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Art of Thievery -- Jayhawk style

  • CorpusJayhawk
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3 weeks 5 days ago #25663 by CorpusJayhawk
Starting in 1993 (as far back as I have reliable game data), there have been 23 individual games where a Jayhawk has had 6 or more steals in a game. Surprisingly, 2 big men are on the list. Julian Wright had 6 steals against Colorado in 2007 and Lester Earl had 6 steals against K-State in 1998. All the rest are backcourt players. Aaron Miles leads the way with the single best game of 9 steals against Iowa St. in 2003. Mario Chalmers leads the way with most games of 6 steals or more with 6. Chalmers (6), Miles (3), Nick Bradford (3), and Russell Robinson (3) account for 15 of the 23. What a special group that 2006 through 2008 was. 10 of the 23 games were in those 3 seasons. What a crazy great backcourt we had with Chalmers and Robinson.

As for team steals, the most steals in a game was 21. We did that twice, but one was against Pitt St. a Div II team. We did have 19 steals against Colorado in 2007. How frustrated must they have been (Colorado that is)? The 2020 team was quite adept at thievery averaging a theft in 11.3% of possessions. That pales in comparison to 2006 when we had steals on 14.1% of possessions. In fact, three of the 4 best season are 2006 (14.1%), 2007 (13.2%) and 2008 (13.0%). In 2003 (Hinrich et ux) stole the ball on 13.4% of possessions.

Probably the best thief in KU history was Darnell Valentine. In 1978 he average 4.2 steals per 40 minutes. Mario Chalmers in 2006 was just behind at 4.14 per 40 minutes in 2006. Easily the best thief among big men was Alonzo Jamison and that is not close. Well, if you call Nicky Bradford a big man than he was somewhat close but Alonzo stole the ball at a rate of 3.86 per 40 minutes in 1992. In fact, (and this is sort of mind blowing), Alonzo stole the ball at a rate of 3.65 steals per 40 minutes for his career. That is tops for all KU players edging our Chalmers at 3.61 and Valentine at 3.44. To put this in perspective, Marcus Garrett currently has a career steal rate of 2.08 per 40 minutes and had 2.25 in 2020. That really gives you an idea of how defensively special some of these guys were like Chalmers, Valentine and Jamison.

Alonzo tended to frustrate me with his offense, but the dude was a defensive dynamo.

Want another surprise guy that pops up on the radar in steals. Billy Thomas, the 3 point specialist, averaged 2.04 steals per 40 minutes for his career. That is just behind Marcus Garret (2.08) and ranks 15th best all-time, ahead of luminaries like Danny Manning, Devon Dotson, Adonis Jordan, Steve Woodberry, Kirk Hinrich and Paul PIerce. Don;t for a second think that Billy Thomas was a 1 trick pony. That guy played some serious defense.

Finally, just in case you were wondering, who would be the top candidate for worst player at stealing the ball, that would likely be Cliff Alexander who stole the ball only once every 100 minutes of playing time. I mean Greg Dreiling, the human statue, stole the ball every 70 minutes of playing time. As for a backcourt player, Isaiah Moss may have been the worst stealing only once every 53 minutes of playing time. He was not necessarily a bad defensive player but he was not a thief. But then again, you can clearly be a very good defensive player and not be a thief as is exemplified by Brandon Rush who was a stellar defensive player but stole the ball only once every 45 minutes of playing time for his career.

Don't worry about the mules, just load the wagon!!
The following user(s) said Thank You: HawkErrant, Bayhawk, boulderhawk, hoshi

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