A triple-double is difficult to come by in college men's basketball -- there have been only two in the history of the Mountain West Conference, the first in 1999 and the second in 2006.
And while Boise State senior Ryan Watkins had only a double-double last week at New Mexico with 15 points and 22 rebounds, the 6-foot-9 forward probably deserves some extra credit and not just because those 22 boards came against one of the better rebounding teams in the conference.
His double-double stands out among the 108 in the Mountain West this season.
There actually was a triple within that double-double.
Watkins had 11 offensive rebounds and 11 defensive rebounds, which is something considering there are teams in the conference that haven't been able to grab 11 offensive rebounds in a game.
Wyoming, in its first 19 games, has yet to do it. The Cowboys' high for offensive rebounds this season is eight, which they have done four times, most recently at Nevada.
Air Force has pulled 11 or more offensive rebounds in a game only four times in 18 games.
Fresno State has done it six times in 21 games including victories over San Diego Christian and UC Merced, which do count, but probably shouldn't. The Hawks and the Golden Bobcats are NAIA programs, the latter in Division II. UC Merced also is 2-20, playing in a California Pacific Conference that includes Cal Maritime, Simpson College, William Jessup, Menlo, Pacific Union and La Sierra.
Mountain West teams have played 215 games this season, and in a little more than half they have had 11 or more offensive rebounds in a game -- 114, or 53%.
Watkins did that, by himself.
The 11 offensive rebounds is the most by a Mountain West player going back through the 2006-'07 season, and only seven times in that stretch has a player had as many as 10 in a game.
Watkins, who ranks third in the MW with 10.7 rebounds per game, has three of the seven:
- 11: Ryan Watkins (Boise State) at New Mexico, 2013-'14; 22 total
- 10: Alex Davis (Fresno State) at UNLV, 2013-'14; 11 total
- 10: Watkins vs. Utah State, 2013-'14; 16 total
- 10: Watkins vs. Louisiana State, 2012-'13; 17 total
- 10: Colton Iverson (Colorado State) vs. New Mexico, 2012-'13; 15 total
- 10: J.R. Cadot (Texas Christian) vs. San Diego State, 2010-'11; 12 total
- 10: Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State) vs. Cal State Fullerton, 2009-'10, 18 total
San Diego State forward Josh Davis, who is second in the MW at 11.6 per game, has a high of six offensive rebounds -- against McNeese State, at Kansas, against Fresno State and UNLV.
The double-double for Watkins was his ninth this season, ranking in a tie for third in the conference. He also had three steals against New Mexico, but was well short of becoming the third player in conference history to put together a triple-double. Mark Dickel had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for UNLV in a victory over Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 19, 1999 and Justin Williams had 10 points, 15 rebounds and 12 blocks for Wyoming in a victory over Utah on March 10, 2006.
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
- at New Mexico 84, Boise State 75
- Wyoming 66, at Air Force 59
- San Diego State 75, at San Jose State 50
- Nevada 96, at Fresno State 86 (2OT)
- at UNLV 62, Utah State 42
- at Wyoming 64, Nevada 62 (OT)
- New Mexico 68, at Colorado State 66
- at Boise State 76, San Jose State 55
- at UNLV 75, Fresno State 73 (OT)
- San Diego State 74, at Utah State 69 (OT)
Fresno State obviously doesn't have much in the win column at this point, but Davis' appearance on the list of 10 offensive rebound games is another sign that the Bulldogs are making some slow but steady progress in their second season in the Mountain West.
While their 1-7 record doesn't impress, the Bulldogs have improved in a number of statistical categories against their conference competition since last season.
They are averaging 70.8 points in their conference games, up from 58.2 a year ago. They've boosted their rebounds per game to 32.3 from 28.9, their assists per game to 12.3 from 9.2, their percentage of assists per basket to 52.4% from 46.9%, their offensive points per possession to 1.02 from 0.91 and their turnovers per game is down to 9.5 from 10.4.
The shooting percentage, however, is the same and an area they need to get much better: The Bulldogs have hit just 38.2% (187 of 490) of their shots in conference games.
"We're going to get there," coach Rodney Terry said, after an overtime loss at UNLV. "It's going to happen, and we're not going to hope for it to happen, we're going to make it happen."
- San Diego State can defend -- the Aztecs are leading the nation in field-goal percentage defense (36.2%) and tied with Clemson for first in scoring defense at 56.1 points per game. Not that one has anything to do with the other, but last week their opponents struggled just to make free throws. San Jose State hit 9 of 17 (52.9%) and Utah State hit only 2 of 7 (28.6%) in losing to the Aztecs.
- UNLV beat Utah State by 20 points, winning 62-42, despite shooting only 38.2% (21 of 55). It was the first time since a 73-48 victory over Texas-Pan American on Nov. 18, 2008, that the Rebels have won by 20 or more while hitting less than 40% of their shots. They hit 39.1% (25 of 64) in that win.
- Fresno State has 273 assists in 21 games -- the Bulldogs had 275 all of last season.
- Nevada became the second MW team this season to get no scoring from its bench in a 64-62 loss at Wyoming. Marqueze Coleman, D.J. Fenner and Cheikh Alioune Fall played a total of 41 minutes and shot a combined 0 for 8 including 0 for 2 on 3-pointers.
- San Diego State extended a streak of wins in which it hit less than 40% of its shots to three at San Jose State on Wednesday, hitting just 39.3%. That followed victories against Fresno State (33.3%) and UNLV (33.9%). It's the first time the Aztecs have won three consecutive games in which they hit less than 40% of their shots since 2005-'06. In their second game of the week, they hit 41.7% and beat Utah State in overtime.
- Fresno State had 21 offensive rebounds in its overtime loss at UNLV, including the 10 by Davis. That is the most the Bulldogs have had in a game since they had 22 in a 90-73 victory at East Tennessee State on Nov. 27, 2004. Mustafa Al-Sayyad led Fresno State with five and Carl Ross and Hector Hernandez had four each.
- Boise State did not turn over the ball a single time in the first half of its victory over San Jose State and finished with just four in the game. It's the first time the Broncos did not have a turnover in a half since a victory at Fresno State on March 11, 2004.
- Boise State's four turnovers matched the fewest in a conference game this season. San Diego State also had only four when it beat Fresno State. Colorado State had four in a nonconference victory over Weber State in November and Air Force had four in a victory over Western State in December.
- Wyoming, which plays at Fresno State on Wednesday night, has won four MW games in a row for the first time since 2008-'09, when they beat UNLV and Texas Christian at home and then went on the road and beat Colorado State and Air Force.
Utah State had a rough week, losing at UNLV and then the overtime game to San Diego State.
In the loss to the Rebels, the Aggies hit season lows in field-goal percentage at 30.8% (16 of 52), 3-point field-goal percentage at 11.8% (2 of 17) and assists with four. They scored only 42 points in the loss, their fewest since a 77-42 loss at Utah on Dec. 7, 1999.
Amazingly, in that loss to the Utes, Utah State also hit 16 of 52 shots, had four assists and obviously scored just 42 points. They were just a tad better at the 3-point line, though, hitting 19% (3 of 16).
The reporter can be reached at email@example.com or @rkuwada on Twitter. His "Mountain West: Week in Review" report runs Wednesdays during the Fresno State football and basketball seasons. Read his daily updates at www.fresnobee.com/bulldogs.