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Mitchell Northam | NCAA.com | February 7, 2019

Lamar's Chastadie Barrs is the best women’s basketball player nobody is talking about

Lamar Athletics Chastadie Barrs is chasing records for Lamar. She also has the Lady Cardinals undefeated so far in Southland Conference play. Chastadie Barrs is chasing records for Lamar. She also has the Lady Cardinals undefeated so far in Southland Conference play.

Here’s a per-game average stat line to consider: 15 points, 6.9 rebounds, six assists and 5.9 steals.

With one glance at those numbers, many would quickly recognize that person to be one of the most versatile players in all of women’s college basketball. But because she doesn’t play at UConn, Notre Dame, Baylor, Louisville or another one of the sport’s typical powers, she has flown under the radar on her quest to rewrite the sport’s history books.

Her name is Chastadie Barrs. She is a senior guard at Lamar University, a school in Beaumont, Texas, which competes in the Southland Conference.

She is sixth in the Southland in scoring, sixth in rebounds, first in assists and first in steals. She also leads the country in steals and is 12th in assists per-game.

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Lamar is first in the Southland standings this season with a 17-4 overall record and a 10-0 undefeated mark in conference play. Barrs is a big reason why the Lady Cardinals are on track to make their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2010.

Simply put: Barrs is the best women’s college basketball player that few are talking about. But when her career is said and done, her name will be etched the record books.

Barrs’ Accomplishments
• In 2018, tied Florida A&M’s Natalie White for the NCAA single-season steals record with 191
• 12 steals vs. New Orleans on Jan. 9 is the most by any player in a single game this season
• Nine career triple-doubles
• Three-time Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year
• Named to the 2019 watchlist for the Nancy Lieberman Award

RANKINGS: AP Top 25 | USA Today Coaches Poll | RPI Ranking

Barrs is already third all-time in career steals with 580 after swiping the ball away five times in a 63-60 win against Abilene Christian on Wednesday. She trails only Old Dominion’s Ticha Penicheiro and first-place holder Natalie White of Florida A&M for the Division I record. Barrs already owns the Lamar and Southland record for career steals.

It’s feasible that Barrs could break that all-time steals record. Lamar has eight regular season games remaining, plus a few more potentially in the postseason. If she averages five swipes per-game over the rest of the regular season, she’d be sitting at 620, just five away from owning the record.

NCAA Division I Women’s College Basketball | Career Steals

Rank

Years

Player

School

Steals

1

1991-95

Natalie White

Florida A&M

624

2

1994-98

Ticha Penicheiro

Old Dominion

591

3

2015-19

Chastadie Barrs

Lamar

580

4

1990-94

Heidi Caruso

Lafayette

532

5

2005-09

Angel McCoughtry

Louisville

481

*The NCAA began tracking steals as an official stat in the 1987-88 season.

Even if Barrs misses the mark, it’s likely that she’ll be named Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth straight season.

The 5-foot-8 native of DeSoto, Texas, also joined the great Penicheiro in an exclusive two-member club earlier this season. On Dec. 17, in a win over Howard Payne, Barrs joined her as the only two players in the history of women’s Division I college basketball to record at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists, and 500 steals in a career.

Barrs’ career has been the epitome of versatility and it seems that athletic ability runs in her family. Her mother played basketball at North Texas, her father played football at Memphis and her brother played football at Wisconsin.

NATIONAL STATS: Individual and team leaders in the 2018-19 season

As a junior, Barrs set Lamar’s school record for career triple-doubles when she notched her fourth. Barrs has since registered five more triple-doubles as a senior, giving her nine for her career thus far.

Barrs also needs just 13 assists to get to 654, putting her past Ramona Jones for Lamar’s school record for career assists. She’s also 11th all-time in rebounds for the Lady Cardinals.

Chastadie Barrs | Career Stats

Year

Games

FG%

3PT%

FT%

Rebounds

Assists

Steals

Points

 

Per-Game

15-16

31

33.3

28.9

59.4

5.9

3.9

3.96

10.3

16-17

30

35.7

57.1

64.9

5.9

6.4

4.73

8.9

17-18

30

35.9

22.8

62.3

5.5

6.63

6.36

12.1

18-19

21

38.8

34.4

65.3

6.9

6.04

5.9

15

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The Swiss-army knife skillset of Barrs has helped Lamar reach new heights this season. They have won 24 straight Southland Conference games and the Lady Cardinals haven’t fallen in their home at the Montagne Center since Feb. 24, 2016.

Lamar also ranks first in all of women’s Division I college basketball in turnover margin (+10.95), steals per game (15.7), turnovers forced (25.85) and steals (313).

Armed with Barrs and a stout defense, if Lamar wins the Southland Conference tournament and gets into the Big Dance, they could sneak up on a high-seeded team and play the role of Bracket-Buster.

And that’ll be just another highlight in Barrs’ historic career.

Mitchell Northam is a graduate of Salisbury University. His work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Orlando Sentinel, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times. He grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and is now based in Durham, N.C.

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