Yesterday, BYU basketball released an updated record book that includes the 2016-17 season.
I was very excited about this.
I quickly looked through to see that to record book had been updated. Nick Emery’s BYU record for consecutive games with a made 3-point field goal? It was there. Eric Mika’s reaching 9th all-time in consecutive double-figure scoring games with 35 straight? There. Eric Mika’s 7 consecutive double-doubles? Not there.
So, I tweeted.
I found another edit. Eric Mika recorded 7 consecutive double-doubles last season from 12/31/16-1/21/17. Tying the great John Fairchild. pic.twitter.com/zq5MBmlEQW— Keith Shirts (@CougarCast) August 1, 2017
It will be updated soon, I’m sure.
The point is, I love the history of BYU basketball. I’m a maniac about the record book and probably go through it a dozen times a year.
So on the occasion of the newly released record book, I began to wonder. What are the most difficult BYU hoops record to break? After consulting briefly with Steve Pierce (a.k.a. @PostJimmer), here are my offerings in order.
#1 Shawn Bradley’s 5.2 blocks per game average.
This is a bonkers record.
As a freshman, Shawn Bradley led the nation in blocked shots swatting away 177 offerings. Dating back to the 1985-86 season, only 7 players have blocked more shots in a single season. The list includes long-time NBA players like Anthony Davis, Adonal Foyle, Hassan Whiteside, and David Robinson.
The super tall and skilled player just isn’t likely to ever happen again at BYU. It was really amazing that it happened the first time.
Shawn Bradley is tied for 2nd all-time in career blocks and he only played 34 games for the Cougars! BYU has only had one other player averaged over 2 blocks per game in a single season. That was Greg Kite who did it twice. Kite is the BYU career leader with 208 blocks.
Beyond that, another reason why this is likely to toughest record to break is the change in the style and approach of the college basketball game.
If a team played an awesome Shawn Bradley-type rim protector, teams wouldn’t continue to try to score at the rim. They would let it fly from deep to avoid the rim protector. There would be more floaters in the lane. Finally, teams would try to go small to draw the rim protector out of the paint and closer to the 3-point line.
Going forward, this is the most untouchable BYU record. It is hard to imagine another Shawn Bradley coming to Provo. And even if an athletic 7-foot-6 lightning bolt were to strike twice, it is hard to imagine that they would be allowed by opposing teams to have an impact greater than 5.2 blocks per contest.
#2 Kyle Collinsworth’s 12 career triple-doubles.
We are a little more than a year removed from this accomplishment and I think it is clear. Time is going to really smile on this record.
Kyle Collinsworth was the complete package. He was in many ways as one-off an athlete as Shawn Bradley. Big, athletic, strong, but also coordinated and skilled. A 6-foot-6 point guard that led his team in rebounds and assists. Yeah, it doesn’t seem like that is going to happen again.
The assist became an official stat for college basketball in the 1983-84 season. So, that’s when every college hoops team started keeping track of assists. Dating back to that season, Kyle Collinsworth is the only player in college basketball history to have a career total combination of 1500 points, 1000 rebounds, and 500 assists. Collinsworth invented the modern 1500-1000-500 club.
By the way, I am convinced that I’m the one that decided that the 1500-1000-500 club was a thing. Because I tweeted about it first.
Kyle Collinsworth was 15/15/8 tonight. Creates 1500/1000/500 club. Dude is CPOY.— Keith Shirts (@CougarCast) February 28, 2016
In truth, Collinsworth invented the 1700-1000-700 club, but that doesn’t look as clean as 1500-1000-500. Besides, it is nice to try to make room for someone else. Don’t want Collinsworth to get too lonely in that club, but he probably will be for quite a while.
The point is, Kyle Collinsworth is a once-in-a-lifetime player.
There have been 16 games in BYU basketball history where a player recorded a triple double. Collinsworth has 12 of them. The other 4 players who had triple doubles are an all-star list of BYU legends — Ainge, Cosic, Smith, and Roberts. All of them managed to post a triple double a single time.
This one won’t be touched.
#3 Danny Ainge’s 112 consecutive double-figure scoring games.
I’ve written about this record before on Vanquish The Foe. It is basically impossible to challenge.
Danny Ainge scored at least 10 points in all but 1 of his games that he played for the Cougars. From his 7th game of his freshman season to the end of his Cougar career, Danny would reach double figures in every single game.
This record requires no injuries, no ejections, and no off nights shooting.
The craziest part of Ainge’s 112 straight 10+ point games record is that it already has disqualified TJ Haws from challenging the record. TJ sits on a 4-game streak currently, but with approximately 105 games remaining in TJ Haws’ career, he can’t reach Danny.
This means that the only potential contender for this record is BYU’s sole freshman Rylan Bergersen.
Ainge’s 112 consecutive double-figure scoring record is 2nd all-time in NCAA history trailing only Lionel Simmons from LaSalle University who finished with 115 in a row.
#4 John Fairchild’s 5 20-rebound games.
The game of basketball has changed. 20-rebound in a single game is an incredible effort.
In the last 35 years, only 2 players have had a 20-rebound game for the Cougars. Brandon Davies and Kyle Davis. In fact, in order to beat out Fairchild’s 5 20-rebound games record, you would have to add together the efforts of Davies, Davis, Steve Trumbo, Mark Handy, and Kresimir Cosic from 1972 onward to reach a total of 6 games.
A single player in Fairchild has out produced 20-rebound basketball games than the combined total of the past 45 seasons of basketball.
John Fairchild, a junior college transfer, put together two unbelievable seasons for Stan Watts back in 1963-65. Fairchild is the Cougars career leader in scoring average with 20.9 and rebounds per game with 12.8. He was a total beast on the hardwood.
This record is likely here to stay as the style of the game in the past favored huge rebounding nights.
#5 Jimmer Fredette’s 6 career 40-point games.
10 players in BYU basketball history have posted 40 points in a single game.
Only 2 players have scored 40-points in a game more than once. Tyler Haws and Jimmer Fredette. Haws finished his career with 2 40-point games.
There will be more nights where a big time scorer is feeling it. The question is whether someone will be in that kind of groove 7-times in their career.
I think that maybe this will happen someday.
Honorable Mentions: Michael Brooks from LaSalle University’s 51 points in the Marriott Center, Devin Durrant’s 6 consecutive 30-point games