(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)
By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has recorded nine triple-doubles in 20 games this NBA season. Westbrook is averaging a triple-double later in the season than any player since Oscar Robertson in 1963-64.
Want a Bonaventure example of how impressive the 28-year-old’s scoring, passing and rebounding has been? In 2,305 games spanning 97 years, no St. Bonaventure men’s basketball player has ever achieved a triple-double. The women’s program has played 1,140 games, with just one such performance.
On Feb. 24, 2004, then-sophomore Priscilla Edwards scored 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 10 assists in a 75-72 double overtime win over Richmond in Bona’s home finale. Two of Edwards’s 10 points were on a layup that tied the game at 62 with 52 seconds left in the first OT. In a 9-19 season that lacked many highlights, it was a quiet but historic feat.
Edwards, now Providence’s associate head coach former Bona coach Jim Crowley, was surprised that she still owns the only such stat line in school history.
“Wow, I thought for sure that Marques Green, Ahmad Smith, somebody would get one,” she said.
“Afterwards, (sports information director) Pat Pierson came over and was going crazy,” she recalled. “When he said I had a triple double I (legitimately) thought it was with turnovers.”
A few men’s players have come very close to the mark.
Andrew Nicholson was two blocks shy in a win over Princeton on December 6, 2008, followed by a game 24 days later when he was two rebounds and a block short in a victory over Bucknell. He was also two swatted shots away in the 2012 Atlantic 10 title game against Xavier.
Demetrius Conger, Nicholson’s teammate during that 2012 run, was two assists away from a triple-double in the A-10 semifinals against UMass.
In the 2002-03 season, the 5-foot-7 Green had 10 double-doubles, including a 32-point, 10-assist, six-rebound performance in an overtime win over George Washington. Smith had the points and boards on multiple occasions (15 and 11 against Duquesne, 15 and 15 against St. Joe’s, 12 and 11 against West Virginia).
Blocks were first recorded in 1975, so there is no record of how many shots Bob Lanier sent away in his college career. The 6-foot-10 big man’s career averages of 27.6 points and 15.7 rebounds a game can support the theory that he was at least close to a triple-double on multiple occasions.
What makes the accomplishment so difficult to attain in the college game? Edwards cited style of play, which is different in the NBA and WNBA, as well as the amount of high-level shooters, which is more abundant in the pro ranks.
“We were playing a five-out style at the time,” Edwards noted. “And I was lucky enough to have really good shooters like Katelyn Murray. Also, it requires a lot of all-around effort. Crashing the boards, constantly attacking the paint, etc.
“The NBA especially now has way more shooters and athletes. So guys like Russell Westbrook and LeBron James can get those numbers a lot easier. It’s still an incredible feat to do it on any level though.”
Edwards predicted that the next SBU triple-double could come sometime soon.
“I think Jay Adams can get it,” she said. “My bet is on him.”