Penn State Basketball: Reaves Eyes Program Steals Record With Eight Games To Go
Josh Reaves has played in 113 games wearing a Penn State uniform. He has started in 99 of those contests.
And on 65 occasions the game has ended with Reaves registering multiple steals.
For Reaves, his career has been as much about taking the ball from opponents as it has been trying to score. The Virginia native will never go down in the history books as one of the program's greatest offensive players (even though he boasts a career field goal percentage just over 50%), but defense coupled with an annoying under-the-skin tenacity?
Reaves is among the best.
With at least eight games remaining in Penn State's season, Reaves sits 20 steals from tying the Nittany Lion record held by Ron Brown set back in the early 1970s. Seven more and Reaves will move into a tie for second all-time with Monroe Brown at 239 pockets picked.
Already in the rear-view are the likes of Tim Frazier (145) and Talor Battle (196) both equally adept at hounding players and forcing turnovers. The national record belongs to John Linehan of Providence with 385 steals.
To make the record all his own Reaves will need to average 2.62 steals per game over the Nittany Lions' final few weeks of the season. It's a high clip for a player whose own abilities often result in the occasional foul troubles, but an obtainable pace. The good news for Reaves: he has already had 16 games this year where he has picked up two or more steals by the end of the night.
Fittingly though, as the Nittany Lions head to Purdue for a Saturday afternoon clash, the Boilermakers are the only team this season that Reaves hasn't stolen from, a streak of games dating back to last November against Pitt since he last came up empty.
There have been 21 contests in his long career that Reaves has failed to manage a steal. Fourteen of those happened during his first two years on campus. Since then Reaves has played in 58 games and has come up short on just seven occasions.
So it stands to reason that Reaves will get his steals, but will he get enough of them to set a new program record?
And if he doesn't, don't forget the four-game stretch he missed last season.
Either way, Reaves is already one of the best Penn State has had at hounding opponents, and making them pay.