As always, it’s time for another edition of…
The Weekly Fives
Ladies and gentlemen, as we move into the late stages of the basketball season, we take a look at a defensive statistic that often makes opponents cringe. Whether from a ball-hawking guard or a low post pickpocket, steals often set the tone on defensive, and are usually what set the great teams apart from the rest. As a statistic, steals weren’t actually counted until the 1973 NBA season, past the time of the late greats like Wilt and Bill Russell. Alvin Robertson currently holds the NBA record for most steals in a season (301), as well as most steals per game (3.67). Overall, it can be really hard to tally up steals, since most players in the NBA have keen ball-handling abilities and higher-level intelligence. However, some players break through that barrier, and show off their fast hands to the world.
Currently, John Wall of the Washington Wizards holds the highest average of steals per game, at 2.16. Although that seems like a low number to many casual fans, it is important to remember that steals are only defined and recorded if a player causes an opponent to lose possession of the ball, followed by a gain of possession by that same player. In this way, deflections and tips do not count as steals. Also, there are many times when many different players are involved in a particular steal, therefore not garnering a statistic for any of them. A steal only goes down in the books if a single player initiates and carries through with the act. In this way, the over two steals that John Wall gets per game is actually a quite impressive number. Draymond Green, who had an amazing ten (!!) steals on February 10 against the Memphis Grizzlies, also averages over two steals per game.
In the local college ranks, Omaha’s Tra-deon Hollins is tearing it up. After leading the NCAA with an incredible 4.0 steals per game last season, Hollins has carried his dominance over to this season, continuing to average over three steals consistently throughout the season. Overall, Hollins is the defensive anchor for the Mavericks, and often starts the fast break with one of his signature pick-pockets. Marcus Tyus, also from Omaha, is tagging along, with over 1.5 SPG over the course of the season. For the Cornhuskers, Glynn Watson sits at third place in the Big Ten, with a smooth 1.8 SPG.
In the NSAA, Jacob Polk of Logan View High School is leading the rest of the field in terms of steals, at 4.0 per game! However, there are 21 other players in the state averaging over 3.0 steals per game. Overall, high school hoops can have an exciting effect on everyone in attendance, and steals only add to the madness!
- John Wall, Washington Wizards (2.16 SPG)
- Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (2.08 SPG)
- Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets (1.91 SPG)
- Thaddeus Young, Indiana Pacers (1.84 SPG)
- Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers (1.83 SPG)
- Tra-Deon Hollins, Omaha (3.2 SPG)
- Glynn Watson Jr., Nebraska (1.8 SPG)
- Marcus Tyus, Omaha (1.6 SPG)
- Khyri Thomas, Creighton (1.6 SPG)
- Maurice Watson Jr., Creighton (1.5 SPG)
- Jacob Polk, Logan View/Scribner-Snyder (4.0 SPG)
- Nick Koppman, Garden County (3.8 SPG)
- Kaleb Gonzalez, Minitare (3.8 SPG)
- Brett Godfrey, Creek Valley (3.7 SPG)
- Noah Valasek, Riverside (3.7 SPG)
(Stats as of 2/11/17)
As always, Home Court Advantage is your place for basketball at all levels.
Senior App Associate, Nebraska
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, COJMC