Posted by Mike Lynch on November 4, 2018
They've been playing college basketball for well over 100 years. And yet only eight men in the history of major men's college basketball have managed to score 3,000 career points: Pete Maravich, Freeman Williams, Lionel Simmons, Alphonso Ford, Doug McDermott, Harry Kelly, Keydren Clark and Hersey Hawkins. Notably, none of these players joined the 3,000-pt club in the same season.
In the 2018-19 season, we could see membership in this club jump from eight to 10 as Campbell's Chris Clemons and South Dakota State's Mike Daum seem poised to become the first pair of players in NCAA history to join the 3,000-point club in the same season. Clemons, a 5'9" high-flyer, and Daum, a 6'9" double-double machine, have few things in common in style of play, but they each enter their senior seasons with identical career totals of 2,232 points. Every NCAA D-I men's basketball player that has entered their senior year with 2,200+ points has gone on to reach 3,000 that season.
Our database includes details for every 2,000-point scorer in NCAA Division I history, so we're able to compare them with the other great scorers in the history of the game. Only six D-I players in history have had more points through their junior season than Clemons & Daum. Of those six, two declared for the NBA draft before their senior seasons (Wayman Tisdale & Stephen Curry) and the other four are the four leading scorers in NCAA history (Maravich, Williams, Simmons & Ford). Three other players were over 2,200 career points after their junior years. All three of them finished with over 3,000 career points (Harry Kelly, Keydren Clark and Doug McDermott).
MOST CAREER POINTS THROUGH JUNIOR SEASON
|Player||Pts Thru Jr. Year||Career Pts|
It should be noted, as well, that since Maravich played in an era before freshman eligibility that the 2,286 points he amassed before his senior season was done in just two seasons of work. It should also be noted that only one member of the 3K-point club is missing from that chart. That'd be Hersey Hawkins, who is the only member who did not have 2,200+ points entering his final season. Incredibly, The Hawk had just 1,883 points entering his senior season at Bradley. Hawkins averaged 36.3 PPG as a senior, as his 1,125 points that year was more than his freshman and sophomore seasons combined (1,095).
So every player that has had 2,200+ points entering their senior season has gone on to reach 3,000 points (since Tisdale & Curry never returned for their senior seasons). Will Clemons and Daum keep this trend alive?
Campbell has 30 games on its regular-season schedule this season. Let's assume at least one conference tournament game as well, to give a healthy Clemons at least 31 games this season. If Clemons plays 31 games, he'll need to average 24.8 PPG to reach 3,000. Last season, he averaged 24.9 PPG. If he can maintain that pace over 31 games, he'd finish with 3,004 points, which would be the fewest points of any of the 3,000-point club member (Hersey Hawkins currently owns this honor with 3,008 points). He'd also join Keydren Clark (also 5'9") as the shortest members of the club. If Campbell is able to extend its season enough for Clemons to play 34 games, he could also break Lionel Simmons' record for consecutive games scoring in double digits (115). Clemons enters 2018-19 with an 82-game streak.
South Dakota State has 31 games on its regular-season schedule, and I feel comfortable pencilling them in for at least one conference tournament game. Daum will need to average exactly 24.0 PPG to reach 3,000 points if he's able to play in all 32 of those games. He averaged just 23.9 PPG last season, but did manage 25.1 in 2016-17. If he's able to make it to 35 games (as he has the last two seasons), by a conference tournament run (or a run in another postseason tournament), he'll need to average just 21.9 PPG to get there. If he's able to match last year's 23.9 PPG and play in 35 games, he'll reach 3,068 points, which would move him past Harry Kelly for 6th place on the all-time list. Daum would also become the tallest member of the 3,000-point club. Currently, Danny Manning's 2,951 career points are the most by any player 6'9" or taller (Manning was 6'10").
I'd also like to make special mention of a few others players. Pete Maravich, Wayman Tisdale and Stephen Curry have all been recognized earlier for playing three seasons and being among the leading scorers through their junior seasons. Three other players very nearly scored 3,000 points in just three seasons, as well. But, like Maravich, they played their Sophomore through Senior seasons (not Freshman through Junior). These players are Oscar Robertson (2,973 career points), Elvin Hayes (2,884) and Larry Bird (2,850). Additionally, Austin Carr, Calvin Murphy, Frank Selvy, Bill Bradley and Elgin Baylor scored 2,500+ points in three seasons of action.