Kevin Durant is one of the greatest basketball players on the planet. He's the 2014 NBA MVP and has won two NBA championships. Before being an NBA superstar, he was a star at Texas as a gangly, sharpshooting freshman.
Here's everything you need to know about Kevin Durant's time at Texas.
Kevin Durant's college basketball stats, vitals
Weight: 215 pounds
Years active: 2006-07
NCAA tournament record: 1-1
What was Kevin Durant's record in college?
Texas went 25-10 in one season with Kevin Durant. The Longhorns went 12-4 in the Big 12, finishing third.
What kind of prospect was Kevin Durant in high school?
As a senior at Montrose Christian, Kevin Durant's high school team was ranked No. 1 in USA Today's Super 25 rankings. Montrose Christian was so good that they traveled all the way from Rockville, Maryland, to Hawaii to compete in the Iolani Prep Classic. The Honolulu Advertiser noted that Durant was regarded by some as the best high school player in the country.
He averaged 19.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 65 percent from the field and 42 percent from three as a junior at Oak Hill, before committing to Texas over UConn and North Carolina in June 2005. As a senior, Durant averaged 22.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while shooting 54.6 percent after transferring to Montrose Christian.
What was Kevin Durant's game like?
What did — and does — make Kevin Durant's game unique is his perimeter-oriented offense for a player who's so tall. He entered college around 6-9 and he's now somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-feet tall, yet he has a great shooting ability and guard-like offensive skills, while being a tremendous rim protector on defense.
"Last night, Durant, a 6-foot-10 forward, showed the sellout crowd of 1,050 his ball-handling skills, ability to run the floor and even swished a 3-pointer in the second half for good measure," wrote The Honolulu Advertiser's Wes Nakama after Durant's top-ranked Montrose Christian High School team knocked off reigning Hawaii state runner-ups Kahuku 88-45. "He also scored on three first-period dunks, including a spectacular alley-oop slam to put Montrose Christian up 21-9 with one minute remaining." Durant scored 16 points in the first quarter alone.
After Durant committed to Texas, the Austin American-Statesman's Mark Rosner wrote, "He has an uncommon combination of skills for someone so tall, the abilities to shoot from outside, drive to the basket and find the open man."
He had savvy low-post moves, yet a soft shooting touch. He had quick handles, along with the height to shoot over virtually any defender.
Durant led the Big 12 in scoring and rebounding as a freshman, averaging 25.1 points and 11.4 rebounds entering the Big 12 tournament, while ranking second in the conference in blocks, seventh in field-goal percentage and sixth in free-throw percentage.
"There's a streetball term for Durant's skill set," wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Wendell Barnhouse. "Sick."
What were some of Kevin Durant's best games?
In 35 games in college, Durant scored in double figures in every single one. That's how good he was as a freshman. He broke the 20-point mark in each of his first seven games, so it was clear Texas had a rising star on its roster.
Durant's season-high was 37 points, which he reached on four occasions — three of which were on the road and one was in the Big 12 tournament:
Durant scored at least 30 points 11 times in 35 games. He had 20 double-doubles, including six in a row. His 37-point, 23-rebound game on the road against Texas Tech is one of the all-time great stat lines in recent memory. In a single game, he had as many as 16 free-throw attempts in a game (against New Mexico State in the NCAA tournament), six 3-pointers (at Kansas in Texas' regular-season finale) and six blocks (against Kansas in the Big 12 tournament).
What awards did Kevin Durant win in college?
Here are some of the awards Kevin Durant won in college:
- 2007 Big 12 scoring champion: 28.9 points per game
- 2007 Big 12 Player of the Year
- 2007 consensus First Team All-American
- 2007 National Freshman of the Year
- 2007 consensus National Player of the Year (first freshman in NCAA history to win any of the major National Player of the Year awards)
What records did Kevin Durant set in college and where does he rank among historical greats?
Here are some of the records Kevin Durant set and where he ranks on all-time statistical lists:
- First in Texas history in points in Big 12 play: 462 points
- First in Texas history in career scoring average (min. 500 points): 25.8 points per game
- First in Texas history in rebounds in a Big 12 game: 23 rebounds
- Tied for 1st in Texas history in points in a Big 12 game: 37 points (three times)
- Tied for 1st in Texas history in points in a game by a freshman: 37 points (three times)
- Second-most points scored by a freshman all-time: 903 points
- Second in Texas history in scoring average in a season (min. 250 attempts): 25.8 points per game
- Tied for 2nd in Texas history in single-game rebounds: 23 rebounds
- Tied for 2nd in Texas history in points in a half: 26 points
- Tied for 2nd in Texas history in consecutive 30-point games: three games (twice)
- Tied for 2nd in Texas history in rebounds in a half of a Big 12 game: 12 rebounds
- Third in Texas history in points in a neutral-site game: 37 points
- Fourth nationally in scoring in 2007: 25.8 points per game
- Fourth in Texas history in scoring average: 25.8 points per game
- Fourth in Texas history in rebounding average: 11.1 rebounds per game
- Fourth in Texas history in consecutive free throws made: 27 free throws
- Tied for 4th in Texas history in 30-point games: 11 games
- Tied for 9th in Texas history in points in a road game: 37 points (three times)
- Tied for 11th all-time for most double-doubles by a freshman: 20 double-doubles
The following screenshot comes from the Austin American-Statesman.
What did people say about Kevin Durant?
Hawaii All-State guard Junior Ale, who played against Durant in high school: "We did our best, but what can you say when you're playing guys who are 6-8, 6-9, 6-10? I played in Las Vegas last summer against some good Mainland players, but not NBA-type guys like Kevin Durant. That's what he is."
Former Texas coach Rick Barnes: "He's an excellent shooter, an excellent passer, somebody who makes the players around him better."
Barnes: "People talk about freshmen, but I'd put him out there with anybody. He could care less about what we're talking about. He really wants to win."
Barnes: "That's what you like best about a guy. Nobody told him he had to (practice)."
Barnes: "He'll put on 25-30 pounds in the next few years and just kill guys inside. With his perimeter skills, plus that added size, the sky is the limit for him. But he's just a kid right now."
Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Wendell Barnhouse: "Durant's silky smooth shooting ability — he flicks NBA-range 3-pointers as effortlessly as someone firing a paper wad at a waste basket — means he's probably best-suited to playing on the perimeter in college."
Barnhouse: "Durant is 6-foot-9 with the wing span of Ralph Sampson, the shooting range of J.J. Redick and the court demeanor of Tim Duncan. Hyperbole? Hardly."
Montrose Christian High School coach Stu Vetter: "I coached Dennis Scott, and Kevin is a lot like him. Kevin has a lot more upside."
Vetter: "When he fills out, he's gonna be an awesome, awesome, awesome player."
Former Mercersburg (Penn.) Academy coach Mark Cubit: "Right now, Durant is head and shoulders above (Luol Deng and Charlie Villanueva). I don't know where Durant is going to end up, but his status as one of the top players in the country is warranted. He's got a great vision for the game. If you're an old-school kind of guy...he's got new-school talent with an old-school appreciation for the game."
Former Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton: "I think Kevin Durant is the best player in college basketball."
Kevin Durant quotes
Durant on his position: "I think I can play all five positions."
Durant: "(Vince Young) plays fearless. Whenever he wants to take the game over, he does. I kinda pattern my basketball game like that."
Durant on his individual awards: "I hope as a team we can pull down some hardware. I want a national championship, a Big 12 championship, a Big 12 tournament championship."