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Enjoying God Blog


Perhaps you’ve heard the news of the remarkable achievement of Caitlin Clark of the University of Iowa. I’m not a fan of women’s basketball, but everyone must acknowledge that Clark is an exceptional player. She is now the career leader in points among all women.

Many have tried to compare her with Pete Maravich of the LSU Tigers. The other night, Clark surpassed Maravich’s 54-year-old record of 3,667 points in a career. Or did she?

Well, in one sense, yes. And don’t think for a moment that I’m minimizing her accomplishment. She may well go on to become the greatest female basketball player at any level. Time will tell.

So, why do I say that there’s no comparison between her and Maravich? There are several reasons.

First, Clark achieved her record while playing all four seasons at Iowa. When Maravich played, freshmen were not allowed to compete. Maravich set his record in three years, while Clark had four to surpass him.

Second, because of the prohibition on freshmen playing, Maravich only played in 83 games (1967-70). Clark has played in 130 games.

Third, when Maravich played there was no such thing as a 3-point shot. That wasn’t introduced into college ball until 1986-87, 16 years after Maravich left LSU for the NBA. If Maravich had experienced the benefit of a 3-point shot, there is simply no way to calculate how many points he might have scored.

Well, maybe. Former LSU coach Dale Brown once charted every shot Maravich took in college and found that had there been a 3-point line, he would have averaged 57 points a game. Did you hear that? Not 57 points in one game, but an average of 57 points in every game!

Fourth, when Maravich played, unlike today, there was no shot clock. The shot clock made it possible for considerably more attempts to score by each team.

That is why comparing Clark with Maravich is, as the old saying goes, like comparing apples with oranges.

Over the course of his career, Maravich averaged an astonishing 44.2 points per game. Detroit Mercy guard Antoine Davis finished his career with 3,664 points, only three fewer than Pistol Pete. But Davis reached that mark in five seasons, as he was granted a waiver for an additional year of eligibility because of the Covid pandemic.

Maravich scored at least 50 points in one season 10 times, and 28 times in his career. He also scored more than 40 points 56 times!

Among other records he holds include:

Made field goals in a season (522 in 1969-70)
Made field goals in a career (1,387)
Field goal attempts in a season (1,168 in 1969-70)
Career field goal attempts (3,166)
Most free throws in a game (30)
Most free throws in a three-year career (893)
Free throw attempts in a three-year career (1,152)

So, in conclusion, congrats to Caitlin Clark. She has achieved a remarkable record. But neither she nor anyone else has equaled, much less surpassed the collegiate records of Pistol Pete Maravich!



You are so right. Very good apple to very good orange. There really should be categories for each.
Thanks for the fun article Dr. Storms! My dad and I were just discussing Pistol Pete. I was surprised to learn that Pete late became a born-again believer and attended church with Dr. Dobson, where he tragically suffered a heart-attack after a pickup game of basketball at the church.

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