Stephen Curry and Pistol Pete: No Comparison Applicable

Ari KramerSenior Analyst IIFebruary 24, 2009

It was only a matter of time before college basketball followers began comparing Stephen Curry's scoring ability to that of "Pistol" Pete Maravich, college basketball's most prolific scorer of all-time.

Curry, who is currently leading the nation with 28.6 points per game, has scored 2,434 points in his entire career and is within striking distance of Maravich's all-time record of 3,667 points in a college career. If the 6'3" guard, who won the collective heart of the college basketball world during last year's NCAA Tournament, does not bolt for the NBA Draft, he might just be able to eclipse Maravich's mark. 

But before Curry fans root for him to skip the Draft, come back to Davidson, and ascend to the top of the list, they should know the following: Back in the 1960s, when Pistol Pete attended Louisiana State University, college basketball's rulebook was significantly different from that of today.

If you watch this highlight of Maravich at LSU, you will notice that there is not a three-point arc. That's right, Pistol Pete scored all of his points by ones and twos.

Still, the lack of the line didn't stop Pistol from launching shots from 20, 30, and even 40 feet away from the basket. And by the way, if you can't tell by his point total, I'll let you in on a little secret.

Maravich connected on loads of those chucks.

Maravich's Wikipedia page says the following:

"Maravich would have averaged 13 three-point scores per game, which would have given the player a career average of 57 points per game."

Fifty-seven points per game! That would have been 13 points higher than Pete's actual career average of 44.2 points per game, which leads to the next point.

His average of 44.2 points per game is nearly 20 points higher than Curry's. How is it possible that Curry is within striking distance of Maravich's record? Well, that's another way that the college game was different in the '60s.

Back then, there was a freshman team and a varsity team at LSU, and all freshmen had to play on the freshman team. So Maravich only played three years of college basketball, and still put up those ridiculous numbers.

Curry is already in his third year, has played 14 more games than Pistol Pete ever did, and is still over 1,000 points behind the all-time leading scorer.

Make sure you remember all of this before you consider Curry the best scorer of all time.