Top 25 All-Time Best-Long Distance Shooters in College Basketball

Doug BrodessCorrespondent IApril 28, 2012

Top 25 All-Time Best-Long Distance Shooters in College Basketball

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    While the college game has changed over the years, the ability to knock down shots from long-range has always been and will always be a big part of the formula for success on the hardwood.

    In today's game, whether it is to keep the floor spread or prevent opponents from just packing the lane, having players who can hit shots from beyond the arc is a must.

    Here is a list of 25 of the best long-range shooters in college basketball history.

    Some of the best bombers of all time played before they dropped the three-point circle on the floor. Those great players are included in this list.

    Some of the players on this list are on here because of shooting percentages. Others were placed because of the number of threes that they knocked down.

    No one statistical category reigns supreme.

    If I've missed someone that you think should be included, make your case.

    If I've put someone on this list and you don't know what I was thinking, challenge me.

25. Casey Jacobsen (Stanford)

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    Casey Jacobsen was a long-range shooting specialist at Stanford.

    Jacobsen knocked down 222 three-pointers in three years in Palo Alto, connecting on 42.7 percent.

    As a sophomore, he buried 47.2 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, a Stanford school record.

24. Isaiah Caanan (Murray State)

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    Isaiah Canaan decided to stay put and come back to Murray State for his senior year.

    That is not good news for the rest of the Ohio Valley Conference or anyone else that the Racers play in 2012-13.

    Canaan has hit 44.5 percent from beyond the arc over his first three years at MSU. He also knocked down 48.2 percent (54-for-112) as a freshman and 45.6 percent this past season as he led his team to an amazing 31-2 record.

    Stay tuned for an exciting senior season for the stocky 6-footer.

23. Dennis Scott (Georgia Tech)

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    Dennis Scott was lethal as a member of "Lethal Weapon 3" (with guards Kenny Anderson and Brian Oliver) at Georgia Tech.

    Scott knocked down an ACC record (then) 137 threes as he led the Yellow Jackets to the 1990 Final Four.

    Over his three years in Atlanta, the 6'8" forward hit an amazing 351 threes (42.2 percent).

22. Dan Majerle (Central Michigan)

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    Thunder Dan was a sniper at Central Michigan.

    He hit 43% of his three's (47-for-109) over his junior and senior seasons (They threw down the arc half-way through his collegiate career).

    Majerle shot over 52 percent from the field each of his four years, and hit 53.6 percent of all of his FGs during his Chippewa career.

21. Wesley Person (Auburn)

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    Wesley Person is Auburn's all-time leader in made 3-pointers (262) and 3-point percentage (44.1 percent).

    The 6'6" wing shot over 50 percent from the field over his 108 game career for the Tigers.

    Lon Kruger, who faced Person as the head coach of Florida, said, "Every time he rose up to shoot it you really thought it was going in. He had unlimited range and pure, classic form."

20. John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)

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    John Jenkins was a shooting/scoring star at Vandy.

    Jenkins led the SEC in scoring the last two seasons (2010-12) and averaged 16.9 ppg for his three-year collegiate career.

    He shot 44 percent from beyond the arc, knocking down 306 three's, which accounted for 60 percent of all of his shots as a Commodore.

    In his last year in Nashville, Jenkins led the nation in made three's with 134.

19. Shawn Respert (Michigan State)

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    Because of cancer, Shawn Respert didn't have the pro career that he should have.

    But Respert was an awesome shooter/scorer at Michigan State, where he was the school's career scoring leader, dropping in 2,531 points over his four years at East Lansing.

    He hit 45.5 percent (331-for-728) of his shots from downtown.

18. Steve Novak (Marquette)

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    Steve Novak may be the best 6'10" collegiate three-point shooter ever.

    Novak nailed 46.1 percent (354-for-768) of his three's in college.

    Rarely has the college hoops world seen a player this long shoot it this well.

    His shooting stroke was as sweet as anyone of any height during his four years (2002-2006) at Marquette.

17. Tony Bennett (Wisconsin-Green Bay)

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    Back in the day, a long time before Tony Bennett was known as an up-and-coming college head coach, he was an amazing long-distance shooter at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

    Bennett still ranks as the NCAA's all-time leader in 3-point percentage (.497), shooting 290-for-584.

    Also, he finished his collegiate career as the Mid-Continent Conference's all-time leader in points (2,285) and assists (601).

16. Allan Houston (Tennessee)

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    Silky smooth Allan Houston was one of the SEC's most dynamic shooter/scorers of all time.

    Houston is Tennessee's top scorer (2,801 points), who only trails LSU's Pete Maravich on the SEC's all-time scoring chart.

    When he graduated, Houston was the the conference's career leader in threes with 346, hitting 42.4 percent.

15. Chris Lofton (Tennessee)

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    Another great shooter from Rocky Top...Chris Lofton. He may not be as much of a household name as Allan Houston, but back in his days in Knoxville, he used to light other teams up.

    Lofton hit 93 three-pointers as a freshman, breaking Chris Jackson's SEC first year mark.

    Over his four-year Vols career (2004-2008), Lofton hit 431 threes, setting the conference record and putting him only 26 behind the all-time collegiate leader, J.J. Redick.

14. Kyle Korver (Creighton)

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    From the time he hit the campus at Creighton in 1999 until he left four years later, Kyle Korver was nailing threes.

    While some great collegiate shooters gradually got better as their careers went on, Korver sizzled each of his seasons, never hitting less than 43 percent from down town.

    As a Blue Jay, Korver dropped in 371 shots from beyond the arc (both a school and Missouri Valley Conference record), hitting a combined 45.3 percent (14th in NCAA history).

13. Jimmer Fredette (BYU)

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    Few individual players have put their team on their back and carried them like Jimmer Fredette did in his senior season at BYU.

    Fredette hit 346 field goals from all over the court in the 2010-11 season, most of any player since the late 1990's.

    If you've forgotten what kind of range he had, watch and be amazed.

    Over his four years in Provo, Fredette hit 296 shots from beyond the arc. 

12. Glen Rice (Michigan)

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    Very few players have shot the ball better from downtown than Glen Rice.

    Even though he played for Michigan back in the late 1980's, Rice still owns several shooting and scoring marks.

    Besides leading Michigan to the 1989 NCAA Championship, he is still the Wolverines all-time leading scorer (2,442 points).

    Over his sophomore through senior seasons, Rice connected on 135-of-281 shots from beyond the arc for a sizzling 48 percent.

    During his senior seasons, Rice knocked down 51.6 percent of his three's. That still remains the best single-season percentage in school history.

11. Jason Kapono (UCLA)

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    From the time he was moving into the dorm as a freshman, Jason Kapono was burying three's at Pauley Pavillion.

    Over his four years at UCLA, Kapono knocked down 317 shots from beyond the arc, hitting on 44.6 percent.

    Kapono has the distinction of being the only player in Bruin history to lead the team in scoring and being selected as First Team All-Pac 10 all four years that he was on campus.

10. Steve Kerr (Arizona)

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    Steve Kerr was one of the sharpest shooters in college basketball history.

    Unfortunately, he showed up in the college game at a time that, other than his senior season, he didn't benefit from the three-point circle.

    But, he took full advantage of that one season.

    Kerr knocked down an NCAA record 57.3 percent of his threes in the 87-88 season, hitting 114-of-199. 

    In his four years in Tucson, Kerr shot a combined 54.8 percent.

9. Salim Stoudamire (Arizona)

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    Salim Stoudamire didn't make people forget Steve Kerr in Tucson, but he surely removed his name from some school shooting records.

    Stoudamire hit an amazing 342 threes over his four-year career at Arizona, hitting an eye-popping 50.4 percent (led the nation) his senior year.

    He was known for his crazy range and his quick release. Sometimes, opponents didn't even have a chance to man up and try to stop him.

8. Austin Carr (Notre Dame)

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    Austin Carr could flat out light it up!

    In a 74 game collegiate career at Notre Dame, Carr averaged 34.6 ppg on 52.9 percent shooting.

    What makes Carr's scoring accomplishments that much more amazing is that he played well before the 3-point line was a part of the college game.

    Carr once playfully said,“With that short three-point line in college, that’s a lay-up. I would have loved to have played with that line.”

    In 1970, Carr went for 61 points against Ohio University, an NCAA Tournament record.

7. Steve Alford (Indiana)

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    If Steve Alford would have had the three-point stripe to shoot from behind all four years at Indiana, he would have made well over 400 bombs.

    In his one year to knock down threes, as a senior, Alford hit an amazing 53 percent (107-of-202).

    Alford graduated as the Hoosiers' all-time leading scorer (2,438 later eclipsed by Calbert Chaney).

    He came up huge when it counted the most, hitting 7-of-10 threes in the 1987 NCAA Championship game to help the Hoosiers win it all.

6. Stephen Curry (Davidson)

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    Because of his unbelievable shooting ability, Stephen Curry made a ton of people sit up and take notice of Davidson College basketball.

    In the 2006-07 season, Curry set the NCAA record for made three-pointers for a freshman with 122.

    One year later, Curry set the all-time NCAA record for three's made in a season with 162.

    In his three years at Davidson, he knocked down 414 shots from beyond the arc.

    If he would have stayed and played his senior season, he would have set the NCAA career record for three-pointers.

5. Jerry West (West Virginia)

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    Jerry West was one of the all-time greats in college basketball history.

    He played for West Virginia during the late 1950's, leaving his mark permanently on Mountaineer basketball.

    Though West didn't have the benefit of the three-point arc, he was undoubtedly one of the best long-range shooters in collegiate history.

    For his three years, West scored 24.8 ppg and shot 50.8 percent from the floor, many of which would have been three-pointers now.

4. J.J. Redick (Duke)

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    If you watched Duke play from 2002-2006, you saw J.J. Redick knock down a couple of threes.

    Well, actually, J.J. holds the NCAA record for most made 3-pointers with 457. 

    Reddick made an ACC single-season record 139 3-pointers in 2005-06 and dropped 100 or more 3-pointers in three separate seasons.

    He hit 40.6 percent from beyond the arc, which is amazing considering how many shots he launched from down-town.  

3. Rick Mount (Purdue)

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    If you've never seen in footage of Rick Mount play, you need to watch him because he was one of the great shooters in college basketball history.

    Because he played in the late 1960's without the three-point arc, his name is not in the record book for his long-range shooting exploits.

    From the time that he walked on the court, Mount's guns were blazing.

    He averaged 32.3 points per game and shot 48.3 percent from the floor for his three years at Purdue. Mount also scored at least 30 points in 46 of his 72 collegiate games.

2. Larry Bird (Indiana State)

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    Larry Bird was unmatched among front court players in college basketball history as a long range shooter.

    Like others on this list, Bird didn't benefit from the current three-point circle, but that doesn't diminish his accomplishments.

    Even though he played only three years, Bird finished as the fifth highest scorer in NCAA basketball history with a career scoring average of 33.4 points per game.

    He shot 53.3 percent from the floor, knocking down 1,154 career field goals.

    Bird's ability to pull up from anywhere this side of half-court made him a constant nuisance with the ball in his hands.

1. Pete Maravich (LSU)

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    Pete Maravich was a once-in-a-lifetime player.

    He holds nearly all of the NCAA scoring records.

    • Most career points (3,667).
    • Highest career scoring average (44.2 points per game).
    • Most field goals made (1,387).
    • Most field goals attempted (3,166).
    • Most career 50-point games (28).
    • Most points scored in a single season (1,381).
    • Highest scoring average in a single season (44.5 points per game)

    It has been reported that former LSU head coach Dale Brown charted every shot that Maravich took in college basketball and calculated that he would have made an average of 13 three-point shots per game.

    If that is true, he would have made over 1,000 three pointers, over 500 more than J.J. Redick's NCAA record of 457 threes.

    If Brown's estimate is true, Maravich would have averaged an insane 57 points per game.

    Don't you love the trademark "floppy socks" that Pistol Pete is wearing in this picture.