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Pistol Pete was the show

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Maravich scored at will
By Bob Carter
Special to

Signature Game
Feb. 7, 1970 - Pete Maravich came into the game against Alabama with two pulled muscles and late in the contest in Tuscaloosa, Ala., he hurt an ankle. Despite the injuries, LSU's senior guard scored 47 points in the second half to finish with 69, setting an NCAA record for most points against a Division I opponent. Maravich broke the record of 68 established by Niagara's Calvin Murphy 14 months earlier.

Pistol Pete fired shots at a machine-gun rate, finishing with 57. He connected on 26 (45.6 percent). On the foul line he was 17-for-21.

After LSU's 106-104 loss, Maravich pursued a fan before being restrained. Press Maravich, LSU's coach and Pete's dad, said the fan had hit Pete on the back.

Maravich's record lasted almost 21 years, until Kevin Bradshaw of U.S. International scored 72 against Loyola Marymount on Jan. 5, 1991.

Odds 'n' Ends

  • Maravich learned trick skills early on, even hustling bets with classmates on how long he could keep a basketball twirling on his fingertip.

  • He got the "Pistol Pete" tag from his father, who noticed the youngster's low release point and rapid-fire shooting style.

  • As a high school standout, he seriously considered attending West Virginia before his father was named LSU coach.

  • Maravich also considered some Atlantic Coast Conference schools but didn't reach the 800 ACT score required by the ACC for incoming freshmen.

  • Maravich played his final prep season at Edwards Military Academy in Salemburg, N.C., and scored a record 47 points in the state high school all-star game.

  • As a sophomore at LSU, Maravich averaged 43.8 points, 49.3 percent of the team's scoring.

  • He scored 66 points against Tulane as a junior, but that wasn't the nation's high in 1968-69. Niagara's Calvin Murphy scored 68 against Syracuse.

  • In his senior season, Maravich scored 53 points against Mississippi, boosting his three-year total to 2,987 and surpassing Oscar Robertson's NCAA career record.

  • Maravich played in three NIT games in 1970, averaging 25.7 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

  • Tennessee coach Ray Mears came up with a frenetic defense that limited Pete to 19.8 ppg over four games. In his first 52 LSU games, no on else held him under 30.

  • Maravich came down with mononucleosis in his second NBA season (1971-72) and missed 16 games. His 19.3 average was the only time he didn't average 20 until his last season.

  • In his third year with Atlanta, Maravich formed a superb 1-2 scoring punch with Lou Hudson, who averaged 27.1 while he scored at a 26.1 clip and ranked sixth in the NBA in assists with a career-best 6.9.

  • Though Maravich shot poorly in his first season with the Jazz in 1974-75, he set career highs in steals (120) and rebounds (422).

  • In his final NBA season, the first with the three-point shot, the long-distance shooter made 10 of 15 three-point attempts.

  • Maravich scored 15,948 points in 658 regular-season NBA games (24.2) and averaged 5.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds.

  • He averaged 18.7 in 26 playoff games.

  • Selected to five All-Star Games, Maravich played in four and averaged 10.8 points in 20 minutes.

  • Pete had an older brother, Ronnie, and a younger, adopted sister, Diana Marie. Maravich's mother, Helen, was an alcoholic who committed suicide in 1974.

  • Maravich, who got his weight up to 200 pounds in the NBA, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.

  • LSU's arena was named the Pete Maravich Assembly Center through state legislation in 1988 after Maravich's death that year.

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