Predicting the Top Double-Double Machines in the 2014-15 NCAA Basketball Season
Shawn Long and Alan Williams were two of the top double-double machines during the 2013-14 NCAA basketball season, and they figure to be among the best in the country once again this season.
Unlike three-point percentages or efficiency metrics, double-doubles are often rewarded to durable players in the proper system. An incredible post player could finish a season with fewer double-doubles than an average big man who just so happens to serve as the best forward on an up-tempo team that misses a lot of shots.
Case in point, Southeast Missouri State's Tyler Stone had as many double-doubles last season as Duke's Jabari Parker.
In ranking these top 20 double-double machines, we searched for big men with great rebounding rates who are in the perfect position to be the primary interior threats for their respective teams. Players with at least 10 double-doubles last season were given extra consideration, as they have already shown an ability to dominate the category.
John Brown, High Point
19.5 PPG, 7.7 RPG
Brown is one of the great, rarely talked-about power forwards in the country, but he "only" averaged 9.7 rebounds per 40 minutes and tallied just seven double-doubles while playing nearly 32 minutes per game last season.
Willie Clayton, Charlotte
10.8 PPG, 8.9 RPG
Clayton is an excellent offensive rebounder who has started 63 of 64 possible games in his career with Charlotte. He had 11 double-doubles last season, but he was just barely reaching 10 in each category and doesn't stand to add very many minutes with Bernard Sullivan transferring in from Clemson.
Jordan Mickey, LSU
12.7 PPG, 7.9 RPG
With Johnny O'Bryant out of the picture, Mickey could be headed for a significant increase in the rebounding department, but he had the lowest number of rebounds per 40 minutes (9.6) of any player considered.
Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville
10.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG
Despite one of the most incredible names in sports, Mockevicius averaged just 25.2 minutes per game last season for an Evansville team that didn't lose a single senior. Solid numbers on a per 40 minutes basis, but he would need a couple overtimes to even sniff 40 minutes on most nights.
Matt Stainbrook, Xavier
10.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG
Like Mockevicius, Stainbrook didn't get the necessary minutes to be the double-double machine he could have been, logging just 24.5 minutes per night last year for the Musketeers. Maybe his playing time increases with Justin Martin and Isaiah Philmore no longer on the roster, but it's more likely that James Farr and Jalen Reynolds pick up a lot of that slack.
Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa
15.4 PPG, 8.0 RPG
Reaching the points threshold on a regular basis won't be any problem for Tuttle, but with Nate Buss still in town and Virginia transfer Paul Jesperson now eligible, Tuttle may only grab about as many rebounds as he did en route to last year's seven double-doubles.
Steve Zack, La Salle
8.8 PPG, 9.5 RPG
La Salle lost three of its five leading scorers from last year's team, meaning Zack will inevitably be more involved in the offense than in years past. Still, it's hard to put a ton of faith in someone who failed to average 10 points or 10 rebounds last season while playing at least 30 minutes on average.
20. Jordan Reed, Binghamton
Per Game: 15.4 PPG, 8.9 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 18.6 points, 10.8 rebounds
More than 20 returning players averaged better than 8.5 rebounds per game in 2013-14.
Only one of those players is 6'6" or shorter.
Thanks to an undersized roster and a conference that ranked dead last in the nation in efficiency, 6'4" Jordan Reed was able to corral nearly 9.0 loose balls per game.
He may be the minor conference version of what we see from Arizona's Stanley Johnson this season. Though technically listed as a guard, Reed has only made 21 three-pointers in his two-year career. Rather, he does a lot of damage from the free-throw line and is an aggressive defender who averaged 1.6 steals per game last year.
Sometimes, it's not the size of the dog in the fight...
19. Joel Bolomboy, Weber State
Per Game: 8.7 PPG, 11.0 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 11.6 points, 14.6 rebounds
Joel Bolomboy had one of the highest rebounding rates in the country. He recorded at least 10 rebounds in 22 different games last season, including a 16-rebound effort in the NCAA tournament against Arizona.
However, he only had 11 double-doubles because he doesn't put the ball back into the basket anywhere near as often as he grabs the ones that don't go in. Of all the players seriously considered for this list, Bolomboy's points per 40 minutes rate was the worst.
It's not because he's a terrible shooter, though. Bolomboy shot 48.8 percent from the field and 72.9 percent from the free-throw line in 2013-14.
Instead, it was a lack of opportunity. Bolomboy averaged just 5.7 field-goal attempts per game last season—a number that should increase after the departures of Davion Berry and Kyle Tresnak.
18. Kyle Cain, UNC-Greensboro
Per Game: 15.4 PPG, 8.9 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 20.3 points, 11.7 rebounds
Originally recruited to play for Arizona State, Kyle Cain moved across the country to UNC-Greensboro after two seasons for more playing time in a conference where he could do more damage.
During his time with the Sun Devils, he averaged 11.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per 40 minutes. Cain improved upon those respectable numbers while also increasing his playing time by nearly 40 percent.
The end result was a ninth-place finish in the Southern Conference in points scored and second place in rebounds—trailing only Chattanooga's Z Mason, who finished last season with 15 double-doubles.
One bonus factor working in Cain's favor is UNC-Greensboro's pace of play. The Spartans ranked 21st in the nation in adjusted tempo last season after ranking top 10 in each of the previous two seasons.
Cain is hardly the best shooting forward in the country, but he did average 13.2 field-goal attempts per game last season for a team that missed more than 32 shots per game. He might be an average producer on most teams, but Cain should be headed for at least a dozen double-doubles at UNC-Greensboro.
17. Ryan Spangler, Oklahoma
Per Game: 9.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 13.2 points, 12.7 rebounds
The regular season starts in just over four weeks, and the NCAA still hasn't ruled whether TaShawn Thomas will be eligible to play this season for the Sooners. That's insane, right? How is that fair to Lon Kruger or anyone connected with the Sooners?
If he is not allowed to play, Ryan Spangler is going to get a ton of double-doubles out of necessity.
Cameron Clark and Tyler Neal were the second- and third-best rebounders on the team last season, but they both graduated. That leaves Spangler, infrequently used D.J. Bennett and incoming freshman Dante Buford as Oklahoma's only viable interior options.
An injury is the only thing that could possibly keep Spangler from averaging a double-double on that roster. Even if Thomas is allowed to play, though, Spangler will be a great source of points and rebounds in a Big 12 conference that demands quality post players.
16. Brice Johnson, North Carolina
Per Game: 10.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 21.2 points, 12.6 rebounds
It's astounding that Roy Williams was unable to find more playing time for Brice Johnson on a roster that essentially didn't have a shooting guard.
It's pointless to argue whether Johnson deserved to start ahead of James Michael McAdoo, but how in the world did Leslie McDonald and Nate Britt both play more minutes than Johnson? Imagine what the Tar Heels could have done by putting J.P. Tokoto at shooting guard and Johnson at small forward.
But I digress, because McAdoo is no longer an issue, and Johnson should play at least 30 minutes per game to capitalize on those per 40 minutes numbers.
Johnson logged at least 22 minutes 10 times last season. In those 10 games, he averaged 23.4 minutes, 12.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest.
15. Dustin Hogue, Iowa State
Per Game: 11.6 PPG, 8.4 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 15.5 points, 11.2 rebounds
DeAndre Kane received most of Iowa State's recognition during the season, and Georges Niang has dominated Cyclone news in the offseason.
Sleep on Dustin Hogue at your own peril.
Hogue was Iowa State's best rebounder and most efficient scorer in 2013-14. The only reason he didn't have more games like the 34-point effort in the NCAA tournament against Connecticut is because he only attempted 15.9 percent of the shots taken while he was on the court.
He has the necessary skills to be the best player in the Big 12, but he spent the bulk of last season doing the grunt work and getting none of the glory. The addition of Jameel McKay to the roster should help free Hogue up to be more dominant this season.
14. Chris Walker, Florida
Per Game: 1.9 PPG, 1.3 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds
If we're going to include two freshmen in the top 11, we're basically obligated to put Chris Walker in the top 15 despite nary a double-double last season.
As you'll recall, Chris Walker was ineligible for the first three months of last season. He missed 21 games and logged more than seven minutes in just one game.
But he was a highly touted player coming out of high school, and he did pretty well with those limited minutes for someone who wasn't even allowed to practice with the team until mid-December.
Besides, someone needs to grab some rebounds now that Patric Young (6.7 RPG), Will Yeguete (5.2 RPG) and Casey Prather (5.0 RPG) have all graduated.
13. Chris Horton, Austin Peay
Per Game: 13.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 17.3 points, 12.4 rebounds
He hasn't gotten the attention of an Alan Williams or a John Brown, but Chris Horton has the potential to be the best mid-major player in the country this year.
While playing for an otherwise dreadful Austin Peay team, Horton shot 59.5 percent from the field and averaged 3.1 blocks per game in addition to the numbers listed above. He was one of three Governors to average better than 10.0 PPG. The other two graduated this summer.
He was already the team's most valuable player by a landslide, and now the Governors will be forced to rely him even more.
The only real question is whether Horton will be able to tally more double-doubles that Austin Peay does losses.
12. Rico Gathers, Baylor
Per Game: 6.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 14.5 points, 14.3 rebounds
Had he played enough minutes to qualify, Rico Gathers would have ranked third in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage and seventh in overall rebounding percentage.
But he didn't play enough minutes because Cory Jefferson, Isaiah Austin and Royce O'Neale all started ahead of him. O'Neale is still in Waco, but Gathers' playing time should nearly double from last year's 17.8 MPG mark in the absence of Jefferson and Austin.
Last year was no fluke, either. Gathers averaged 13.6 points and 13.7 rebounds per 40 minutes the previous season as a freshman.
Jefferson was such a stud in the paint that Gathers never had a chance to break into the starting rotation, but the time has come for the world to learn what a monster this 6'8", 280-pound power forward can be.
11. Cliff Alexander, Kansas
Per Game: N/A (Freshman)
Per 40 Minutes: N/A (Freshman)
Double-Doubles: N/A (Freshman)
What more can we say about Cliff Alexander that hasn't already been said?
Outside of Jahlil Okafor and Myles Turner before he finally committed in April, Alexander has been the most talked-about big man in this year's recruiting class. Given his size and the name of the school on the front of his jersey, the comparisons to Thomas Robinson have been endless.
However, Bill Self will be hoping that this version of Robinson reaches his full potential quicker than the last one. Sharing a frontcourt with Cole Aldrich and the Morris twins during his first two years in Lawrence, it wasn't until his junior season that Robinson became T-Rob the Great.
Will Alexander immediately become an unstoppable force, or will incumbent options like Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor, Landen Lucas and Arkansas transfer Hunter Mickelson minimize his spotlight?
Neither outcome is by any means a bad one for Kansas, but we're "concerned" enough about the other big men at Kansas to keep Alexander out of the top 10.
Even if we were to assume that Alexander and Okafor are complete equals, Alexander has to rank a few spots behind Okafor because of how much deeper the Jayhawks are at power forward and center. If Marshall Plumlee is stealing points and rebounds from Okafor, something has gone horribly wrong for the Blue Devils.
10. Jarvis Williams, Murray State
Per Game: 14.9 PPG, 9.9 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 18.3 points, 12.2 rebounds
Why are we showing you a picture of Cameron Payne instead of Jarvis Williams?
Because apparently no one bothered to obtain photographic evidence of the 505 points or 338 rebounds that Williams tallied last year for the Racers.
Not only did Williams record 14 double-doubles last season, but he had at least 13 points and 13 rebounds in seven of those games.
In the process of winning the CIT, Williams paced Murray State with 24.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per 40 minutes. He had at least 10 points or 10 rebounds in 33 of the Racers' 34 games last season.
9. Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
Per Game: 14.0 PPG, 8.4 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 19.1 points, 11.5 rebounds
You would be hard-pressed to find a more valuable big man in the country than Montrezl Harrell.
Though he had "only" 12 double-doubles last season, 11 of them came in the final 22 games of the season.
What's odd about that apparent dichotomy is that his rebounding rate actually decreased considerably during the portion of the season loaded with double-doubles.
While averaging 24.5 minutes per game for the first 15 games of the year, Harrell recorded 12.9 rebounds per 40 minutes. Over the final 22 games, his minutes increased to 32.5 per game, but his rebounding rate dropped to 10.7 per 40 minutes.
And it's not like Louisville is suddenly lacking rebounders. Terry Rozier and Wayne Blackshear are much better rebounders than Russ Smith or Luke Hancock were, and Rick Pitino has five players on the roster who are even taller than Harrell.
He'll get his fair share of double-doubles, but averaging better than 10 rebounds per game could be a stretch.
8. Javonte Green, Radford
Per Game: 16.9 PPG, 8.1 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 26.4 points, 12.6 rebounds
Javonte Green's numbers look pretty modest until you note that he only averaged 25.6 minutes per game.
In eight of his 11 double-doubles, Green played 30 minutes or fewer, including a slightly ridiculous 11-point, 10-rebound game against Campbell in which he only played 20 minutes and a 22-point, 13-rebound effort in 25 minutes against Longwood.
Foul trouble was to blame for a good number of those abridged outings, as he committed at least four fouls 10 times last season.
If he can maintain his efficiency while committing fewer fouls and playing more minutes, it would be fantastic news for Radford. Green ranked 13th in the nation in win shares per 40 minutes last season. Delon Wright was 12th in that category and Frank Kaminsky finished in 14th.
Can't complain about that company.
7. Jahlil Okafor, Duke
Per Game: N/A (Freshman)
Per 40 Minutes: N/A (Freshman)
Double-Doubles: N/A (Freshman)
Jahlil Okafor is the best incoming freshman in the country.
Heck, Okafor might be the best big man—freshman or not—to step foot on a court this season.
What's more, he's doing so for a team that needs a reliable big man in the worst possible way.
Amile Jefferson is a solid power forward, but beyond Jefferson and Okafor, Duke's only players taller than 6'6" are Semi Ojeleye and Marshall Plumlee. Both backups were good in limited roles, but it's pretty telling that Josh Hairston played more minutes last season than either of them.
Ojeleye and Plumlee will inevitably get playing time to keep Jefferson and Okafor from completely breaking down from exhaustion, but Okafor is going to get all the minutes he can handle in the paint for the Blue Devils.
During his final two seasons with Duke, Sheldon Williams averaged 33.4 MPG, 17.2 PPG and 10.9 RPG. That feels like a pretty good approximation for Okafor's first (and only) season in front of the Cameron Crazies.
6. Stephen Maxwell, Cal State Northridge
Per Game: 17.5 PPG, 8.8 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 20.3 points, 10.2 rebounds
Stephen Maxwell might as well be John Doe as far as everyone east of the Rocky Mountains is concerned, but double-doubles recorded while half the country is sleeping still count as double-doubles.
Like several others on this list, Maxwell benefits from playing a ton of minutes as virtually the only big man in an up-tempo offense.
His rebounding rate was worst among the non-freshmen in the Top 20, but at 34.5 minutes per game last season, he played significantly more than anyone else considered. Pulling down 10.2 rebounds per 40 minutes results in a good number of double-doubles when you actually come close to playing 40 minutes on a regular basis.
His playing time certainly wasn't hurt by Cal State Northridge's seven overtime games last season, but he was on the court for 89.5 percent of all possible minutes that the Matadors played in conference.
The Matadors did add two transfer centers and a trio of 6'8" freshmen, but let's go ahead and assume he still gets enough minutes to register another 15 double-doubles this season.
5. Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina
Per Game: 7.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 18.6 points, 14.9 rebounds
At first glance, this might seem like a bit of a reach.
Kennedy Meeks only had two double-doubles as a freshman, but that is almost entirely due to the fact that he played just 16.3 minutes per game.
Thanks to his not-quite-as-big-as-last-year frame and North Carolina's fast tempo, Meeks averaged 14.9 rebounds per 40 minutes last season.
Among all players considered, that was the highest such ratio.
After losing 55 pounds this summer, just about everyone with an opinion on the matter is expecting him to be capable of logging at least 30 minutes per game. But with that rebounding rate, it would only take him 27 minutes per night to average a double-double.
Yes, Brice Johnson was also on the list, but keep in mind that UNLV had two players (Khem Birch and Roscoe Smith) each average a double-double last season. Both the Rebels and the Tar Heels averaged 39.8 rebounds per game last season.
4. Scott Eatherton, Northeastern
Per Game: 15.9 PPG, 10.2 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 20.5 points, 13.1 rebounds
Julius Randle led the nation with 24 double-doubles last season, but Scott Eatherton had the most of all returning players—and if Eatherton had played 40 games like Randle instead of the 32 he actually played, they very well might have tied for first place.
Despite losing 21 games last season, I would contend that Northeastern wasn't actually that bad. Of those losses, 15 were by 10 or fewer points, including narrow losses to Harvard, Boston, Delaware and Florida State. And one of its 11 wins was a shocking upset over Georgetown in which Eatherton had 12 points and 10 rebounds in just 18 minutes.
The Huskies didn't have a single noteworthy senior on last year's roster and could be headed for a CAA title if they can just find a second player to pair with Eatherton.
Of the eight Huskies who played at least 125 minutes, Eatherton was the only one with an O-rating higher than 101.5. To help put that number in some sort of context, every player on UCLA who logged at least 30 minutes had an O-rating of 102 or better.
3. Ousmane Drame, Quinnipiac
Per Game: 13.7 PPG, 10.5 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 18.9 points, 14.5 rebounds
I'm not 100 percent sure how to pronounce either his first or last name, but I know for certain that Ousmane Drame is a beast.
Quinnipiac ranked first in the nation in rebounds per game last season, and Drame was a huge reason why. He averaged a double-double last season despite playing only 29.0 minutes per game.
From mid-January through the end of February, he recorded nine double-doubles in a span of 12 games, averaging 15.5 points and 12.3 rebounds per game during that stretch. Not coincidentally, that was also Quinnipiac's hottest stretch of the season, as the Bobcats won nine of those games.
He's no two-trick pony, either, as he had two games last season with at least 13 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots.
The key for Drame to finish at the top of the double-doubles chart will be avoiding foul trouble. The big man from Guinea committed at least four fouls in 17 of his 30 games last season and finished just six games with fewer than three fouls.
If he can stay on the court, 20 double-doubles this season is totally in play.
2. Shawn Long, Louisiana-Lafayette
Per Game: 18.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 25.3 points, 14.1 rebounds
Elfrid Payton got all the love for the Rajin' Cajuns last season and parlayed it into a lottery pick this past June, but Shawn Long was hardly an innocent bystander.
Despite playing 6.5 fewer minutes per game, Long finished just 0.6 PPG behind Payton for the team lead in scoring average, adding 18 double-doubles and 2.7 blocked shots per game for good measure.
Now, it's Long's team to run. He's the only returning player who averaged so much as 3.6 rebounds per game.
Oddly enough, Long is also one of the team's best long-range shooters, as he converted on 42.3 percent of his 78 three-point attempts.
Good luck finding another big man capable of averaging at least 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 three-point attempts per game. We praise Frank Kaminsky for his versatility, but even he only averaged 6.3 rebounds per game while shooting 37.8 percent from beyond the arc.
1. Alan Williams, UC Santa Barbara
Per Game: 21.3 PPG, 11.5 RPG
Per 40 Minutes: 27.4 points, 14.8 rebounds
Tempting as it was to put Shawn Long in the top spot, this list would be null and void without Alan Williams at No. 1.
In just 28 games, Williams recorded 16 double-doubles.
Even more impressive than that, he had eight games with "super double-doubles," which I define as 15 points and 15 rebounds. Long had six such games. Julius Randle had four. Ousmane Drame and Scott Eatherton had three each.
Williams ranked second in the nation in rebounds per game and ranked fourth in percentage of shots taken when he was on the court. The players ranked ahead of him in each of those categories are no longer playing college basketball.
There's at least a remote possibility that he could lead the nation in PPG and RPG this season.
It's unlikely he'll break David Robinson's record of 31 double-doubles in a season or match the mark of 30 that Blake Griffin set in 2009, but 27 or 28 in healthy season is feasible.
Kerry Miller covers college basketball for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @kerrancejames.