Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
The Lawson-Phelps Award isn't a real award yet, but Carolina added a few more last season. So, why not one more? Plus, steals were completely left out of the statistical awards, which is a downright shame.
So why Lawson-Phelps?
For one, I couldn't decide on which legendary burglar to name the award after. Ty Lawson and Derrick Phelps were both amazing when it came to picking pockets. They also share just about every steal record at North Carolina.
Phelps played at Carolina from 1990 to 1994, piling up a record 247 steals over that span. He also has the record for most steals in a game with nine.
Lawson holds the record for the most steals in an NCAA tournament game, snatching eight from the Michigan State Spartans in the 2009 championship. Lawson averaged 2.1 steals per game that season, finishing his Carolina career with 184. Had he played his senior season, he may have challenged Phelps for the career record.
Last season, James Michael McAdoo would have taken home this award; he led the team with 1.5 steals per game. He'll likely up that average a bit as a junior, but there is another guy quickly catching up in that category.
Paige finished up right behind McAdoo with 1.4 steals per game last season. Over his last 13 games, he averaged 2.1 steals per game, including a career-high of five in the loss to Kansas.
I really believe Paige would take home this award, too, if they decide to run with my idea. Six out of 15 awards would be pretty impressive, and the sophomore floor general is more than capable of achieving that.
Can't we just start the season already?