My hometown boy, Calvin Murphy, has recently been selected as one of the 25 greatest college basketbll players ever by ESPN. (Actually, they selected him as one of the "Top 25 Greatest Players in College Basketball," a formulation that makes me cringe -- the "Top 25 Greatest" as opposed to what, the "Bottom 25 Greatest"?)
In any case, Murphy's selection made me think about college basketball scoring. The other day, D.J. Augustin had a great first half in which he scored 19 points -- he's the Big Twelve's second leading score, as I recall from the screen, at 18 a game. So he was on his way to a 38-point game, and the announcers were pretty worked up about this. But that exceptional, 38-point game would have fallen just short of Murphy's average in his sophomore year of 38.2 per game. And Murphy didn't win the scoring title! Pete Maravich did, averaging 43.8 per game.
So why doesn't anyone ever put up numbers like that today? (The leading scorer right now happens to be from Murphy's old school, Niagra, and is averaging 27.9 -- a bad game for Murphy or Maravich in those days.)