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Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | October 26, 2018

The best 3-point shooting college basketball players this century

Getty Images Fletcher Magee Fletcher Magee is the only player in our Top 10 whose career is still in progress.

There are few roles more important to a college basketball team than the sharpshooter. J.J. Redick, Steph Curry, Kyle Korver. All made a name for themselves — in college and in the NBA — with what they could do beyond the arc.

But who is the best 3-point shooter in college basketball this century?

RELATED: The best 3-point shooting college basketball teams this century

Before we get to that, let’s focus on the last qualifier in that question. This century. The approach to the 3-point shot in college basketball has changed drastically over history. Just take a look at this skyrocketing chart:

3-point attempts per team

And that’s just since the 2000-01 season, which goes to show you how hard it is to compare sharpshooters from different eras.

Were we compiling this list on the top 3-point shooters of all time, Tony Bennett’s name would definitely be in the conversation. At Green Bay, Bennett — now Virginia’s head coach — shot a ridiculous 49.7 percent from the 3-point line, but he attempted only 548 3-pointers in his career, making 290. Redick took 1,126 3-pointers in his tenure.

Along with the year they played, we had two criteria for any player to be considered:

  • Must rank in the Top 250 of both 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage.
  • Must have a minimum of 200 made 3-pointers.

That gave us 77 candidates.

Once we had our final list, we ranked them using the same 3-point index we used to rank teams, comparing each player’s performance in made shots and percentage to the full range of performances in both categories among the list. Here's that equation:

3-point-index

Obviously this hurts players who left early for the NBA. Steph Curry ranks No. 15 on our list despite playing only three seasons. If he had played a fourth while keeping up his career average of made 3-pointers, he would have finished with 552, which would be the most-ever by a whopping 48. Still, he would finish as the No. 2 player on our list.

Of the 77 (including fictional four-year Curry) none ranked higher than Utah State’s Jaycee Carroll.

Carroll “only” finished with 369 career 3-pointers (ranking 29th all-time), but he did so while shooting an absurd .465 from beyond the arc. Only one other player in history has hit 350 3-pointers while shooting better than 45 percent:

That’d be Steve Novak, who finished second in our ranking. Along with Dwyane Wade, Novak was part of the 2003 Marquette team that made an impressive run to the school’s most recent Final Four. Novak — a freshman — averaged just 6.7 points that year, but improved every season until he was putting up 17.5 as a senior, 66.9 percent of those coming from beyond the arc.

In third place was Kyle Korver, who helped Creighton earn four of five straight NCAA tournament appearances — the longest stretch for the Blue Jays in program history. In his final three seasons at Creighton, Korver led the team in points per game, and even led in rebounds for his junior and senior years.

Of the 77 players on this list, three are still currently playing. Just one of those is ranked in the Top 10 — Wofford’s Fletcher Magee, who is No. 9 in our ranking.

Magee averaged 4.4 made 3-pointers per game last season, for a total of 148 on the year. That ranks No. 5 all time in 3-pointers made in a season. It also brings Magee’s career total up to 351, just 153 off of Travis Bader’s record of 504. Three players have made at least that many in a season. If Magee became the fourth (a highly improbable, but certainly possible feat), he’d hold the all-time record for made 3-pointers in Division I.

Rank Player 3PM Season School
1 Stephen Curry 162 2007-08 Davidson
2 Darrin Fitzgerald 158 1986-87 Butler
3 Akeem Richmond 155 2013-14 East Carolina
4 Freddie Banks 152 1986-87 Nevada-Las Vegas
5 Fletcher Magee 148 2017-18 Wofford
T6 Buddy Hield 147 2015-16 Oklahoma
T6 Travis Bader 147 2013-14 Oakland
T6 David Holston 147 2008-09 Chicago State
9 Randy Rutherford 146 1994-95 Oklahoma State
10 Rob McKiver 145 2007-08 Houston

Some other notable names on the list: 

  • While he sits at No. 2 on the all-time made 3-pointers list, Redick’s percentage weighs him down to No. 10 on our ranking. He shot .406 on his career — the 17th-worst percentage on this list. Only one other player shot below 42.2 percent and ranked in the Top 10 — Travis Bader, who holds the record for made 3-pointers. 
  • Steph Curry at No. 15 is the only player in the Top 30 to only play three seasons.
  • At .469 on his career, Stephen Sir holds the record for best 3-point percentage of any player with at least 200 made 3-pointers, but he just didn’t shoot enough. Sir totaled just 689 3-point attempts. If he had the volume of Redick and kept up his percentage (yes, we realize there is virtually no way that could happen, but humor us), he’d have hit 528 3-pointers. Alas.


Here is the full ranking:

Rank Player School 3PM 3PP
1 Jaycee Carroll Utah State 369 0.4653
2 Steve Novak Marquette 354 0.4609
3 Kyle Korver Creighton 371 0.453
4 Stephen Sir Northern Arizona 323 0.4688
5 Travis Bader Oakland 504 0.4045
6 Salim Stoudamire Arizona 342 0.4578
7 Micah Mason Duquesne 311 0.4635
8 Chris Lofton Tennessee 431 0.4221
9 Fletcher Magee Wofford 351 0.4432
10 J.J. Redick Duke 457 0.4059
11 Jared Stohl Portland 336 0.4456
12 Ryan Wittman Cornell 377 0.4314
13 Jason Kapono UCLA 317 0.4465
14 Jimmy Baron Rhode Island 361 0.4308
15 Stephen Curry Davidson 414 0.4124
16 Ethan Wragge Creighton 334 0.4389
17 Sean Armand Iona 348 0.4312
18 Brett Blizzard North Carolina-Wilmington 371 0.4235
19 Robert Merritt Samford 311 0.443
20 Trent Mackey North Florida 303 0.4449
21 Rotnei Clarke Butler 389 0.416
22 Andrew Goudelock College of Charleston 396 0.4134
23 Jack Leasure Coastal Carolina 411 0.4073
24 Shan Foster Vanderbilt 367 0.4209
25 Andrew Rowsey Marquette 404 0.4085
26 Bryn Forbes Michigan State 324 0.4349
27 Pat Carroll Saint Joseph's 294 0.4448
28 Jordan Howard Central Arkansas 386 0.4133
29 Antoine Agudio Hofstra 357 0.422
30 Jon Diebler Ohio State 374 0.4156
31 Will Whittington Marist 362 0.4195
32 Langston Galloway Saint Joseph's 343 0.4256
33 John Jenkins Vanderbilt 306 0.4378
34 Connor Hill Idaho 340 0.425
34 Ian Clark Belmont 340 0.425
36 Brian Roberts Dayton 293 0.4406
37 Terrence Woods Florida A&M 353 0.4197
38 Brady Heslip Baylor 301 0.4369
39 Jack McClinton Miami (FL) 332 0.4262
40 Jeremy Senglin Weber State 345 0.4192
41 Kyle McAlarney Notre Dame 298 0.4338
42 Jared Brownridge Santa Clara 385 0.4027
43 A.J. Abrams Texas 389 0.3986
44 John Reimold Bowling Green State 297 0.4273
45 Ryan Sypkens UC-Davis 315 0.42
46 Donald Sims Appalachian State 358 0.4054
47 Scott Wood North Carolina State 334 0.4129
48 Kevin Pangos Gonzaga 322 0.4149
49 Erik Benzel Denver 323 0.4136
50 Isaiah Canaan Murray State 304 0.4193
51 Taquan Dean Louisville 359 0.4007
52 Erik Kangas Oakland 348 0.4042
53 Parker Smith North Florida 361 0.3998
54 Kassius Robertson Missouri 318 0.4125
55 Chris Hill Michigan State 306 0.4163
56 Ken Tutt Oral Roberts 319 0.4116
57 Josh Carter Texas A&M 299 0.4182
58 Francis Alonso North Carolina-Greensboro 298 0.418
59 Zach Urbanus Citadel 295 0.4184
60 Darnell Harris La Salle 342 0.4024
61 Tyler Hall Montana State 315 0.4096
62 Sean Ogirri Wyoming 309 0.4115
63 Josh Alexander Stephen F. Austin 311 0.4097
64 Colin Falls Notre Dame 331 0.4007
65 Bruce Horan Butler 314 0.4062
66 Marcus Thornton William & Mary 325 0.4017
67 Steve Drabyn Belmont 291 0.4128
68 Johnny Dee San Diego 333 0.3988
69 Garrison Carr American 302 0.4087
70 Ashton Gibbs Pittsburgh 297 0.4102
71 Austin Loop Marshall 293 0.4104
71 Devonte' Graham Kansas 296 0.4094
73 Nick Barbour High Point 314 0.4026
74 Bryson Johnson Bucknell 323 0.3978
75 Shane Nichols Wofford 312 0.3995
76 Keon Johnson Winthrop 295 0.3986
77 Grant Benzinger Wright State 291 0.3981