BYU's Kyle Collinsworth has broken the NCAA record for most triple-doubles in a career, according to a release issued by the school on Sunday.
If you're wondering how a BYU player could officially break such a record on the Sabbath, despite the fact that the school has a strong rule against competing on Sundays, then you'd probably like an explanation.
Here's the skinny: Collinsworth ended BYU's 95-81 victory over Belmont on Saturday night with 29 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds — one board short of a record-breaking seventh career triple-double. Teammates desperately tried to put him in a position to grab one final rebound in the closing seconds of the contest with the Bruins, but much to the home crowd's dismay, it was not to be. In his postgame press conference, Collinsworth didn't seem to broken up about it, repeatedly emphasizing that it wasn't the first time he'd come up just short and that it certainly wouldn't be his last opportunity to make history.
Too bad. Missed opportunity. We'll get 'em next time. End of story, right?
Counting to 10 can be hard. Seriously. I don't mean that in a sarcastic way. A Division I basketball game can move so quickly that it's possible for stat-keepers to miss small things or misattribute stats to the wrong player. This is especially difficult for rebounds, particularly on the offensive glass. If a player purposefully tips a missed shot back up toward the basket in attempt to score, this should technically be counted as both a rebound and a shot attempt. However, in the mass of large bodies inevitably clustered in the paint, it can often be difficult for stat-keepers to a) see what happened, b) process in a split-second what just occurred, c) determine in real-time how to best judge the play, and d) attribute any stats to the correct individual. It's a difficult undertaking, and mistakes happen sometimes.
It appears Kyle Collinsworth's elusive tenth rebound was one of those times. Per BYU's release:
When the game ended Saturday night, Collinsworth was one rebound shy of the triple-double with 26 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. The triple-double was not made official until Sunday morning when the NCAA approved a 10th rebound and an additional shot attempt for the 6-foot-6 Provo, Utah, native. Collinsworth missed a shot with 2:54 remaining in the first half and made a clear attempt to follow the missed shot with a left-handed tip, which missed and was secured by a Belmont player. Collinsworth was originally not given credit for the offensive rebound or a shot attempt on the tip.
So there you have it. When asked to record stats in real-time, a statistician missed one attempted tip-in by Collinsworth during a lightning-fast sequence that was likely impossible for him or her to fully see from their vantage point on press row. Once everyone was able to go back and look at the film — with all the benefits of instant replay, slow motion and multiple camera angles — it was easy to see that a rebound had been missed and it was then credited to Kyle in the final box score.
Hence, college basketball now has a new all-time triple-double king — albeit in somewhat anti-climactic fashion.
If there's any downside to all of this, it's that the crowd wasn't able to fully recognize Collinsworth's accomplishment in the moment. They thought he had come up just short, so the environment was understandably muted. I think every BYU fan was looking forward to savoring the experience of one of their Cougars making history — but because of a stat glitch, we won't get to really have that moment, and that's a little disappointing.
But none of that should at all take away from the gravity of Kyle Collinsworth's accomplishments. This is a monumental feat that only further solidifies what an incredible basketball player he is in so many ways. There have been tens of thousands of athletes who have played Division I hoops over the years, and none has ever done what Collinsworth has been able to do in terms of his all-around statistical dominance.
Yes, it's true he benefits greatly from playing in Dave Rose's up-tempo, run-and-gun system. But even with his systemic advantage, he still has to be good enough to actually make the plays. Truth be told, there are plenty of players who play in similarly fast-paced offenses, and none of them are racking up triple-doubles like the Cougars' star guard.
That should tell you everything you need to know about how special Kyle Collinsworth is. He is a basketball Swiss Army knife. He can do almost anything on the court. And while BYU fans won't get the experience of watching him break the triple-double record in real-time, they have gotten and will continue to get the equally powerful experience of watching him do incredible things nearly every time he steps on the floor — and that's something worth savoring while we still can.