BYU basketball: Kyle Collinsworth relishes Mr. Triple-Double title
PROVO, Utah — Chris Collinsworth remembers his brother coming home from a Mormon mission in Russia and posting his basketball goals on the wall. Kyle Collinsworth, the BYU guard, wanted to be known as Mr. Triple-Double.
A little more than two years later, Kyle set the NCAA career record with his seventh triple-double.
"I thought that was an interesting goal because he'd never even gotten a triple-double," said Chris, a former BYU forward. "I wasn't thinking when he was a freshman in college he was going to become the triple-double king, but here he is."
Kyle Collinsworth posted the record triple-double in a 95-81 win against Belmont on Saturday. Shaquille O'Neal (1992) and Michael Anderson (1988) are tied at six. The top 10 list includes names such as David Robinson and Jason Kidd.
Collinsworth operates as a nontraditional 6-foot-6, 215-pound senior point guard with rebounding responsibilities. He doubles as the team's best defender and is shouldering the leadership role now that the program's all-time leading scorer, Tyler Haws, is gone.
Collinsworth's career may have really taken off at the end of his sophomore season — the first after returning from Russia.
Collinsworth tore his ACL and rededicated his life. He gave everything in rehab. Stretching became a bigger part of his life and the diet was reworked. Collinsworth cut out bread and gluten. He only eats natural foods — lots of fruits and vegetables — and explained, "Basically I have a rule, if it came from God, I eat it."
"It's like, there's a moment when you go down and you realize everything can be taken from you — the game of basketball," Kyle said. "But I went down with a sense of appreciation for the game and my love increased."
That seems to be the secret of Collinsworth's skill — love for the game. Collinsworth developed a love for the game from a young age, watching his older brothers play. He was around the game since the age of 2 and was shooting layups at 3. Collinsworth wanted to play with his brothers, so he had to do anything to get on the court. In fourth grade, Kyle played on Chris' seventh-grade team.
"You could tell from a really young age he was just really competitive," Chris said. "He'd do anything he could just to be on the court with us."
Really, Kyle would do nearly anything to be included with his older brothers. Once, they told Kyle they had jumped off their parent's deck onto a trampoline that Kyle played "Dunk Ball" on. They hadn't, but Kyle was persuaded to do so himself. He jumped, hit the trampoline, bounced back in the air, came down and broke his arm. The brothers tried to convince Kyle he was OK for hours.
"After he turned bright green and was laying on the couch sick to his stomach, we finally decided to call our parents and tell him that we had broken Kyle's arm," Chris said. "I just remember my older brother on the couch holding Kyle's arm, twisting it around, like, see you're fine. And Kyle's face is just getting greener and greener.
"Like, I don't think it's fine, man. It was bad news, but he's fine. He's stronger for it."
Collinsworth is averaging 15.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6 assists. According to STATS, there's been just one player over the last 20 seasons to average at least 15 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists over the course of a season. That was Ohio State point guard Evan Turner, who was named player of the year that year.
Michigan State's Denzel Valentine is the only player besides Collinsworth with multiple triple-doubles the last two seasons. Valentine has two. Collinsworth has seven.
Collinsworth also leads all active guards in rebounds per game since the beginning of last season with 8.7 per game.
BYU coach Dave Rose said consistency is the next area of growth.
Collinsworth wanted the record, and got it, but the desire to do a little bit of everything comes down to the basic tenet of winning — and he's prepared to do anything to return the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament.
"I feel like if I focus on winning and just being a leader, then everything else kind of falls into place," Collinsworth said. "Some people like to shoot and score. I like to do everything. Anything I can to help the team win."
This article was written by Kareem Copeland from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.