College Basketball's Top 25 Scorers
Damian Lillard of Weber State leads the nation in points per game, but he is not the leading scorer. Creighton's Doug McDermott is the best scorer in the nation, despite scoring almost three points per game fewer than Lillard.
When it comes to scoring, points per game is not the only thing to consider. How you score you points and who you score them against are important factors: Are you playing to your strengths? Are you taking unnecessary shots? How strong is the opposition?
While points per game is obviously a huge factor, it is not alone. These above factors, the level of your opposition and how consistent you are comes into play as well.
This list is not solely the players who score the most points per game—you could find that on any sports site. This list goes beyond simply statistics to bring you the biggest scoring threats in the country.
These include a good mix of mid-majors and power-conference players. While Lillard scores almost 27 points per night because he plays against poor teams, players like John Jenkins of Vanderbilt are able to score almost as much against much better teams.
The following are the 25 best scorers in the country, and we will see most of them in the NBA one day.
25. J'Covan Brown, Texas
J'Covan Brown's 18.9 points per game rank No. 44 in the country, yet he plays only 33.2 minutes per game.
Brown is a guard for the Texas Longhorns. This junior shoots 45.6 percent from the floor, including 37.1 percent from behind the arc.
Brown is not the most consistent player, scoring from six to 35 points in a game, but he does well against good competition, and he is leading one of the best offenses in the country.
24. Julian Mavunga, Miami (OH)
Julian Mavunga is a forward for Miami (OH). He is a 6-foot-8 forward who plays down low. While his height deterred him from playing at a big-name school in a power conference he is leaving his mark on the college basketball world anyway.
Mavunga's 21.1 points per game ranks No. 15 in the country, yet that fact is taken with a grain of salt, as he played 39 minutes per game and shoots only 46.5 percent from the floor.
Shooting 14.4 times per game, Mavunga only makes 6.7 shots. While he shows good consistency in games, scoring no less than 17 points in a game this season, he is missing far too many shots to be higher on this list.
23. Devon Saddler, Delaware
Devon Saddler is a sophomore guard for Delaware, averaging 21.3 points per game. He ranks tied for No. 12 in the country in points per game, yet he is not better than the No. 23 scorer in the country.
Saddler takes almost 18 shots per game, including more than seven three-pointers. He misses a lot more than he makes, shooting less than 40 percent from the floor. He took no less than 22 shots when he sank his season-high 30 points, and 26 when he dropped 27 against Villanova.
Saddler is essentially the only offense Delaware has, and the fact that he takes so many shots shows that he is not an elite scorer, and belongs in the bottom of the Top 25.
22. Carl Jones, Saint Joseph's
Carl Jones of Saint Joesph's has been one of a few huge contributors this season who could make this team Sweet Sixteen-bound.
Jones is their leading scorer at 19.4 points per game, shooting just under 50 percent from the floor. He steps up in big games, dropping 29 on Creighton, who was ranked No. 17 at the time.
Jones has good range, shooting over 40 percent from behind the arc, which comes in handy as he is not even 6-feet tall. He's a small guy but he packs a powerful offensive punch.
21. Nate Wolters, South Dakota State
At 20.2 points per game Nate Wolters of South Dakota State ranks No. 21 in points per game. In his 35.8 minutes per game he is the leader of the Jackrabbits.
Wolters could rank higher on this list but he is one of the least efficient scorers on this list. Shooting only 42.5 percent from the floor he needs almost 16 shots per game to average over 20 points. He also shoots an atrocious 26.3 percent from the floor despite taking over five 3s per game.
Wolters isn't very efficient but there's no getting around the fact that he is one of the leading scorers in the nation.
20. Frank Gaines, IPFW
You've probably never heard of the IPFW Mastodons before now, but they have one of the best scorers in the country.
Frank Gaines is a shooting guard and he is only a junior. He is 6-foot-5, which makes him taller than a lot of guards that he plays against in the Summit League, and he can use that to his advantage.
His 21.3 points per game ties him for No. 9 in the country, but he shoots only 40.9 percent from the floor. It only takes him 30 minutes per game to drop 21.3 points, and he is pretty consistent, but there's no getting around the fact that he takes roughly 17 shots per game.
19. Kenny Boynton, Florida
Kenny Boynton is the best of Florida's four talented guards, and he leads the team in scoring at 18.7 points per game in only 30.7 minutes.
Shooting 50 percent from the floor, including 45.7 percent from three, Boynton doesn't waste a lot of shots, and he is consistent in his scoring, scoring less than 13 points only once.
This 6-foot-2 junior guard could go to the NBA if he wishes, or he could stay another year and become a Top 10 scorer in college.
18. Darren White, Campbell
Darren White of the Campbell Fighting Camels is No. 13 in the nation in scoring with 21.2 points per game.
White is effective in his 33.6 minutes per game, shooting almost 56 percent from the floor including 44.7 percent from three.
White is a deadly assassin at this level, and he could have been a sophomore if he red-shirtted last season. Unfortunately he is a junior and we will only have one more year of this kid to watch.
17. Gerald McLemore, Maine
Gerald McLemore is No. 7 in the nation in points per game at 22.0. He has only played six games at 36.8 minutes per game this season but he is leaving his mark.
Unfortunately he is shooting only 50.5 percent from the floor, including 40 percent from behind the arc.
McLemore is an extremely talented guard who has not had the chance to make himself known, playing for a small school, and his one game against a ranked opponent has passed.
16. Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
If you've been wondering about why Murray State has been so successful, it is because of Isaiah Canaan.
Canaan is an incredible scorer, dropping 19.8 points per game in 33.3 minutes. He is efficient, shooting 50.4 percent from the floor and 48.4 percent from 3-point range. He also makes use of his free throws, shooting 84.3 percent from the line.
Canaan is a very efficient scorer and is one of the best in the country. Not to mention that he's leading one of the most surprising teams in the country.
15. Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Ashton Gibbs may just be the best shooting guard in the country despite his somewhat slow start to the season. Gibbs has become the center-piece for this team that has lost a lot of talent, yet defenses are focusing on him more.
Gibbs is averaging 18.7 points in 35.1 minutes per game, but he is having difficulty hitting his shots. He is shooting only 39.1 percent from the floor, yet 42.3 percent from behind the arc.
It's got to be tough with defenses knowing that they have to lock you down, but Gibbs is handling the extra attention well.
14. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
Jared Sullinger is a man among boys, and he is my pick for Player of the Year. He is the center for Ohio State, and despite injuries he is putting together a great season.
Sullinger's average of 18.3 points per game is lower than that of Ashton Gibbs on the previous slide, but he is doing it in a more efficient way.
In less than 30 minutes per game Sullinger is shooting almost 60 percent from the field. What makes him even more impressive is that he has great touch for a big man, shooting free throws at a staggering 83.6 percent.
13. Charles Hinkle, American
Charles Hinkle of American University averages 22.2 points per game, which puts him at No. 5 in the country.
He's only shooting 40.8 percent from the field, but 41.3 percent from 3-point range. He also shoots about 85 percent from the free throw line.
He may not be the most efficient, but this senior is consistent, scoring double-digit points in every game he's played this season.
12. Reggie Hamilton, Oakland
Reggie Hamilton is a guard for Oakland. He is No. 20 in the nation with 20.3 points per game.
Hamilton is one of the most efficient free throw shooters, shooting 92 percent from the line, but he does not hit most of his shots from anywhere else.
Hamilton is shooting only 39.6 percent from the floor, including 29.3 percent from 3. He is not an efficient player and if he hit half of his shots he could be one of the top five scorers in the country.
11. Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut
Jeremy Lamb has taken Kemba Walker's place at Uconn, averaging 20 points per game for the Huskies. He is tied for No. 23 in the nation in points per game.
Lamb is shooting 51.2 percent from the field. He's only a sophomore and if he decides to come back to school for another year we could see him really take off.
He's been one of the top scorers in the nation since he dropped 30 points in his first game, and he holds that status.
10. Herb Pope, Seton Hall
Herb Pope of Seton Hall is No. 8 in the nation at 21.9 points per game through his first nine games. He is playing 32.7 minutes per game, but he is still pretty efficient.
Shooting 55.4 percent from the floor including 39 percent from 3, which makes him a viable shot option. He takes good shots but also has the ability to drain difficult ones as well.
This 6-foot-8 forward has been consistent, scoring at least 16 points in every game. He is doing well right now, scoring 23, 25 and 26 points in his last three games, respectively.
9. Darryl Partin, Boston
Senior guard Darryl Partin of Boston University is averaging 21.2 points per game. That puts him at No. 14 in the country. Partin is another player who is shooting a lot more than he probably should be, but at a school like Boston he has to carry the load. Partin is shooting only 40.6 percent from the floor, and while that's poor it does not shadow the fact that he is a great scorer.
8. Will Barton, Memphis
Will Barton is a very talented sophomore for Memphis. He is the team's leader and has been trying to salvage a season that has been more than a little disappointing.
Barton is having his own success, however, scoring 20.4 points per game, which makes him No. 19 in the nation.
Barton's 55.7 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from 3 show that he is an efficient shooter who doesn't waste shots. He is one of the most efficient shooters among guards on this list, and that can't be overrated, as the key to winning a game is taking and making good shots.
7. John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
At 21.3 points per game John Jenkins is tied for No. 12 in the country in points per game. He is one of the best shooting guards in the nation, if not the best, and he consistently proves it despite playing for a disappointing team like Vanderbilt.
Jenkins shoots 48 percent from the floor including 43.1 percent from 3. With big man Festus Ezeli missing a lot of early games defenses have been honing in on Jenkins to shut him down.
Entering his junior season opposing teams knew they would have to shut him down if they wanted to win, and despite all the extra attention he has still been a Top 10 scorer in the country.
6. Orlando Johnson, UC Santa Barbara
Orlando Johnson is a guard-forward combo for UC Santa Barbara. He is scoring 22.1 points per game, which makes him No. 6 in the nation.
Johnson appears to be thoroughly enjoying his senior season, dominating opponents and shooting well.
Johnson shoots 45 percent from the floor and 41.9 percent from behind the arc. He has been taking a lot of good shots and has been finding new ways to punish opponents this season.
5. Ken Horton, Central Connecticut State
Ken Horton hasn't had too much competition to be the best player in the Northeast conference, but there is no getting around the fact that he has been on fire.
Horton is averaging 23.3 points per game, which is third-best in the nation. After red-shirtting in his junior season this forward is now a senior and is dominating the game.
Not only is he scoring but he's doing so efficiently. He is shooting 62.6 percent from the floor, and a ridiculous 60.6 from 3-point range. Horton is easily one of the best scorers in the country.
4. Marcus Denmon, Mizzouri
A guard for the Missouri Tigers, Marcus Denmon ranks in the Top 10 for points per game at 21.3 in 31.0 minutes.
Denmon is very efficient, shooting 53.3 percent from the floor and 49.2 percent from 3. Did I mention he also shoots 91.7 percent from the free throw line?
Denmon has been doing very well for this team in his senior season, and has continued to do well despite playing some high-quality teams.
3. Terrell Stoglin, Maryland
Terrell Stoglin has been leading this Maryland team through the early part of their schedule. While they haven't had to deal with any ACC teams yet they have played some good teams.
Stoglin is only a sophomore but his 22.2 points per game make him fourth in the country in scoring. He's very consistent, scoring only 20 points in a game twice this season, and going over 30 twice.
He's relatively efficient, shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and 34.2 percent from 3. He is one of the best scorers in the country and he constantly proves it.
2. Damian Lillard, Weber State
Damian Lillard of Weber State leads the nation in points per game with 26.9. He is a threat from anywhere on the court, shooting 50.4 percent from the floor and 45.2 from 3.
Lillard doesn't play against tough teams but this junior leads the nation in scoring, and his number are simply outstanding. He has not scored less than 15 points in a game this season, he dropped 41 against San Jose State, and in his last four games he broke 30 points three times.
Despite playing only 10 games last season Lillard has come out strong and is arguably the best scorer in the country.
1. Doug McDermott, Creighton
Creighton just may be the most surprising team in the country, and he is second in points per game in the country at 24.0.
McDermott is the heart and sole of this Creighton team, and this forward has led a very surprising team.
McDermott shoots 62.6 percent from the floor and 60.6 percent from 3. He is incredibly efficient, and his 6-foot-7 stature helps him dominate smaller small forward at this level.
McDermott scored only 13 points in his first game but has scored 20 or more points in every game since, including dropping 24 plus in six straight.
Josh Schoch is an aspiring sports writer dedicated to bringing you everything related to college basketball, college football, the NFL, NBA, MLB and much more. Follow him on Twitter.