As you get ready to immerse yourself in March Madness, don’t forget to do a little homework. You don’t want to be the only person at the party without some stats to share. Here are a few great records – some recently crafted and others left untouched on the shelf for years – to up your street cred wherever you’ll be watching NCAA men’s basketball this month.
From Downtown: 3-Point Shooters
Scoring close to 500 points for Davidson in the 2008 season with 3-pointers alone, Steph Curry enabled their 2007-2008 March Madness Cinderella run. While they ultimately lost to the eventual winners, the Kansas Jayhawks, the “Baby-Faced Assassin” made everyone aware of the talent he contained … and the Golden State Warriors took notice.
There have been challenges to the throne as recently as 2014 and 2016, however, with Akeem Richmond of East Carolina scoring 155 points. Unlike Curry, Richmond wasn’t able to parlay his long-range success in college to a career in the NBA. Buddy Hield, tied for third with 147 points, made a better transition on the back of his performances at the University of Oklahoma as the sixth overall draft pick by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2016.
Rejected: Blocked-Shot Specialists
At almost six blocked shots per game, it’s been hard for anyone to get close to replicating the work done by Keith Closs at Central Connecticut State during the 1995 and 1996 seasons. He struggled to translate these performances into the NBA, playing three season for the Los Angeles Clippers, largely in a backup role. Closs averaged just over one blocked shot per game in his NBA career.
Adonal Foyle, who trailed slightly behind Closs’s numbers, parlayed his time at Colgate between 1995 and 1997 as a blocked-shot specialist into a 12-year professional career. He played for the Golden State Warriors for a decade before stints with the Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies rounded out his NBA life span.
Free Points: Most Accurate Free-Throw Shooters
There are no perfect free-throw shooters in collegiate basketball, but Blake Ahearn has come the closest. He completed close to 98 percent of the free-throw opportunities he earned, 117 out of 120, for Missouri State in 2004. He wouldn’t get the same number of opportunities in the NBA, playing only 19 games in his career between the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, and Utah Jazz, but he continued to convert. Ahearn was 32 out of 33 for free throws in the NBA.
J.J. Redick, who scored over 90 percent of his attempted free throws for Duke, turned his college performance into a successful NBA career. Drafted 11th by the Orlando Magic, Redick currently plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, after a few games in between with the Milwaukee Bucks. Reddick has scored 1,366 of his 1,539 free-throw attempts in the NBA, or almost 89 percent.
Bountiful Buckets: Top Scorers
No player scored more in his NCAA career than Pete Maravich for Louisiana State University. He played for the school from 1967 to 1970 and scored 3,667 points. Known as “Pistol Pete,” the proficient scorer would go on to play in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans/Utah Jazz, and Boston Celtics, before retiring. He averaged over 24 points per game in the pros, and recently had his number retired by the Hawks. It had previously been retired by the Jazz, Pelicans, and LSU for Pete’s invaluable contributions.
The highest scorer in recent history, Doug McDermott, scored over 3,100 points for Creighton between 2010 and 2014. In his years in the NBA, between the Chicago Bulls who drafted him 11th overall and the Oklahoma City Thunder, “McBuckets” is closing in on 1,400 points scored. He’s completed almost 40 percent of his 3-pointer attempts too!
Laying It On: Highest Single-Point Games
You may not have heard of Kevin Bradshaw, but he holds the record for most points scored in a single Division I game with 72. He broke the record for U.S. International playing against Loyola Marymount, in turn sending Pistol Pete’s record of 69 to second place.
Maravich actually owns two of the top five highest-scoring games, with 69 and 66 points each. He earned these records against Alabama and Tulane respectively. Pete actually has four total games where he scored more than 60 points, which has made attempts at catching some of his other records most challenging. He also owns the record for most games scoring at least 50 points (28 games).
Take On the Madness
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