A Detailed look at Double-doubles

Phil Walsh
Apr 22 · 6 min read

Over ninety-five percent of all double-doubles are points and rebounds. Centers and forwards collect seventy percent of them.

Last week Amber Rolland, one of our Twitter followers, asked us for a breakdown of double-doubles by position.

Some quick background, in case you’re new here: when talking about double-doubles we’re looking at numbers from five individual statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots. Whenever a player posts double-digit results in any two of those categories, that’s called a double-double (and while we’re here, we’ll mention that triple-doubles and quadruple-doubles are exactly what they sound like). The most commonly achieved double-double involves points and rebounds, and that is referred to as a conventional double-double. We’ll refer to any combination other than points and rebounds as a non-conventional double-double. And Amber’s question is, if you categorize double-doubles by player position (guard, forward, center), what do you find?

Her Hoop Stats collected data from over 5,300 Division 1 games for the 2018–2019 season. Sifting through that data reveals 3,882 double-doubles. When we break those down by position, we find that forwards accounted for the majority of double-doubles this season (59 percent), while guards recorded just half as many (30 percent) and centers accounted for 11 percent.

NCAA D1 double-doubles, by position

The most common double-double was points and rebounds, and forwards — the players positioned to grab most rebounds — accounted for almost twice as many double-doubles as guards. Centers seem slightly underrepresented here — I would have expected them to have roughly half as many double-doubles as forwards, but they actually accounted for less than 1/5 as many. This can be at least partly explained by the fact that some teams don’t play a traditional C-F-F-G-G lineup. As one example, UConn’s starting five this season was F-F-F-G-G.

As I mentioned earlier, “double-doubles” isn’t a monolithic grouping. There are actually ten different types of double-doubles. In this season’s data we found 166 double-doubles that were not the points and rebounds type. Those 166 non-conventional double-doubles represent slightly more than 4 percent of the total.

Conventional vs. non-conventional double-doubles

Of the nine possible types of non-conventional double-double, only five occurred this past year: points and assists, points and blocks, points and steals, rebounds and assists, and rebounds and blocks. (Extra-credit points here for anyone who can identify the remaining four types of double-double!)

Non-conventional double-doubles, by type

The points and assists category accounts for almost 93 percent of the non-conventional set. (And we can now see that just two types of double-double constitute 99.7 percent of the overall total: points and rebounds with 95.7 percent and points and assists with 4 percent.)

Although centers and forwards rack up most of the conventional double-doubles, it’s almost all guards who record the rest.

Non-conventional double-doubles, by position

Of the 166 non-conventional double-doubles we found, guards owned 160 of them, forwards garnered 5, and only 1 was recorded by a center (that lone center was Channon Fluker of CSUN, who scored 18 points and blocked 11 shots against San Diego State in a game in early December. When you add in her seven rebounds that night, she was just three boards shy of a triple-double).

Another thing the charts reveal is that out of 3882 double-doubles recorded in the 2018-2019 season, 3879 involved double-digit points. Only three double-doubles (less than 1 tenth of 1 percent) did not involve a player scoring 10 or more points. That’s a very small group. Here are those stat lines in detail:

Very non-conventional double-doubles

Shout-out to Angela Vendrell of UAB, who was the only player in D1 this year to notch a double-double without scoring a point. Thirteen rebounds and eleven assists look good any time, regardless of how many points come along with them!

Now let’s take a close look at triple-doubles. This year we were treated to 34 triple-doubles, accounting for less than one percent of all multi-category efforts.

Triple-doubles by position

One of those triples was by a center, two belong to forwards, and the rest were claimed by guards.

Players recording one triple-double for the year

Fourteen players recorded a single triple-double. It’s difficult to pick standout performances when you’re already dealing with a very select group, but certainly Stella Johnson’s 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists (plus six steals just for good measure) catches the eye, as does Brooke Salas’s 32 points, 22 rebounds, and 11 blocks (surprisingly, Salas is a 5'11" guard).

A handful of players recorded multiple triple-doubles. Six players accounted for a total of 20 triple-doubles, and all six were guards.

Players recording multiple triple-doubles

Sabrina Ionescu made headlines throughout the season while racking up seven triple-doubles. Jackie Young, whose two triple-doubles hint at her overall versatility, was the #1 overall pick in the WNBA draft. Chastadie Barrs punctuated a great senior year at Lamar University with four triple-doubles. Amy O’Neill, a transfer student from Australia, notched two triple-doubles in her final year at St. Francis Brooklyn. Ashley Bolston of Portland State had two triple-doubles in what was just her junior campaign, and was one steal shy of a quadruple-double in one of those games.

And finally, speaking of quadruple-doubles: at the very bottom of our list of triple-doubles, you find Shakyla Hill of Grambling. You can see that Hill recorded three triple-doubles this season. And if you look closely (which is something we try to do as often as possible), you’ll see that on February 2nd this year, she scored 21 points, snagged 16 rebounds, dished out 13 assists, and grabbed 10 steals for a very rare quadruple-double, the only one of the season. That sent us digging back into our data for years past, looking for other quadruple-doubles. In the last four seasons, there have been only two such performances, and amazingly, both of them belong to Shakyla Hill. She is the only player in NCAA history with two quadruple-doubles. Here are her stat lines for those two games:

All quadruple-doubles in D1 in the last four seasons

Very few of us are ever going to be in the gym on a night when a player puts up a quadruple-double. Even a conventional double-double only happens roughly three games out of every four and is always worthy of applause. We hope we’ve given you some insight into how common or uncommon some stat lines are. As we transition from college to the WNBA season, keep your pencils sharpened, keep your eyes on the court, and enjoy the game!

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Phil Walsh

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Insight about women’s basketball brought to you by herhoopstats.com