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Zach Pekale | NCAA.com | November 21, 2019

5 men's DI college basketball records that can fall this season

Michigan State star Cassius Winston keeps getting back up

We're a few weeks into the 2019-20 men's basketball season, which is a good time to look at which records might be broken before the nets are cut down in March. A few we found are recent and a few, like Bobby Hurley's assist record, have stood for more than 25 years. Here are five that have a chance of falling this season.

(All of the 2019-20 statistics below are through Nov. 21. Records are taken from NCAA.org.)

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1. Career field-goal percentage

Challenger: Udoka Azubuike (Kansas) — 74.4 percent

Leader: Tacko Fall (UCF) — 74.0 percent

Udoka Azubuike could be the new career field goal percentage leader by season's end

Tacko Fall left UCF with a 74 percent career field-goal percentage, the best clip in Division I history among qualified players. By comparison, the next closest player after that trails by more than six percentage points. 

Azubuike comes into his senior year with a slightly higher career field-goal percentage than Fall. However, he needs to make 400 career field goals and average four makes per game for his career to qualify for the record.

The Jayhawks’ big man was at 311 baskets through Kansas' Nov. 21 game against East Tennessee State. Assuming he scored the minimum four shots per game and maintained a shooting percentage comparable to his current one, Azubuike could potentially take hold of the title Feb. 22 against Baylor.

2. Career assists

Challenger: Cassius Winston (Michigan State) — 714 assists

Leader: Bobby Hurley (Duke) —1076 assists

Unlike field-goal percentage, this record has been untouched for more than 25 years. Bobby Hurley is the all-time assist leader with 1076, one of only four players to cross the career threshold of 1,000.

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Through three seasons at Michigan State, Cassius Winston has 714 assists, a number at 741 after the first four games in 2019. Winston’s trek to the summit wouldn’t be easy but here’s a look at the numbers and how he could find himself atop the list come season’s end.

In four years at Duke, Hurley had averages of 35 games played and 34.3 minutes per contest. By comparison, Winston is on track to play more career games (36.3) with fewer minutes (27.7), an average impacted by Winston coming off the bench a majority of his freshman year. Still, he’s 336 assists away as of Nov. 21. If he played 33 more games, meeting his career average for a season, Winston would need to average 10.2 assists per contest to unseat Hurley.

3. Assist-to turnover ratio

Challenger: Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State)

Leader: Monte Morris (Iowa State)

Could Tyrese Haliburton break Monte Morris' assist to turnover ratio?

Last season, we wrote about seven college basketball records that might never be broken, one of which is Monte Morris’ career assist-to-turnover ratio. That was written before Tyrese Haliburton played his first game for Iowa State.

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And before the then-freshman produced a ratio comparable to that of Morris in his first season in Ames. Haliburton’s 125 assists to 28 turnovers is the ninth-best mark since 2008. In the same timeframe, Morris had four of the top 12 ratio with a career average of 4.65.
 
Haliburton started at point guard last year, but the departure of four contributing guards could call for the sophomore to receive additional touches. He needs a minimum of 400 assists to qualify for the all-time record and has 32 through three games in 2019-20. 

Note: Haliburton could become the active leader through his sophomore season.

4. Single-season 3-point shots

Challenger: Antoine Davis (Detroit Mercy)

Leader: Stephen Curry (Davidson) — 162 3PM

Antoine Davis set the Division I freshman record by making 132 3’s last season, surpassing a mark previously set by Stephen Curry in 2007. Next, Davis could be a candidate to break another of Curry’s records: the single-season 3-point record.

Curry buried 162 triples as a sophomore, a record that’s stood since 2008. He was a trend-setter, a trailblazer when it came to knocking down shots from the perimeter. At Davidson, he lived beyond the arc. Now Davis has established residency behind the 3-point line at Detroit Mercy.

Statistically, the two are similar when it comes to making 3-point shots. Curry played in 36 games as a sophomore, making an average of 4.5 triples per game. Davis had a per-game average of 4.4 last season, playing in 30 games. 

Davis’ biggest obstacle could be the additional games. Curry reached the Elite Eight with Davidson in 2008. The Titans were eliminated in the 2018 Horizon League tournament quarterfinals.

5. Single-game 3-point shots

Leaders: Keith Veney (Marshall), Jordan Lyons (Furman), Josh Williams (Robert Morris) — 15 3PM

Keeping it behind the line, the last category to mention is single-game 3-pointers. Keith Veney held the record for 23 years following a night he hit 15 triples for Marshall. Last season, Jordan Lyons and Josh Williams matched Veney’s total. 

Coincidentally, they did so one day apart. It’s the closest any player has come to breaking the record since 2002. Both Lyons and Williams for their final seasons with another chance to surpass Veney and each other.

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