BYU basketball: Jackson Emery set to break Danny Ainge's steals mark

By Lynn DeBruin

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 4 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

His wife, Cherese, said the guy is not afraid to get bloody on the court, and battle for every loose ball and rebound, is about as easygoing and laid-back as one can get.

"He's one of the sweetest, most caring and loving people you'll ever meet," Cherese Emery said, while noting that Emery insists on "cleaning day" on Saturdays and once-a-week "date" nights.

Though she sees the bruises and stitches he comes home with, Emery is not a complainer.

Two years ago, Emery left the Tulsa game with whiplash and a big knot on his head, and a gash on his left elbow that required a dozen stitches.

He was back in the lineup the next game.

"He'll play through a lot of things that most people won't play through," Ramos said.

After earning his spot as more of a defensive stopper, Emery has evolved into a well-rounded player. Last year, Emery hit 85-of-197 3-pointers (.491) while leading the Cougars with a single-season record 91 steals. Through 15 games this season, he already has 44 steals while averaging 11.8 points and 3.9 rebounds a game.

Of Ainge's 195 steals, 60 came as a freshman.

So why has the record stood so long?

These days, college players are more likely to jump to the pros after two or three years.

"Not a lot of kids are leaving early from BYU," Ainge quipped.

Ainge wants to be the first to congratulate Emery.

"I don't know if there's a player that I've seen give maximum effort night in and night out," said Ainge, himself a player who got by on grit and tenacity. "I'm a big fan."

AP freelancer Ken Powtak contributed to this report from Boston.

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