Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

Jackson Emery is a record-setting basketball pickpocket. Only Danny Ainge had more steals in a BYU uniform, and Emery will swipe Ainge's record soon. Ainge collected 195 steals by the time his college career ended in 1981. Thirty years later, Emery has 194 thefts and counting. Who has more steals per game, Ainge or Emery? Click through our list of the top 10 thieves in BYU basketball history to find the answer and other records held by Emery. Other than Emery and Ainge, only three other Cougars have managed to average 1.5 steals per game in their careers: Robbie Reid (1.52 — 94 steals in 62 games), Terrell Lyday (1.50 — 99 steals in 66 games) and Mike Hall (1.50 — 90 steals in 60 games). The only other players above 1.25 steals per game in a career that lasted more than one season are Haws (1.48) and, surprisingly, center Rafael Araujo (1.42 — 88 steals in 62 games). Others with more than 100 steals during their Cougar careers are Randy Reid (118), Mark Bigelow (116 — he holds the record for most steals in a game with nine), Ken Roberts (104) and Justin Weidauer (102).

10 Matt Montague (1996-97, 99-02) 124 steals
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

Thrust into the starting point guard role as a raw freshman during BYU's dismal 1-25 season, Montague emerged as one of the very best steal artists in Cougar history. He also went on to set the school record for most assists in a career with 570. He averaged 4.7 assists and 1.0 steals in 122 career games.

9 Lee Cummard (2005-09) 129 steals
Jason Olson, Deseret News archives

Cummard is all over the BYU record book. The top Cougar scorer in 2007-08 and 2008-09, he is in the school's career top 10 in wins played in, assists, 3-pointers made and attempted, field goals made and attempted and more, including steals. He also is 11th in career points and 18th in rebounds. He was the MWC player of the year in 2008. The long-armed Cummard averaged nearly a steal per game in 131 games.

8 Russell Larson (1991-95) 131 steals
Tom Smart, Deseret News

A longer, taller, inside version of Cummard, Larson was a big man who deflected a lot of passes, was good at stepping into a passing lanes and who could get out and run the floor. The fourth-leading scorer in BYU history with 1,885 points, he also is fourth in wins played in. Larson averaged just more than a steal per contest in 129 career games.

7 Nathan Call (1986-88, 90-92) 138 steals

The second point guard on the list, Call wasted little time starting to make his way here. As a freshman, his late steal and bucket sealed a BYU win over UTEP. He was an All-WAC defensive team selection as a senior and is third on BYU's career assist list with 528. Call averaged 1.1 steals in 129 career games.

6 Scott Sinek (1981-85) 140 steals
Gary McKellar, Deseret News archives

Another point guard, the steady 6-foot-2 kid from Fullerton, Calif., stepped in and played big minutes the year after Ainge left, averaging 7.5 points and 3.3 assists as a freshman. Sinek is now 14th on the school's all-time assists list and averaged 1.2 steals in 115 career games.

5 Jimmer Fredette (2007-present) 142 steals
Robert Goo

A co-captain with Emery, Fredette, like Ainge, is one of the best college players in Cougar history. He is among the school career leaders in points, assists, steals, free throws, field goals, 3-pointers and wins played in. He holds the BYU record for most points in game with 49. With 50 steals as a sophomore in 2008-09, Fredette had one of the top 10-best seasons of thievery in school history. Fredette has averaged 1.2 steals in 119 career games.

4 Jonathan Tavernari (2006-10) 165 steals
Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

The Brazilian swingman was one of the most flamboyant players in BYU history with his quick trigger, quicker smile and penchant for dramatic 3-pointers. The player who played in the most Cougar wins, he is among school leaders in multiple shooting and scoring categories. He also was as steady a thief as any who played for the Cougars. JT had seasons of 50, 49 and 48 steals. Overall, he averaged 1.25 steals in 132 games.

3 Marty Haws (1986-90) 182 steals
Courtesy of

Now known as the father of Tyler Haws, who played a big role as a freshman for BYU last year before leaving on an LDS mission, Haws was a lightning-fast point guard with great instincts. He held BYU's single-season record for steals (66) until Emery shattered it last year (91). Haws was an elite pickpocket; he is the only Cougar to average more than two steals per game in a season before Emery came along, averaging 2.2 steals in 1989-90. Haws is also fourth on the all-time school assists list. He averaged 1.48 steals in 123 games.

2 Danny Ainge (1977-81) 195 steals
Associated Press

When he moved on first to Major League Baseball and then to the NBA, Ainge held the BYU career records for points, assists and steals. He also held the records for points, assists and steals in a single season. Nearly all of those records have been eclipsed, but not by much. He still is the record-holder for career points at 2,467, and he is second in career assists. Emery will push him back to second in steals shortly. But Ainge averaged 1.65 steals in 118 games.

1 Jackson Emery (2005-06, 08-present) 197 steals
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

Emery set several records last year: His 2.6 steals per game was a BYU mark. His 91 steals set the Cougar single-season record and tied the Mountain West Conference record. His 46 steals in MWC league games was a single-season conference record. He was an obvious MWC all-defensive team selection. This season he is on pace to break all of those marks and needs just four steals to pass Ainge. He is averaging 2.7 steals this year, and has swiped six in a game three times in his career. He also is fifth on the MWC career steals list. In 114 career games so far, Emery is averaging what would be a school-record 1.73 steals per game.