With each game, Loyola Marymount’s scoring machine Hank Gathers moves into more and more exclusive neighborhoods, and if he stays close to his 33.5-point scoring average through this weekend’s West Coast Athletic Conference tournament, he’ll become the 12th player in the rare 1,000-point club.
Gathers enters the weekend with 904 points this season, joining an all-star list that not even noted collegiate scorers like Wilt Chamberlain and Lew Alcindor made.
A survey of National Collegiate Athletic Assn. records shows 11 different players recording 14 seasons of 1,000 or more points. The leader and all-time scoring champion is Pistol Pete Maravich, who scored more than 1,100 points in each of his three varsity seasons, including an NCAA record 1,381 in his senior year, when he averaged 44.5 points for Louisiana State.
Notre Dame’s Austin Carr is the other multiple entry, with two straight 1,100-point seasons in the early 1970s. The 1,000-point club contains two alumni from the University of Houston, Elvin Hayes and Otis Birdsong, all-time great Oscar Robertson, several collegiate stars who flamed out in the pros--Bo Lamar of Southwest Louisiana, Billy McGill of Utah and Richie Fuqua of Oral Roberts--and last year’s NCAA scoring champion, Hersey Hawkins of Bradley, who had the most productive scoring season in more than a decade.
The only entry from before 1960 is Furman’s Frank Selvy, who led the nation in scoring in 1954 and recorded a 100-point game. Selvy and Furman’s Darrell Lloyd, a member of the 900 club, combined to lead the NCAA in scoring for four straight seasons.
The 900 club includes such illustrious entries as Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Larry Bird (three times), Rick Barry, Robertson, Calvin Murphy, Dan Issel and Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.)
Surprisingly, many of the all-time scorers are not the game’s dominating centers, but backcourt trigger men. Hawkins, a sharpshooting guard with great range, was aided last year by the three-point rule. (Gathers, who prefers to shoot within the paint, hasn’t even attempted a three-pointer this season.) And if the three-point stripe was around in Maravich’s heyday, he might have averaged 50 points.
For the sake of comparison, three players in the NAIA, which often has longer seasons than the NCAA, have recorded 1,300-point seasons: Archie Talley of Salem College, 1,374; Earl (the Pearl) Monroe of Winston-Salem, 1,329, and Travis (Machine Gun) Grant of Kentucky State, 1,304.
Meanwhile, Gathers leaves the tabulating to the archivists and worries more about his rebounding than his scoring. He leads the nation in both. “It comes as a surprise I’m leading in both categories,” he said earlier this week.
“The scoring just happened. I am a scorer, not particularly a shooter. Rebounding was the thing I was gonna concentrate on. Anybody can score a lot of points. Rebounds--you’ve gotta go out and get yours. Either you want it or not. Rebounding comes from the heart. I want to rebound. I’m focused on that when I’m playing.”
After the season, Gathers, a fourth-year junior who has another year of eligibility, will weigh the possibility of entering the National Basketball Assn. draft.
Pro scouts at recent games have questioned his shooting range, but Gathers noted: “My shooting has picked up. I’m shooting this year with better touch and better form. I think I can shoot from greater distance. Right now I’m pretty content with 15 to 16 feet. I don’t feel I have to prove (18-foot range). Why shoot from 18 when I can get it down to 12?” HANK GATHERS MOVES UP ON ALL-TIME SCORERS LIST
NCAA All-Time Single Season Basketball Scoring Leaders
1970 Pete Maravich, LSU 1381 1968 Elvin Hayes, Houston 1214 1954 Frank Selvy, Furman 1209 1969 Pete Maravich, LSU 1148 1968 Pete Maravich, LSU 1138 1988 Hersey Hawkins, Bradley 1125 1970 Austin Carr, Notre Dame 1106 1971 Austin Carr, Notre Dame 1101 1977 Otis Birdsong, Houston 1090 1977 Freeman Williams, Port. St 1069 1974 Dwight (Bo) Lamar, S.W.La. 1054 1960 Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati 1011 1962 Billy McGill, Utah 1009 1972 Richie Fuqua, Oral Roberts 1006 1958 Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati 984 1959 Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati 978 1979 Larry Bird, Indiana St. 973 1965 Rick Barry, Miami 973 1978 Freeman Williams, Port. St. 969 1978 Larry Bird, Indiana St. 959 1987 Dennis Hopson, Ohio St. 958 1987 Kevin Houston, Army. 953 1977 Anthony Roberts, Oral Roberts 951 1970 Dan Issel, Kentucky 948 1956 Darrell Floyd, Furman 946 1957 Elgin Baylor, Seattle 943 1964 Bill Bradley, Princeton 936 1980 Tony Murphy, Southern 932 1985 Wayman Tisdale, Okla. 932 1969 Rick Mount, Purdue 932 1971 Johnny Neumann., Mississippi 923 1984 Wayman Tisdale 919 1975 Marshall Rogers, Pan Am. 919 1977 Larry Bird, Indiana St. 918 1970 Calvin Murphy, Niagara 916 1960 Jerry West, West Va. 908 1957 Grady Wallace, S. Carolina 906 1989 Hank Gathers, LMU 904* 1959 Jerry West 903 1987 Armon Gilliam, UNLV 903 1986 David Robinson, Navy 903
* Still playing