Stealing back to regular ball

Roderick Bobbitt saved a ball as he flew into the Hawaii bench at CSUN.
Roderick Bobbitt saved a ball as he flew into the Hawaii bench at CSUN.

With all the NCAA gravity of the last few days, on-court matters became something of an afterthought for Hawaii basketball — current coaches and players aside.

Here’s something to get you back to thinking between the lines (of a court, not an NCAA story or document) as the middle-of-the-pack Rainbow Warriors (15-8, 3-4 Big West) trek up through central California for Thursday’s game at Cal Poly (10-10, 3-5).

In UH’s 65-50 loss at Long Beach State on Saturday, point guard Roderick Bobbitt went on another trademark thievery spree. His eight steals were a highlight for UH in defeat, but it actually only tied for his second-highest total of the season.

He’s been doing it with his crafty look-offs at a ballhandler about to make a pass to Bobbitt’s man (or someone else’s), by picking pockets clean, by swiping inbounds passes, by every method conceivable.

As you might expect, there’s a number of statistical things to point out about what’s going on here with Bobbitt. I’m taking a deep breath, because here goes nothing.


The Indian Hills College transfer is now second in Division I basketball in both total steals (74) and steals per game (3.2). The top holder of both categories is VCU guard Briante Weber, at 78 and 3.9. But Weber tragically went down for the season recently before he could break the NCAA record for career steals. It’s truly unfortunate.

That also means Bobbitt, a junior, has a good chance to finish the season as the leader in total D-I steals, if he can keep up something close to his ridiculous rate. And with the way UH defends with reckless abandon, he’ll have his chances. It would also help if UH gives itself at least an extra couple of games in the Big West tournament.

As for as UH records are concerned, he’s already nearing historic ground. He’s already one of just two players in recorded UH history to put up a triple-double, which he accomplished with a record 10 steals against Hawaii Hilo.

Here’s where Bobbitt stands on the single-game steals charts just 23 games into his UH career.

1. Roderick Bobbitt (11/19/14, Hawaii Hilo) ……. 10
2. Tony Webster (1/29/83, Air Force) …………… 9
3. Tony Webster (12/13/80, McNeese State) ………. 8
Roderick Bobbitt (1/10/15, CSUN) ……………. 8
Roderick Bobbitt (1/31/15, Long Beach State) …. 8
6. Tony Webster (1/2/83, Northern Iowa) ………… 7

He’s got three of the top five. Below Webster, it’s a bunch of players with six, including Isaac Fleming just a few games ago.

With the eight swipes against LBSU, Bobbitt jumped over Webster twice and into fourth in the single-season list at 74. He needs only 10 to tie Tom Henderson for the record of 84 set in 1972-73.

Here’s the list right now:

1. Tom Henderson (1972-73) … 84
2. Anthony Carter (1996-97) … 78
3. Tom Henderson (1973-74) …. 76
4. Roderick Bobbitt (2014-15) . 74
5. Tony Webster (1982-83) ….. 72
6. Tony Webster (1980-81) ….. 71
7. Racky Sesler (1981-82) ….. 64
Anthony Carter (1997-98) … 64
9. Troy Bowe (1989-90) …….. 59
10. Mark Campbell (2001-02) … 55

Aaron Valdes (43 steals) has a good chance to move into the top 10 by season’s end, as well.

As for the steals per game season record, Bobbitt is, right now, far and away higher than anyone else in UH records. A.C. Carter’s 2.69 from that 96-97 season is easily the highest since Webster was in that mid-2s ballpark in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, UH’s records of annual leaders in steals per game don’t go earlier than the 1979-80 season. But we can figure out what Henderson had, based on the above list and the Olympian’s games played.

Henderson played all 26 UH games in that 84-steals season, which brings him to … 3.23 per game. Yep, it’s going to be a close one for Bobbitt (he’s at 3.22).

If we look at the Big West Conference records, Bobbitt isn’t positioned to break a record, but he’s in the top handful.

For a game, he missed the record by one with his 10 against Hilo. CSUN’s Markus Carr had 11 in 2001.

In season steals per game, if he finished the season at his current 3.22, he’d be third, behind Utah State’s Jay Goodman in 1993 (3.78) and Long Beach State’s Rasul Salahuddin in 1996 (3.61).

For total season steals, UNLV’s Greg Anthony holds the record with 108 in the Runnin’ Rebels national championship season of 1990. Bobbitt has a good chance to crack into the Big West Top 10, though.

Bobbitt’s actually ramped it up of late, with 32 steals over his last six games, a ridiculous 5.3 per game over that span.

It’s scary to think what damage the Oakland, Calif., native could do by the end of the season, and with another year of eligibility remaining. Yikes.


  1. chawan_cut February 3, 2015 8:11 am

    Nice research! When was the last time UH had anyone in the top of anything nationally?

  2. poorboy February 3, 2015 9:25 am

    Brian: Might go back way, back in the day, near 40 years ago, seen Tom Henderson in person, great strong and quick hands….just clean picks off his man he was guarding, then coast to coast and layin. Tony Webster, ticket holder for his record season, quick hands too, pick and coast to coast , dunk shot. AC Carter, they played that great Matchup Zone, he pick off passing lanes, and runout, dunk shot.
    Rod, he gets his steals, you are right, different from the above, Every way you can imagine, deflections, passing lanes, clean picks, blind steals from guys weak side, diving , jumping inbounds or long court passes and intercepting. Extremely quick great anticipation, JC leader last year in Nation for steals..he is the real deal.

    Great recognition for UH team steals one of tops in nation and Rod for individual recognition.. Would bet, a lot, that Rod and Team would prefer getting Win, rather than steal record, winning BWC tourney games and dancing. less steals , more wins and championships.. would make them happier.
    However Great work on Defense, Rod, he makes the other guards he defends very nervous, and Team follows his lead,

  3. st. anthony trojan February 3, 2015 11:19 am

    “When was the last time UH had anyone in the top of anything nationally?”

    Well …. as former Ronald Reagan would say….we are in the top 10 for sure in NCAA violations this season…

  4. seewhy February 3, 2015 12:40 pm

    RE: st. anthony trojan
    That comment was too funny! I believe Rod will break the UH record this year. He has been on fire.

  5. greenthumb February 3, 2015 12:56 pm

    Thanks for bringing the focus back to happier UH traditions. You do the fans, players, and program a service by reminding us all that we have a heritage to be proud of. And that it’s fun to look back briefly and savor, so that we can be enthusiastic about the here and now.

    On a similar note, Paul Honda’s article today about the rising generation of players whose dads played for UH is reassuring … these young men are learning the discipline that is at the heart of solid basketball.

    Gasp, Alika and Justice and Tes are dads of high-schoolers? Where have the years gone? Props to those and other families where practice and goal-setting and dedication are important parts of life both on and off the court.

  6. oldyobo February 3, 2015 2:09 pm

    #1, Gib’s father may have led the nation in loses one year.

    Wasn’t Bob Nash among rebounding leaders one year?

  7. Chicken Grease February 3, 2015 3:10 pm

    I am happy to read this kind of b-ball Warrior news (“私はニュースのこの種を読み幸せです”).

    Thank you, Brian! (ありがとう, ブライアンさん!)

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