Kansas Basketball Record Watch 2018-19: Marcus Garrett
A couple of months ago, when KU junior Udoka Azubuike announced he would return for his junior season at Kansas instead of trying to make it in the NBA, the first thing that popped into my head was where Azubuike stood in KU’s record books in a few key areas.
Granted, because he missed all but 11 games of his freshman season and also missed time during his sophomore season, Azubuike has not exactly played the kind of games or logged the amount of minutes to make a real push for any of KU’s biggest records.
But surely there are some that, after a monster junior season, could be a factor for Azubuike, right?
And if that’s the case, couldn’t that be true for just about every scholarship player on KU’s roster?
I mean, we all can agree that Quentin Grimes isn’t going to finish his first year at Kansas — and possibly his only year here — as the school’s all-time leading scorer, but could he make a push for KU’s freshman scoring record?
Last year’s KU media guide featured 19 full pages of school records. So over the next several days, we’re going to take a look at (a) what records some of these guys might be closing in on, if any, and (b) which record(s) each KU player could realistically make a run at during the 2018-19 season.
Some of it might be a stretch. But, hey, it’s August, and even if some of what you’ll read in the next few days isn’t likely, it’s still kind of fun to think about the best case scenarios in a sort of what-if mentality.
Next up: Marcus Garrett
The official record for fewest turnovers in a season is nowhere to be found in the KU media guide. And the reason is probably simple.
There are too many guys who could/would qualify for the record unless the Jayhawks put some kind of disclaimer on the record, like “minimum 20 games” or something like that.
They do it for 3-pointers and 3-point attempts. And the same concept is used for field goals and free throws. So why no do it for turnovers? But I guess you can’t include everything.
The only mention of any kind of turnover record I could find in last year’s media guide was on Page 175, where it listed Raef LaFrentz as the record holder for most minutes in a game without a turnover — 47 in a double-overtime loss at Missouri in 1997 — and Tyshawn Taylor as the record holder for most turnovers in a single game, with 11 in a loss to Duke at the Maui Invitational in 2011.
What’s the reason for even bringing this up? I think Garrett could make a run at the record.... whatever it is.
Because I could not find the overall record anywhere, I looked back at the Bill Self era. Makes sense, right? I mean, Self team, Self style, why not look at who turned it over and who didn’t under Self?
Putting the disclaimer of having to have played in at least 30 games to qualify, I found that former KU forward Bryant Nash and former KU guard Tyrel Reed share the Bill Self record for fewest turnovers in a season by a player appearing in at least 30 games for a Bill Self-coached team.
Nash turned it over 15 times in 30 games in Self’s first season (2003-04) and Reed, who played a much bigger role, turned it over just 15 times in 36 games during the 2009-10 season.
Garrett is the defending champ, if you will, on this year’s squad, having led the Jayhawks with fewest turnovers (30) a season ago in a whopping 39 games.
Garrett finished turnoverless in 13 of those 39 games and also finished with just one turnover in 22 games. In addition to that, he never had more than two turnovers in a game and should be much more comfortable heading into his sophomore season.
Keeping it to 15 or fewer no doubt will be tough, but Garrett should benefit from the fact that Devon Dotson, Charlie Moore and even Quentin Grimes figure to handle the ball more than he will and his solid fundamentals, good vision and sound decision making also will aid him in the quest to keep his turnovers down.
Let’s say KU gets back to the Final Four, as they will be favored to do in the eyes of several college basketball fans and analysts across the country.
Assuming he stays healthy and KU makes the finals of the Big 12 tournament — win or lose — that would give Garrett at least 39 games this season, which would mean he could turn the ball over once every 2.6 games.
That’s a tall task and certainly should not be counted on, given the difficulty of KU’s schedule. But if there’s a Jayhawk who’s ready to make a run at the Self-era record, it’s Garrett. And, either way, he’s the smart bet to lead the regular rotation guys in fewest turnovers for the second year in a row.
Here’s a look at the Bill Self leaders in fewest turnovers per season, minimum 30 games:
• Bryant Nash – 15 in 30 games – 2003-04
• Mike Lee – 39 in 30 games – 2004-05
• Sasha Kaun – 23 in 33 games – 2005-06
• Sasha Kaun – 30 in 35 games – 2006-07
• Cole Aldrich – 21 in 40 games – 2007-08
• Travis Releford – 22 in 32 games – 2008-09
• Tyrel Reed – 15 in 36 games – 2009-10
• Mario Little – 19 in 32 games – 2010-11
• Naadir Tharpe – 22 in 32 games – 2011-12
• Perry Ellis – 20 in 37 games – 2012-13
• Tarik Black – 23 in 33 games – 2013-14
• Brannen Greene – 30 in 35 games – 2014-15
• Svi Mykhailiuk – 26 in 35 games – 2015-16
• Carlton Bragg Jr. – 28 in 31 games – 2016-17
• Marcus Garrett – 30 in 39 games – 2017-18