Gene's Blog: Ike, Grant can sing the triple-double blues

Grant Shaeffer joined the St. Thomas 2.99 Double Club on Wednesday night.

That's not a meal deal at Wendy's or Culver's, nor is it a McPick 2.

Shaeffer came close to a Mac Pick 3.

The Tommie senior point guard had 21 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds with just one turnover in 36 minutes to lead the visiting Tommies to Wednesday night's 81-66 MIAC men's basketball victory at Macalester.

That's one rebound shy of the elusive triple double -- a rare feat in college hoops with double-digit totals in points, rebounds and either assists, steals or blocked shots.

Shaeffer finished the night with a 10-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. He had 13 points, six assists and three rebounds in the first half.

He surpassed 1,100 career points and 325 assists in the process. The former Eden Prairie Eagle needs four assists to move into No. 2 behind Mark Buri on the St. Thomas career lists.

With Shaeffer playing a huge role, St. Thomas has won nine of its last 10 games and shares first place in the MIAC with Bethel -- a half game ahead of St. John's.

Oh, yeah: The Tommies play both the Johnnies and Bethel in the next four days.

Shaeffer has been a money player as a three-year starter, missing just three of the last 78 starts over three seasons. He was held out of three early January games due to an ankle injury that incurred earlier over the holiday break. In games when he scores 13 or more points on his career, the Tommies are 38-3.

Last March, Shaeffer averaged 18 points and three assists and made 33 of 39 free throws in St. Thomas' 6-0 NCAA run to the national title. He played 118 of the 120 minutes in those last three NCAA playoff defeats of No. 1-ranked Augustana, No. 4 Christopher Newport and No. 2 Benedictine.

 

Triple Threats?

If a Tommie men's or women's player has ever recorded a triple double, we can't find it.

We're confident it hasn't happened in the last 15 seasons, as those stats are easier to research online.

All-America center Isaac Rosefelt twice came within one blocked shot of the elusive triple double. All-America Kaitlin Langer was one block short of the same last season.

This select group of Tommie men and women have come close, with these interesting stat lines:

Women

  • Erica Opdahl, Feb. 2003 vs. Carleton: 12 points, eight rebounds, seven blocks
  • Jessica Katch, Feb. 2007 vs. Bethel: 20 points, 10 steals, seven rebounds
  • Rachel Booth, Feb. 2010 vs. St. Catherine: 17 points, eight rebounds, eight blocks
  • Taylor Young, Mach 2012, vs. Calvin: 25 points, seven assists, six steals, two rebounds
  • Maggie Weiers, Feb. 2014 vs. Gustavus: 12 points, nine rebounds, seven steals, three assists
  • Anna Smith, Nov. 2014 vs. UW-Stevens Point: 11 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, four steals, three blocks
  • Maggie Weiers, Feb. 2015 vs. Bethel: 14 points, 19 rebounds, five assists
  • Kaitlin Langer, Nov. 2015 vs. UW-Stevens Point: 18 points, 15 rebounds, nine blocks
  • Kaitlin Langer, Dec. 2016 vs. Bluffton: 21 points; nine rebounds; seven assists, three blocks

Men

  • Isaac Rosefelt, Dec. 2005 vs. Gustavus: 27 points, 14 rebounds, nine blocks
  • Isaac Rosefelt, Dec. 2006 vs. Macalester: 13 points, 15 rebounds, nine blocks
  • Isaac Rosefelt, Feb. 2007 vs. Augsburg: 26 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks
  • Isaac Rosefelt, Feb. 2007 vs. Bethel: 21 points, nine rebounds, seven blocks
  • Mike Keating, Feb. 2007 vs. Gustavus: 15 points, 11 rebounds, six assists
  • B.J. Viau, Feb. 2008 vs. Bethel: 18 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals
  • Anders Halvorsen, Jan. 2001 vs. Macalester: 18 points, eight rebounds, seven blocks
  • Tommy Hannon, Feb. 2011 vs. Hamline: 10 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals
  • Al McCoy, March 2011 vs. Aurora: 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists
  • John Nance, March 2011 vs. Wooster (NCAA title game, off the bench): 16 points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals
  • Conner Nord, Jan. 2015 vs. Bethel, 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three blocks
  • Ryan Saarela, Feb. 2016 vs. Bethel, 14 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, three steals

UST legends like Laurie Trow, Bob Rozier and Steve Fritz certainly had several double doubles -- you wonder if any of them come close to the triple with a lot of blocked shots?

Tommies like Karnell James, Mollie Pattyn, Jenny Phillips and Missy Pederson often had lively stat sheets, too.

 

Super Stats

On a similar subject of rare statistical feats, another memorable Tommie hoops player posted a rare stats combo that few -- if any -- NCAA athletes can match. Two-sport ace Lonnie Robinson once recorded 10 assists in a March 2008 playoff basketball contest against Buena Vista, and in a 2006 baseball game struck out 16 Northwestern batters in a 3-1, nine-inning compete-game victory.

Lonnie Robinson: The King of Ks and As.

And Grant Shaeffer? No hoops triple double (yet)... but here's a decent career trifecta: two state high school football championships with Eden Prairie; one state high school basketball runner-up trophy with the Eagles; plus an NCAA hoops title with the Tommies.

Take it from a stat nut like me: A ring will make you forget about one rebound any day of the week.

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Gene's Blog is a sports column penned by UST sports information director Gene McGivern. Gene is working in his 23rd season at St. Thomas and 29th overall in the MIAC. He blogs periodically on various topics regarding the Tommies, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and Division III sports.

If you have comments or questions, e-mail Gene at ejmcgivern@stthomas.edu