On this date in college basketball history former LSU guard and one of the game’s most electrifying players of all-time, Pate Maravich, set the NCAA mark when he made 30-31 free throws against the Oregon State Beavers.
On this date in 1969, Pete Maravich set an NCAA record by going 30-for-31 from the free throw line: pic.twitter.com/pgZXmReqTX
— NCAA (@NCAA) December 22, 2013
Pistol Pete was before his time. He played in the era without a three-point line–which didn’t stop Pistol from jacking it up from downtown and before freshmen were eligible, but he put ridiculous numbers that will never be matched ever again.
Playing for his father Press, Pistol Pete set the record for points scored in a season when he posted a staggering 44.5 points per game during the 1969-70 season, highlighted by 69 points vs. Alabama. The three-time All-American also holds a 44.2 career average.
He finished his career with 3,667 points in only three seasons. It would take some all-time greats six or seven seasons to come close to that point total, but part of what made Maravich so great was his flair for the game.
“He was like a great singer,” said broadcaster Chick Hearn, “with a style all his own, a pacing that was different, a flair for the unusual.”
Despite all of his individual success, Maravich was labeled as a selfish player, and Pat Riley tabbed him as the most overrated superstar.
“Raw-talentwise, he’s the greatest who ever played,” said Lou Hudson, a Hawks teammate. “But always, no matter what he does, he will be a loser. That’s his legacy. It never looked easy being Pete Maravich.”
It never looked easy defending Pistol Pete either as he made opposing defenders look silly and after a Hall of Fame career. Sadly he passed away at the age of 40 in 1988. He doesn’t get remembered along with the greats of his generation, but today let’s remember the showman he was as one of college basketball’s greatest scorers.