Big Ten Basketball's Most Likely Triple-Double Candidates
A triple-double is one of the most exciting and impressive statistical accomplishments that a player can achieve in a basketball contest.
While there is a distinct possibility that no player in the Big Ten reaches triple-double status for a game in 2013-14, following are five who have the best chance of doing so.
While not mentioned in this article, honorable mention candidates include Aaron Craft, D.J. Newbill and Mitch McGary.
Tim Frazier, Penn State
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Tim Frazier almost notched his first career triple-double as a junior in 2011-12, posting a stat line of 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists against Nebraska.
That season, Frazier averaged 18.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists while claiming the role of Penn State's do-everything player.
Frazier missed most of last season with an Achilles injury, but is back in 2013-14 as a redshirt senior. Last season, D.J. Newbill filled Frazier's void as a stat sheet-stuffer. Frazier is also capable on defense, having averaged 2.4 steals per game as a junior.
While Frazier and Newbill could negate each other's numbers, they will continue to be the clear first two options for coach Patrick Chambers in Happy Valley.
Frazier has the best chance of any player in the Big Ten of compiling a triple-double, assuming he stays healthy this season.
Josh Gasser, Wisconsin
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As a freshman for the Badgers, Josh Gasser recorded a triple-double, with a 10-point, 12-rebound, 10-assist effort over the Northwestern Wildcats.
Gasser was the team's starting shooting guard then and truly had a career game. In fact, his 10th assist came on a banked three-point shot, helping him reach his milestone.
Gasser missed the 2012-13 season with a torn ACL. As a redshirt junior this season, Gasser may very well be the Badgers' starting point guard. When Traevon Jackson or George Marshall are in the game, expect Gasser to move over to either of the wing positions in head coach Bo Ryan's swing offense.
While it may seem unlikely for Gasser to record another triple-double, the fact that he's already done it before helps his case.
As a sophomore, Gasser averaged 7.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists. Without Jordan Taylor or any of Wisconsin's trio of senior big men from last season, his numbers should rise this season.
Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa
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As a junior, Roy Devyn Marble averaged 15 points, four rebounds and three assists in 30.5 minutes per night for the Iowa.
Marble scored in double figures in all but eight games last season, but never reached 10-plus boards or assists. Still, the 6'6" guard/forward is capable of a big night.
The closest that Marble came to a triple-double effort in 2012-13, was in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, when he scored 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds and distributed seven assists in a losing effort. With Iowa's fast-paced tempo, Marble could get lucky and notch a triple-double against the right opponent this season.
The Hawkeyes are loaded in the frontcourt this season and Marble is slotted to start at shooting guard. He could also see time at both point guard and small forward. In Iowa's first four NIT games last March, Marble averaged 24.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.5 steals for pretty impressive marks.
Rayvonte Rice, Illinois
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In two seasons while playing at Drake, Rayvonte Rice averaged 15.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.7 steals. After deciding to return to his hometown to play collegiately for Illinois, Rice improved his game and frame during his redshirt season for the Illini in 2012-13.
Rice improved his numbers that season, making him more prepared for the Big Ten's rugged style. He is slotted to starting at shooting guard for John Groce's Fighting Illini this season, but will also see time at small forward. With Illinois only returning three players from last year's team, Rice should provide an instant impact.
The closest that Rice has come to reaching a triple-double came during his sophomore season, when he had 19 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, four steals and four blocked shots before fouling out in a triple-overtime victory over Wichita State, in which Rice played 51 minutes.
Andre Hollins, Minnesota
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As a sophomore, Andre Hollins posted averaged of 14.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals as the leading scorer and playmaker for Tubby Smith's Golden Gophers.
Now, under Richard Pitino's tutelage, Minnesota is expected to play a faster-paced game, which could help inflate Hollins' numbers.
Hollins came closest to reaching a triple-double in the Gophers' opening-round NCAA tournament victory over UCLA, when he scored 28 points, grabbed nine rebounds and distributed five assists. Hollins could finish near the top of the B1G in scoring, as proven by a 41-point effort last November against Memphis.
The Golden Gophers have lost their starting frontcourt from last season in Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams. Without that athletic duo, Andre and Austin Hollins (unrelated) will be called upon to lead Minnesota. Hollins could be considered a combo guard who can play the role of scorer and distributor.