On November 13, 2007 Lester Hudson became the first D1 player to record a quadruple double in Tennessee-Martin’s win over Central Baptist College. Hudson finished the game with 25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals. An absolute monster of a game, but not a 5×5. Hudson recorded just one block. A 5×5 consists of five or more points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks in a game.
Last season, Nicolas Batum was the first NBA player to get a 5×5 since 2006 last season (link here). The feat might as well be called the Hakeem Olajuwon (six 5×5′s) or more recently the Andrei Kirilenko (three 5×5′s). The most improbable 5×5 in NBA history belongs to Jamaal Tinsley, it’s amazing to think he even had five blocks in a game.
NCAA players have the disadvantage of 40 minute games, but team pace wipes out some chances too. For example, consider Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker. He’s not really a top 5×5 candidate, but he’s not absolutely terrible either. Yet in Bo Ryan’s system Dekker never had five assists, steals, or blocks in a single game (let alone all at once)! Trying to find 5×5 NCAA games is a daunting task. I’m very confident in saying that there was not a single 5×5 game last season, but beyond last season I only looked at obvious past players that stood out in my mind. In other words, I can’t find a 5×5 game, but I would be very surprised if there weren’t a couple out there over the last 10 years.
The reason I would be very surprised is because of how close some players I looked up were to getting a 5×5. Below is a table of ten notable candidates in recent memory and their respective games close to a 5×5:
Nerlens Noel was just one steal away last season. His season-ending ACL injury may have cost him a chance at history. Anthony Davis remarkably finished just two steals shy in the NCAA Championship game against Kansas. A lot of these guys, like Davis, just don’t stick around long enough to get the 5×5. VMI’s Chavis Holmes finished just one assist and one block shy in just 21 minutes of action in 2008! The game was played against non-D1 opponent Villa Julie College.
The player that first came to mind when researching 5x5s was omitted from the table above. In fact, it’s almost shocking this player didn’t get a 5×5 in his career at Vermont. Marqus Blakely was so versatile in his career, he deserves a table of his own:
Without further ado, here are your top 10 5×5 candidates for the 2014 college basketball season:
1. Kevin Hardy – McNeese St (Jr.)
Last Season – 13 pts, 13 reb, 5 ast, 3 blk, 4 stl vs Northwestern St
Hardy is as versatile as anyone this season. The 6’2″ guard consistently put up big block and steal numbers last season. If you force me to pick one guy, this might be the pick.
2. Marcus Smart – Oklahoma St (So.)
Last Season – 20 pts, 7 reb, 7 ast, 4 blk, 5 stl vs. North Carolina St
Smart didn’t record five blocks in a game last season, but he is great in all the other categories. He will almost certainly come close again this year.
3. Chris Udofia – Denver (Sr.)
Last Season – 13 pts, 2 reb, 5 ast, 4 blk, 3 stl vs New Mexico St
Again, another extremely versatile player most haven’t heard of. At 6’6″ he was 50th in the country in blk%. He has a (relatively) good chance entering his senior season.
4. Sir’Dominic Pointer – St John’s (Jr.)
Last Season – 13 pts, 9 reb, 7 ast, 2 blk, 6 stl vs Rutgerrs
Pointer didn’t have too many monster steal and block games, but his season averages were very solid in all five categories. His also minutes increased later in the season.
5. Kyle Anderson – UCLA (So.)
Last Season – 4 pts, 8 reb, 3 ast, 2 blk, 5 stl vs Washington St
Anderson has the rare combination of being a very good rebounder and assist man. At 6’9″, a five block game isn’t out of the question.
6. Isaiah Armwood – George Washington (Sr.)
Last Season – 18 pts, 7 reb, 3 ast, 4 blk, 3 stl vs Rutgers
Armwood is one of the best shot blockers in the country. He only had a five assist game once and never had a five steal game last season, so a little luck would need to be involved.
7. Matt Hunter – Central Connecticut (Sr.)
Last Season – 14 pts, 9 reb, 4 ast, 4 blk, 2 stl vs Monmouth
Hunter rarely came out of games last year, which is a huge advantage. He finished 65th in the country in stl% and is a very good defensive rebounder for his height. Blocks and assists will be the challenge.
8. Kareem Jamar – Montana (Sr.)
Last Season – 18 pts, 8 reb, 7 ast, 3 blk, 3 stl vs Northern Colorado
Jamar is a great triple double candidate on any given night, but hasn’t gotten a ton of blocks or steals in his career. All it takes is one game though.
9. Willie Cauley-Stein – Kentucky (So.)
Last Season – 7 pts, 8 reb, 4 ast, 4 blk, 2 stl vs Vanderbilt
This is a reach. I don’t think anyone on this list was as bad at a single category as Cauley-Stein was in assists last year. He clearly has upside though.
10. Wiggins/Parker/Randle (Fr.)
Have you heard of them?
The search is still on for a past 5×5 game. I’m sure they’re out there, feel free to comment below with any information.