Kyle Collinsworth set the NCAA record for most triple-doubles in a single season in BYU's game against Loyola Marymount on Saturday.
The record-setting play came with just under two minutes remaining. After Collinsworth pulled down his 10th rebound on the defensive end, a secondary-transition led to Collinsworth dishing a pass to Skyler Halford on the wing, who knocked down a three pointer for KC's 10th assist.
The junior point guard racked up a stat line of 23 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the game, giving him his fifth triple-double of the season.
Collinsworth had previously recorded triple-doubles in games against Hawaii, Gonzaga, San Francisco and Pacific, tying him for the old NCAA record of four with Michael Anderson (Drexel, 1986), Brian Shaw (UC Santa Barbara, 1988), Jason Kidd (California, 1994) and Stephane Lasme (UMass, 2007).
His performance against the Lions also put the Cougars' versatile captain within shouting distance of the NCAA record for most triple-doubles in a career. The record is currently six, held by two different players: Michael Anderson (Drexel, 1985-1988) and Shaquille O'Neal (LSU, 1990-1992). Needless to say, having a BYU player share a record with that last guy — a guaranteed Hall of Famer and one of the most dominant players ever to play the game — would be pretty cool.
There should be no underestimating the gravity of this accomplishment — and of what we, as Cougar fans, are watching right now. As frustrating and disappointing as this season has been as a whole, what Kyle Collinsworth has been doing on an individual level is simply staggering. His all-around impact on virtually very game he plays is tremendous, and BYU simply cannot replace what he brings to the table. He is, by the very definition of the term, irreplaceable.
Collinsworth is a special player with unique physical capabilities and an exceptionally diverse skill set. As a large point guard, standing 6-foot-5, he can get to the rim and create his own offense inside, he can rebound with the best power forwards in the college game, and he distributes the ball with unparalleled vision.
In my mind, his closest comparison (in terms of playing style) is another large point guard, Magic Johnson — and we all know that guy was pretty good. Now, that's not to say that Kyle is Magic or will ever be Magic. He won't. He may never play a minute in the NBA, for all we know. But the way he plays the game — using his unique size at his position to create mismatches all over the floor that benefit both himself and, especially, his teammates — is eerily similar. Of course, it doesn't hurt that BYU plays a run-and-gun style very similar to Magic's Showtime Lakers. More possessions means more opportunities to record stats.
But in any event, regardless of who he plays for or against, this is a mammoth accomplishment of epic proportions — and one that may not be topped for quite some time. Kyle Collinsworth already had his name firmly inscribed in the NCAA record books, but now he's all alone at the top. That is something very, very special that no one will ever be able to discount — and he fully deserves every bit of praise he will undoubtedly receive for it.
Long live Kyle Collinsworth, King of Stats.