has the big man they need in Yor Anei.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

First off I’ll start with this because it’s accurate:

Yor Anei had one of the best games of his young career Wednesday night in the Cowboys’ road upset of Baylor. He tied his season-high for blocks in a game with six, went a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe, and was OSU’s second leading scorer at 14 points, his sixth double-digit scoring game of the season

Most importantly though, is that Anei also broke a record; most blocks in a season by a freshman. He broke the record with his 66th block, then kept it going, ending the night with a season total of 70. This puts him in a tie for third with Cowboy legend Bryant Reeves for most blocks in a season.

Not just that, he’s one of the best shot-blockers in the country, which is having a major effect for OSU.

From the Tulsa World:

Of qualified players, Anei’s block percentage is 10th in the country, second in the Big 12 and second among freshmen. Per KenPom, block percentage is calculated as blocked shots-per-2-point attempts while a player is on the floor.

For a freshman to be able to come into a program and make an immediate impact like Anei has with his skills underneath the basket is rare. He’s made history and it’s only his first year on campus.

His defensive presence has really helped Oklahoma State this season. Yes, they have still lost quite a few games but when he can be an active part of the game it makes a difference on how Oklahoma State looks defensively.

Anei has exceeded expectations from where he was when he first got here. When a lot of people (including some of our own *cough* Joel *cough*) first saw him, they thought he was going to need some time to develop into the big man Oklahoma State needed. He has done everything he needs to to become a better player and it’s paying off for him as he’s seen an improvement in his game. For one thing his fouling has significantly improved throughout this course of the season. He’s learning where he needs to be in order to defend without drawing a whistle.

With everything that Oklahoma State has faced this season, Anei has had a much bigger role this year than was originally anticipated and has had to take on more responsibilities. And he’s thrived averaging 2.3 blocks per game over the course of this season. He taken the adversity this season has thrown at this team with stride and worked hard to make sure that he can contribute to this team. The fact that he’s getting experience earlier that anticipated will help Oklahoma State in the long run when they have a player that can do what he can do underneath the rim that’s got Big 12 games underneath him. It’s been a long time since Oklahoma State has had a player like him.

Check this out for example:

Yes, he still kind of looks like a gazelle when he runs, but he got down the court and underneath the hoop to deny Baylor the bucket and that’s what matters.

Anei has taken the bull by the horns this season and it’s only going to get better with more experience.