KU junior Marcus Garrett keeps tracking toward first career triple-double
Jayhawks everywhere have gotten used to seeing junior guard Marcus Garrett put up big numbers in multiple statistical categories every time he takes the floor.
But don’t let that familiarity with Garrett’s jam-packed stat lines allow you to look past his most recent performance.
Seven points. Eight rebounds. Nine assists. All of it coming in a winning effort on Monday night at Oklahoma State.
Statistically speaking, the performance tied for the closest Garrett has come to recording the coveted triple-double where a player records double-digit numbers in three categories.
Jeff Withey’s triple-double against San Jose State on Nov. 26, 2012 (16 points, 12 rebounds, 12 blocks) and Cole Aldrich’s triple-double against Dayton in the NCAA Tournament on March 22, 2009 (13 points, 20 rebounds, 10 blocks) are the only officially recorded triple-doubles in KU history.
But longtime Journal-World sports writer Bill Mayer charted two from legendary center Wilt Chamberlain and the NCAA Final Four record book shows that former KU great B.H. Born had an unofficial triple-double during the 1953 NCAA Tournament.
Assists and steals were not officially kept stats at KU until the 1970s, and blocked shots did not become an official NCAA statistic until the 1985-86 season.
After Monday’s game, Garrett said he found out he was close to a triple-double when he came to the bench for the final time late in the game.
According to KU coach Bill Self, Garrett should have got it.
“Well, you know he should’ve had 10 (assists),” Self noted. “Tristan (Enaruna) dropped his 10th assist on a layup. And he should have had more than eight rebounds. He didn’t get one the second half. And he should have scored more than seven points. So he got a triple-single, but it was close to being a triple-double.”
By the time he reached the recap of Garrett’s scoring, Self was laughing. But Garrett’s importance to this team, and the KU program, is serious stuff.
“Marcus totally controlled everything,” Self said after the OSU win. “Especially the second half. He’s a really good player. He is. I don’t know if we’ve had anybody in the middle of the zone that I can remember that’s any better than he is.”
Garrett’s teammates know the Dallas junior’s talent and potential better than anyone. Numbers like those he put up on Monday at Oklahoma State have become rather routine for Garrett in their eyes.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” said freshman guard Christian Braun, who led Kansas with 16 points and 9 rebounds against OSU. “That’s something he does, really, every game. He’s probably the best in the country at doing that, getting rebounds and just doing little things that help your team win. He doesn’t care who scores. So those numbers don’t really surprise me at all. He does that every night.”
Through 20 games, Garrett’s 2019-20 stat line does not do justice to his importance to the Kansas lineup. But it does provide an indication of his jack-of-all-trades ability and do-whatever-it-takes mindset.
Even with him missing parts of a few games because of separate ankle injuries, Garrett is averaging 9.3 points, 4.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds in 30.6 minutes per game.
Those numbers have climbed ever so slightly to 10 points, 5.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 33 minutes during KU’s first seven conference games.
Garrett also ranks second on the team in steals and tied for fourth in blocked shots.
Garrett’s offensive rating numbers per KenPom.com further magnify his value. The junior combo guard who can play and defend all five positions has an average offensive rating of 110.8 through the first 20 games of the season. He has topped 100 in that area in all but six of KU’s games. And three of those sub-100 games were KU’s three losses.
KenPom’s most recent comps for Garrett are to former Virginia star Ty Jerome and former Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono, players who started on the last two national championship teams.
Like those two before him, Garrett’s focus, each game and each possession is on competing, no matter what his numbers read or if his shots fall.
Because of that, it’s not hard to envision a triple-double being in his KU future. But you probably won’t learn about it from Garrett if he gets one.
Here’s a quick look at the five games in his KU career in which Garrett has come the closest to recording a triple-double.
|Date & Opponent||Points||Rebounds||Assists|
|1-27-20 - at Oklahoma State (Jr.)||7 (2-of-6)||8||9|
|1-18-20 - at Texas (Jr.)||13 (6-of-14)||7||7|
|11-21-17 - vs. Texas Southern (Fr.)||13 (4-of-8)||11||3|
|3-16-19 - vs. Iowa State @ Big 12 tourney (Soph.)||7 (2-of-12)||15||4|
|1-14-20 - at Oklahoma (Jr.)||15 (5-of-12)||5||5|