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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | March 15, 2022

Troy State's astonishing season is still the scoring standard in DII men's basketball

DII men's basketball: 2022 selection show

March 15, 1992. That is the day that Troy State — now Troy University — completed one of the best offensive seasons in all of college basketball history. The Trojans finished their 29-game slate scoring an average of 121.1 points per game.

That still stands as the DII men’s basketball record. It’s a mark that, in the 30 years prior and 30 years since, no DII men’s basketball team has come close to touching.

Let’s look back on Troy’s historical season and how current DII men’s basketball programs match up.

The 1991-92 record-setting season

Troy’s remarkable season’s origins can be traced back to the 1989-90 season, but not at the DII level. That season, Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble made headlines in Paul Westhead’s high-powered Loyola Marymount offense. His Lions scored 122.4 points per game and Kimble led the nation with 35.3 points per game.

Trojans’ head coach Don Maestri took notice. He studied Westhead’s offense and transformed the Trojans into an offensive juggernaut a year later. The very next season, Troy State finished with a 108.6 points per game average, still the eighth-highest average in DII men’s basketball history to date.

It was an appetizer of what was to come.

The 1991-92 schedule: Breaking down the points

Troy was consistent throughout the entire record-setting season. The Trojans opened with a 139-122 victory over Kennesaw State and just kept rolling. They scored fewer than 91 points just once all season in an 84-82 victory over Florida Southern for their lowest output of the year.

January saw more history made in the unbelievable 258-141 victory over DeVry Institute, a game that still is tops among all college basketball for points scored, but more on that in just a bit. That game was part of a huge January when Troy scored 1,066 points in eight games for an average of 133.25 points per game. February was another good month when Troy State closed out the season averaging 128 points over seven games.

Here’s a look at the top-10 highest scores from Troy’s season.

Top-scoring games from the Trojans’ 1991-92 season

Date Opponent Final score
Jan. 12, 1992 DeVry Institute 258-141
Dec. 7, 1991 Berry 149-127
Feb. 6, 1992 Valdosta State 148-113
Feb. 24, 1992 Tuskegee 147-100
Feb. 17, 1992 Miles 145-114
Nov. 22, 1991 Kennesaw State 139-122
Jan. 26, 1992 LeMoyne-Owen 136-124
Feb. 1, 1992 Alabama Huntsville 130-110
Nov. 23, 1991 Valdosta State 126-124
Nov. 30, 1991 Indiana Southeast 116-92
Feb. 27, 1992 West Georgia 116-83

You’ll notice a few things. The first is pretty obvious: Defense was not a priority for coach Maestri. The Trojans allowed 107.8 points per game that season. It was the style of play — you go for the steal and find the open 3-point shot or take it to the hole. The problem was, even the most aggressive teams miss steal opportunities. That apparently didn’t matter to Troy State. The quicker the opponent scored, the more time the Trojans had to pile up points.

Of the current active DII men’s basketball programs that have challenged the record, the 1993 Central Oklahoma team came closest with a 113.6 average. The most recent run at the record was in 2011 when West Liberty averaged 111.3 points per game. In the 11 years since, no DII men’s basketball team has averaged more than 105.2 points per game. This mark seems more and more like an unbreakable record each passing year. The 2021-22 leader 30 years later sits at an even 100.0 points per game, a far cry from Troy’s record-setting run.

Secondly, let’s put into perspective just how many points the Trojans scored that year. Here’s a look at the highest scoring DII men’s basketball games since 2010-11 per NCAA.org.

Top scoring DII men’s basketball games since the 2010-11 season

Team Points scored Year
Simon Fraser 161 2014-15
Simon Fraser 160 2014-15
West Liberty 158 2019-20
West Liberty 157 2010-11
Lincoln Memorial 156 2017-18
West Liberty 154 2010-11
Nova Southeastern 154 2019-20
Francis Marion 150 2012-13
Alaska Anchorage 149 2013-14
Francis Marion 147 2012-13

Four games from the 1991-92 season would crack the top 10… of the past 12 seasons. In a four-month span, the Trojans put up some of the highest scoring affairs of all-time, never mind that season. It’s remarkable how that season has withstood the test of time and really, has never had any team come close to threatening its run.

The Trojans scored 3,513 total points in 1991-92, good for seventh all time. However, they are also the only team in the top 10 that didn’t play 30 games. The record of 3,784 points was set by West Liberty in 2011 in 34 games. In a 34-game season based on then-Troy State’s record-setting per game pace, the Trojans would have finished with 4,119 points — and would be the top mark by a substantial margin.

Here’s another interesting number. Nearly 46 of those 121.1 points per game came off the 3-pointer. The Trojans 15.3 3-pointers per game and 44.9 3-point attempts per game are the standard. In an era where many believe the 3-point shot is king, the Trojans hit 444 in 29 games. Northwest Missouri State leads DII with 342 3-pointers through March 14. The Bearcats are more than 100 treys shy of the record… while playing four more games in 2021-22 than the Trojans did in their record season.

Overall, the Trojans finished 23-6 by scoring 121.1 points per game. It broke a 32-year-old record set by Mississippi College when the Choctaws averaged 114.2 points over 19 games. Seven players averaged in double-digit scoring averages. Several DII men’s basketball programs have had their sights set on the record in the 30 years since, but all have fallen short, not even surpassing the Choctaws mark over that span.

Jan. 12, 1992: The Game

Nearly one year prior to its Jan. 12 matchup against DeVry, Troy made DII men’s basketball history against the same team. On Feb. 15, 1991, the Trojans downed DeVry by scoring a DII single-game record 187 points. They were about to crush that mark by 71 points over the next 40 minutes.

It took the Trojans nearly a minute to score, but at the 54-second mark, Andy Davis scored the first basket. Davis went 1-for-1 on the day and didn’t score again, the only Trojan not to reach double figures on the day. After the first 20 minutes of play, Troy State hit 21 3-pointers and set the DII single-half scoring record with 123 points.

That record lasted 20 minutes.

The Trojans piled on 135 more second-half points, still the all-time mark to this day. According to a Birmingham News article shared in the Troy basketball media guide, the ”Atlanta Journal Constitution” thought it was a prank call when the SID called it in. The thought of 258 points in a single game didn’t seem plausible.

(Official box score from the game. Note — there has been some controversy over the years about two additional baskets being added to Troy State's total to reach 258. Years later, Jon Bois noted on YouTube that two baskets should not have counted and the Trojans "actually" scored 253 points... as if that changes how remarkable this record-setting day was.)

But it was. Ten players scored in double figures, with eight scoring at least 20 points. Future All-American Terry McCord scored 41 points in just 25 minutes — the most minutes played by any player that day. Twenty-eight slam dunks and 102 field goals later, the Trojans completed a game with a slew of unbreakable records:

  • 135 points in a half
  • 102 FG made
  • 190 FG attempted
  • 51 3-point field goals made
  • 109 3-pointers attempted
  • 65 most assists in a game
  • 10 players hit at least one 3 — the most ever at that point

The top-5 highest scoring games in DII history are from just three teams. Troy is No. 1 with 258 and No. 3 with that 187 scored the year prior. Oakland is second with 189 and that magical 1993 Central Oklahoma team is fourth and fifth with a pair of 167-point games in its 113.6 points-per-game season.

Some records were made to be broken. The 1991-92 Troy State Trojan season was not one of them.

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