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Canadian-born Kellen Tynes first to lead NCAA in total steals and steals per game

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia’s Kellen Tynes became the first Canadian-born basketball player to lead the NCAA in both total steals and steals per game.

Canadian guard kellen tynes leads ncaa in steals
Canadian guard kellen tynes leads ncaa in steals

Over the past decade, we have witnessed some impressive feats by Canadians playing NCAA men’s division I college basketball.

Jordan Bachynski swatted his way to the record books by leading the NCAA in blocks. RJ Barrett, become the first Canadian to notch a triple-double in 35 years, Fardaws Aimaq led the entire nation in rebounds per game.

This year alone, Marcus Carr become the all-time Canadian NCAA points and assists leader, Zach Edey is having the most dominate all-time season by a Canadian and is the odds on favourite to become the first Canadian to win the national player of the year award.

Next in line is Kellen Tynes. The six-foot-four Maine Black Bears guard is the first Canadian-born basketball player to lead the entire NCAA in both total steals and steals per game.

The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia native has been one of the best stories this season. The junior guard completed the best season of his NCAA college basketball career by stuffing the stat sheet with 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and a NCAA division I leading 3.3 steals per game.

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Finishing the season with a total of 98 steals in 30 games, Tynes set the Black Bears single season all-time record. The junior transfer guard came-up three steals short of tying the American East Conference (AEC) record of 102, set by Craig “Speedy” Claxton during the 1999-2000 season.

Maine Black Bears Canadian guard Kellen Tynes leads NCAA in steals
Canadian guard Kellen Tynes leads NCAA in steals – Photo: Maine Black Bears

American-born, dual-citizen and Eastern Washington Eagles star, Ronn McMahon (Provo, Utah) holds the single-season, Canadian NCAA total steals and steals per game record.

McMahon, a starting point guard for Canada at the 1992 Tournament of the Americas and the 1994 FIBA World Championship, was credited with 130 steals in 29 games, the fourth-best all-time in NCAA history and a ridiculous average of 4.48 steals per game during the 1989-90 season.

The five-foot-nine guard, recorded a career best, an Eastern Washington record and a still standing Canadian all-time high, nine steals against Portland on December 15, 1989 to establish the single game record.

Putting forth the best defensive effort of his career, Tynes came-up one steal shy of tying McMahon’s 34-year-old record, registering a career-high eight steals in the Maine Black Bears win against Binghamton.

“He just has got an innate skill on that side of the ball, obviously he is really quick, he has a long wingspan, he has great timing with his hands. But the best defenders are competitors, and he is an ultra competitor, and that’s why he gets it done down there.” shared Maine head coach, Chris Markwood following the Black Bears 71-63 road win.

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Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, former Fordham Rams guard Joseph Chartouny, become the Canadian NCAA career steals’ leader with back-to-back seasons of 94 and 97 steals in 2016-17 and 2017-18 to push his total to 272 steals in 118 games during his time with Fordham and Marquette.

Chartouny’s 97 steals in 29 games and his 3.34 steals per game average led the NCAA, but came-up two spots short of the total steals mark of 112 set by Jevon Carter (West Virginia) and Matisse Thybulle (Washington) with 101.

A back-to-back American East conference player of the week, Tynes was named the conference’s best defensive player and his one of five players nominated for the Lefty Driesell award, which is given to the top defender in college basketball.

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