There are some records that will never be broken.
There are others that will never be threatened.
"Pistol" Pete Maravich’s 44.5 points per game average (1,381 points in 31 games) during the 1969-70 season, an NCAA high by a mile, probably will stand forever. That's not some imprudent hyperbole about a player who dominated a previous era.
Former Houston and NBA star Elvin Hayes averaged 36.7 PPG in 1967-68 (1,214 points in 33 games). That’s the No. 2 spot in NCAA Division I history. Doug McDermott won the Wooden Award last season after scoring 934 points in 35 games (26.7 PPG). Maravich topped him by more than 400 points.
And he did it without a 3-point line.
Maravich’s ridiculous records -- 3,667 career points in just three seasons among them -- must include that consideration.
Imagine if he’d played during the 3-point era. He was a star at LSU prior to the 3-pointer's introduction in the 1986-87 season.
Bo Kimble has the all-time high for a season in the three-point era -- 35.3 PPG (1,131 points in 32 games for Loyola Marymount in the 1989-90 season) -- and that’s still more than 200 points shy of Maravich’s top tally.
Let’s say Maravich, who died of a heart attack when he was just 40, would have made one 3-pointer in each of his 31 games in the 1969-70 season in addition to his 522 field goals that season. That’s an extra 93 points -- not a major difference. But there’s also a chance that the 3-point line would have had a dramatic effect on his game.
What if he'd made four or five per contest that season? Would Maravich have averaged 50 points per game? Seems feasible for a man who scored 61 points or more in four contests.
The 3-point line would have offered Maravich the opportunity to expand his game. He would have loved the challenge and certainly used it to boost his numbers, if you believe the folks who saw him play.
"Besides his ability to control the basketball, the star with the droopy socks was quite a marksman," Bob Carter once wrote for ESPN.com. "Though Maravich played before freshmen were eligible for the varsity and before the 3-point shot was established, he loved gunning from long range."
Maravich wasn't without controversy. You don't score 44.5 points per game unless you run a play called "ME" multiple times each night. His LSU squads never reached the NCAA tournament, although those teams existed in the pre-expansion tourney era. Maravich's squads won more than 15 games once in his three seasons (22 when he was a senior).
But he clearly had an unparalleled ability to extemporize on fast breaks and turn the court into canvas.
His numbers might never be matched. All without a 3-point line.
Oh my goodness. Just think about Maravich with a 3-point line.