Tim Frazier and the Big Ten's Biggest Triple-Double Threats
On February 11, Tim Frazier posted a stat line of 23 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists in a win over Nebraska, leaving him just shy of his first career triple-double. Draymond Green was the only player in the league to reach that epic feat last season, but he has since graduated.
While Frazier was the closest player to achieving a triple-double on this list last season, another player highlighted in this article posted a triple-double two years ago as a freshman.
Reaching double figures in three major statistical categories is no easy feat. While it happens all the time in the NBA, we need to realize that not only are NBA games eight minutes longer, but their shot clock is always 11 seconds less, which means way more possessions.
The players highlighted in this article are those whom I believe are the most likely to reach triple-double status this upcoming year. While none will definitely reach this accomplishment, all have the ability to do so on any given night.
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Burke, who shared Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors with Cody Zeller last winter, averaged 14.8 points, 4.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds during his first season in Ann Arbor. Burke was on the floor for 36.1 minutes per game.
Burke scored in double figures in all but four games, but never reached double figures in either the rebound or assist slots. He did, however, grab seven boards twice and distribute nine assists twice as well.
Burke will have even more options to pass to this coming year, with incoming freshman Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III. Reaching 10 rebounds may be a stretch for the 5'11" point guard, although stranger things have certainly happened.
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As a much improved sophomore, Roy Devyn Marble averaged 11.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists, during 29.5 minutes of action. With the graduation of point guard Bryce Cartwright and off guard Matt Gatens, Marble could find himself on the court almost the entire game as a junior.
Marble scored in double figures 24 times last season, including a 31-point outburst in the Hawkeyes' 108-97 season-ending loss at Oregon in the NIT. Marble never grabbed 10 rebounds or dished out 10 assists last year, but he did hit eight in both of those statistical categories at a point.
Marble played some point forward last year, and even with the addition of freshman point guard Mike Gesell, Marble still should find himself handling the ball on occasion. Marble stands 6'6", so he definitely has the physical abilities and strengths to get himself a triple-double this year.
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Mbakwe was only able to suit up for seven games during the 2011-12 season, as he went down with a torn ACL early on. During his junior season in 2010-11, Mbakwe averaged a double-double of 13.9 points and 10.5 rebounds.
Mbakwe found his way to 19 double-doubles that year, his first season playing in the Big Ten, but only averaged 1.3 assists. So how is he to get a triple-double? While his 1.5 blocked-shot average makes obtaining a triple-double seem highly unlikely at first, I wouldn't be so sure that he can't do it.
Mbakwe blocked five shots twice that year, playing an average of 31.5 minutes in those contests. While Mbakwe will likely ease back into his role and not risk another injury, he certainly has the athleticism to reach a triple-double if his defense can elevate to the same level as his offense.
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When I mentioned that one player on this list has recorded a triple-double in his career, Gasser was the player that I was referring to. On January 23, 2011 Gasser scored 10 points, pulled in 12 rebounds and assisted on 10 baskets during a 32-point thrashing at Northwestern.
It should be noted that Gasser never recorded double-figure rebounds or assists at any other point that season, which clearly shows that it takes a career day where everything goes your way to be able to reach this milestone.
Gasser's sophomore-year stats were 7.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He will, however, be doing more ball-handling as a junior, as Jordan Taylor has graduated, although George Marshall will likely take over the starting point guard role.
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As a junior, Frazier posted statistical averages of 18.8 points, 6.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds. The 6'1" point guard scored in double figures in all but two games, grabbed double-figure rebounds on three occasions and surpassed 10 assists the same number of times.
Frazier is an outstanding rebounder for his size, but the fact that he can assist on so many baskets while being Penn State's number-one option offensively is just as impressive. Frazier has the best chance to achieve triple-double status, which I really hope he is able to pull off.
While swiping 10 steals seems insanely difficult, Frazier posted at least five steals three times last season, helping his 2.4 steal average. Frazier may be as all-around a player as the Big Ten will boast in 2012-13.