Who are the Best College 3-Point Shooter this season? And how do they compare to the all-time Best NCAA Shooters?
The 3-point shot is the most sought-after way of scoring in basketball, whether in the NBA or college. However, the NCAA didn’t track best college 3-point shooter statistics until the 1986 season.
Now, if a player has a 3-point shooting proficiency, they’ll always manage to find a way to get themselves out on the court.
That said, how does this translate to the player’s team? Does the 3-point shooting success translate to NCAA Tournament success? Do the teams with the best 3-point shooters win championships?
Here, we’ll look back at that, looking at all-time 3-point shooters, the top 3-point shooter from the 2021-22 season, and lastly, the best college 3point shooter from the 2022-23 season.
Best College 3-Point Shooter in NCAA History
All-Time 3-Point Scorers
As mentioned, the NCAA started tracking 3-point shot statistics in 1986.
Below is a list of the top-three players in total 3-pointers made across their college careers.
|Player||School||Years Active||Total 3-Point Shots Made|
|Antoine Davis||Detroit Mercy||2019 to 2023||578|
|Fletcher Magee||Wofford||2016 to 2019||509|
|Travis Bader||Oakland||2011 to 2014||504|
Davis takes the crown currently and has even beat the old 115 NCAA record for double figures in straight games, taking it to 142. He is still active for the Detroit Mercy Titans. The Titans haven’t made the tournament since 2012 and haven’t had a winning season since they went 16-15 in the 2015-16 season. Will this change this week? Will we see them in the tournament this year?
Magee, who played for the Wofford Terriers, managed to help elevate his team to the Round of 32 in his final season (2019). Before that, Wofford didn’t make the NCAA Tournament until 2015. In 2019, Wofford lost to the No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats, 62-56. However, Magee is the one of best college 3 point shooter on record. Davis takes the crown currently and has even beat the old 115 NCAA record for double figures in straight games, taking it to 142.
The Oakland Golden Grizzlies last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in Bader’s sophomore season, where he had 124 of his 504 total three-point shots. They also made the tournament in Bader’s freshman season. They were eliminated by the Texas Longhorns, losing 85-81.
2021-2022 3-Point Scorers
While the all-time scorers didn’t seem to have much of a notable impact on their school’s success, what happens when we isolate this to just one season?
|Player||School||Total 3-Point Shots Made||NCAA Tournament Results|
|Darius McGhee||Liberty Flames||142||Missed tournament|
|Jordan Walker||UAB Blazers||116||Lost to Houston in First Round, 82-68|
|Kamdyn Curfman||VMI Keydets (now plays for Marshall)||116||Missed tournament|
Despite their success, only one team, the UAB Blazers, made the NCAA Tournament. The VMI Keydets did lose in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational. This tournament features 16 teams that didn’t make the NCAA Tournament or NIT that are willing to pay a $50,000 entry fee.
Maybe individual player success just doesn’t have quite the impact on NCAA team quality as you’d expect? Not like the quarterbacks in the NFL, for example.
2022-2023 College 3-Point Shooter
At the time of this writing, it is March 1st 2023. The NCAA Tournament has not happened yet, but it is coming in hot. Instead, we’ll look at the team record to determine team success.
|Player||School||Total 3-Point Shots Made||Current Record|
|Antoine Davis||Detroit Mercy||155||14-18|
|Darius McGhee||Liberty Flames||148||Group A|
|Ja’Monta Black||Northwestern State Demons||111||11-16|
Of the top three scorers in NCAA Division 1 basketball only one team, the Belmont Bruins, has a winning record. However, Davis, who’s leading the nation in three point shots made, has become the all-time best college 3 point shooter.
Do Three Point Shots Correlate to Success?
A skill set that consists of shooting three-pointers is highly sought after for basketball. Still, as you can see above, whether it’s all-time, past season, or incumbent season leaders, the team appears to have limited success through the lens of the NCAA tournament.
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The NCAA Tournament illustrates a team’s success, and the best three-point shooters seemingly cannot elevate their team to championship-level heights.
While Davis, who has become the new No. 1 three-point shooter in NCAA history, averages over 24 points per game. His Detroit Mercy Titans are bound for limited success due to the school he plays for. Playing out of the Horizon conference, the competition level for the Titans isn’t on par with a power-five conference.
No, But There Are Exceptions…
However, the top-three metric could be deceiving, at least for the all-time scorers.
At No. 4 with 457 three-pointers made, we have former Duke and NBA star J.J. Redick. During his tenure, the Blue Devils made it to the Sweet Sixteen three times and the Final Four during the 2003-04 season.
To conclude, teams will need to surround their three-point shooters with more talent to progress further as a team.
All things considered, Redick may not hold the record for most three-pointers (he did at one time, though). But, he’s undoubtedly the most accomplished.