Averaging a double-double at the NBA level isn’t necessarily a feat. It’s good, mind you. But there isn’t the same awe attached to that accomplishment in a single game or over the course of a single season that the triple-double gets (or at least got before Russell Westbrook managed to do it for back to back seasons amid calls of stat-padding).
Alas, we’re here to talk about college double-doubles instead. Namely those of Syracuse Orange men’s basketball forward Quincy Guerrier.
You already know that Guerrier’s having a big year for Syracuse, going from averaging just 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a freshman to 16.7 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore. The leap’s been incredible to watch, and it very well could come with further accolades, too. Notably, Guerrier’s knocking on the door of being the first Orange player to average a double-double since Rick Jackson in 2010-11.
During that season, Jackson averaged 13.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, leading the team in rebounds but finishing second in scoring. After Tuesday night’s win over Miami, Guerrier now leads Syracuse in both points and rebounds per game. The last player to do that and average a double-double on the year? Carmelo Anthony back in 2003, when he put up 22.2 points and 10.0 boards per night.
Quincy has some work left to do to get there, obviously. While it would take a lot to miss out on double digit scoring per game at this point, rebounds are going to take a greater effort to get above 10. Over the final 12 scheduled games right now, he’d have to average about 10.5 per game — before accounting for postseason games after that, where he’d need to do the same to hold onto the double-double.
Now obviously, we’d rather just win games than have a guy average a double-double each night. But since he’s so close... why not both? And really, given our rebounding struggles this year, we may need a lot of him on the glass. In a Miami game where Marek Dolezaj was severely hampered by foul trouble, Quincy grabbed eight boards and we wound up with a 34-33 advantage on the glass. That extended SU’s record to 8-0 when they win the rebounding battle, even if barely.
Ideally, though, recent developments make the rebounds from Guerrier less essential. Jim Boeheim himself said that Guerrier (and Buddy) should help facilitate more minutes for the combination of Kadary Richmond and Jesse Edwards in the starting lineup. Edwards managed six rebounds in 23 minutes, AND helped lighten the load for SU’s starting big men.
Considering that just 13 months ago Jim was looking for “anything” out of Guerrier, it’s been interesting to see just how crucial to Syracuse’s fortunes now. If he can pull off averaging a double-double this year, he’s be just the 11th Orange(men) player to do so. That list would also include Jackson, Anthony, Billy Owens, Derrick Coleman (3x), Rudy Hackett (2x), Bill Smith (3x), Vaughn Harper (2x), Dave Bing (2x), Jon Cincebox (3x) and Gary Clark.