Move over, J.J. Redick. There's a new three-point record holder in college basketball.
With a jumper midway through the first half of Sunday, Feb. 2's game against Milwaukee, Oakland guard Travis Bader hit his record 458th three-point shot to break the Division I record.
The NCAA's March Madness Twitter feed had the news, along with a graphic commemorating the occasion:
Bader came into Sunday's contest three three-pointers behind the former Duke guard, but going through one of the worst cold streaks of his career. He had made just 22-of-82 shots (26.8 percent) over the Golden Grizzlies' last six games, prolonging what had been an inevitability since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
The senior guard wasted no time breaking out of that slump early in the game. He scored 18 points in the first half, just a little more than one less than his season average, and knocked down five shots from beyond the arc. Oakland (9-14, 4-4 Horizon), which understandably scuffled to a 3-3 record in Bader's cold streak, was down 41-38 at the half.
One of the more prolific three-point shooters in the country, Bader ranks second in the nation behind Akeem Richmond of Eastern Carolina with 254 three-point attempts this season. It's the second straight season Bader has averaged double-digit threes, and he manages to make a respectable 38.6 percent.
As noted by Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, Bader isn't exactly the type who would wallow in his struggles:
Remember that slump from OU's Travis Bader? He doesn't. Already busted the NCAA record and has 5 first half 3s and 18 points in Milwaukee— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) February 2, 2014
Nor is he someone who basked in all the talk about the impending record-breaking shot. Speaking with Snyder as Oakland prepared for Sunday's game, Bader seemed more anxious for the spotlight to move elsewhere than he was to see his name in the record books:
It’s just people talking about it. I’d rather just focus on the team, wins and focus on this conference, the second half of conference play and into the tournament without talking about how many threes I need. If it can help the team, I’m definitely looking forward to moving past it.
Compared to Redick, who starred as a Blue Devil from 2002-06, there is no question who was more efficient. Redick never averaged more than 9.2 three-point attempts per game and hung around 40 percent in all four seasons. It's also not likely that Bader's collegiate stardom transitions to professional success the way it did for Redick, who was a lottery pick and has increased his points per game in each of his last five NBA seasons.
Still, this record is about the present—not the future. Bader might at times take shots that others around the nation wouldn't or have more opportunities than some other prolific scorers, but none of that will show up when people look at the record books. All they will see is his name.
With Oakland still having seven regular-season games plus a conference tournament on the slate, all that remains for Bader now is extending the record. Based on the way he got his stroke back Sunday, it might be a long, long time before anyone catches up.
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