Stats show college players at the top of the game
Fred Jeter | 3/26/2020, 6 p.m.
There is no official NCAA team champion this basketball season due to COVID-19, but there are many individual national champs.
One, in fact, has a local address.
Jacob Gilyard, the junior point guard for the University of Richmond, led the nation this season with 3.16 steals per game.
The Kansas City native also averaged 13 points, five assists and three rebounds while help- ing the much-improved Spiders finish 24-7.
Gilyard’s “thievery” on the court is a family trait. His dad, Rodney Gilyard, is the all-time steals leader at Ottawa University in Kansas.
The Richmond area has a history of hard court burglary. Virginia Commonwealth University’s Briante Weber led the NCAA in steals in 2014 and former Highland Springs High School star Jay Threatt, playing for the University of Delaware, ranked No. 1 in 2012.
Points parade: Marquette University senior guard Markus Howard won the NCAA scoring title with 27.8 points per game.
The 5-foot-11 Howard, of Puerto Rican ancestry, finished as Marquette’s all-time scorer with 2,761 points. Ranking third with 24.8 points per game was Hampton University’s Jermaine Marrow.
Lord of the boards: Kevin Marfo, who led the nation with 13.3 rebounds per game for Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, is a man in demand.
The 6-foot-8, 245-pound Marfo has entered the transfer portal and now is being heavily recruited as a graduate transfer. VCU is among the schools showing interest.
Coincidentally, Marfo played against VCU in 2016-17 for George Washington University.
Block party: Florida International University senior Osasumwen Osaghae led the nation with 3.81 rejections per contest.
Of Nigerian ancestry, the 6-foot-9 Osaghae was born in Miami, just 20 days after his parents arrived in the United States from Africa. Originally, he was a FIU walk-on under former Coach Anthony Evans, who also coached in the past at Norfolk State University.
Pass master: North Carolina A&T State University sophomore Kameron Langley was the nation’s assists leader with 8.0 assists per game. The Greensboro, N.C., native had 12 outings with double-digit assists, with a high of 15 assists against Howard University.
Sharpshooter: Had the NCAA Tournament gone on as planned, the University of Kansas likely would have been the No. 1 overall seed.
A 7-foot, 270-pound reason for the Jayhawks’ success was senior center Udoka Azubuike, who led the nation with a 74.8 field goal percentage.
Azubuike figures to be the NCAA’s all-time leader in field goal percentage, breaking the mark held by Tacko Fall.
Nearly automatic: California State University-Northridge’s Terrell Gomez was the last player anyone wanted to foul this season. The 5-foot-8 junior from Los Angeles led the NCAA with .918 accuracy (109-115). For his career, Gomez is 260-for-292, or 89 percent.
Long distance operator: Stefan Gonzalez was the man for the 3-point connection. The Cal State-Northridge senior made 83 of 174 tries for 48 percent. For his career that started at St. Mary’s University, he shot 45 percent beyond the arc.
UR’s Nick Sherod ranked 10th this season at 44 percent.