With Kansas’ Big 12 title streak now in the record books, we’ll be looking back at the last 14 years with some “best of” lists as we near postseason play. Today, we look at the top ten three point shooters of the streak era.
This was harder than I thought. Some guys I didn’t anticipate putting on the list were better than I remembered, while some guys I fully expected to include just didn’t make the cut. Shooting numbers obviously played a part, but I considered other factors as well, and tried to list the top ten pure three point shooters of the streak.
10) Sherron Collins
3 Pointers: 232-615 (37.7%)
There were players with higher shooting percentages I could have included. However, I think you have to take volume into account here. In his junior and senior seasons, Sherron shouldered most of the scoring load for Kansas, and didn’t get to sit back and pick his spots. Only Devonte Graham has shot more threes under Bill Self, and Sherron played before the offense really opened up on the perimeter. His shooting prowess was on full display against Oklahoma in 2009, when he scored 26 points and went 5 of 8 from beyond the arc (warning: music on the video has NSFW language)
9) Brady Morningstar
3 Pointers: 112-272 (41.2%)
Though he was known more as a perimeter defender during his time in Lawrence, Morningstar was a prolific scorer at New Hampton prep school before attending KU. Though he never put up gaudy scoring numbers at the college level, he also never shot worse than 39.6% from outside in any season.
8) Tyrel Reed
3 Pointers: 165-409 (40.3%)
Before doing my research, I wouldn’t have guessed that Reed shot more than 400 threes in his time at Kansas. Though Reed’s athleticism always seemed to get overlooked, this “sleepy-eyed Kansan” still earned his reputation as a shooter. He put up 190 attempts in his senior year, knocking down 72. Some may remember this one against Missouri:
7) Perry Ellis
3 Pointers: 56-130 (43.1%)
The only big man on the list. Perry’s shooting percentage is actually the second highest of anyone on here, but he slips a bit because of how selective he was able to be. Perry mastered the art of drifting away from the post to catch an open pass on the perimeter within the flow of the offense.
Ellis actually rarely shot from outside the arc before his junior year, going a combined 10-20 in his first two seasons. As he got more comfortable shooting from the arc, his efficiency didn’t suffer much, and he earned himself a spot on the list.
6) Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
3 Pointers: 211-520 (40.6%)
This admittedly feels a little low for Svi, whose consistency issues dropped him just a bit. At his best though, Svi is absolutely as good a shooter as anyone listed here. Svi struggled to find his shot early in his career, hitting just 29% of his 52 attempts as a freshman. When he was just 9-32 (28%) through the non-conference schedule his sophomore year, there was concern that his reputation as a shooter in Europe may not carry over to D1 basketball. Fortunately, Svi only improved from there, finishing a very respectable 31-81 (38%) for the season. Last year he hit 40% of his 176 attempts, and now he’s eclipsed 200 tries in his senior year, just outside the top 50 in the country hitting 45% of them.
5) Brannen Greene
3 Pointers: 81-192 (42.2%)
I feel like I’m going to catch the most heat for this one, but hear me out. Like Svi, Greene got off to a shaky start, hitting 10-30 in his freshman year. Though he never went on to put up huge totals in his final two seasons as a Jayhawk, it’s mostly because limitations in other areas of his game limited him to a fairly small role.
Greene shot threes without conscience, and his shot was so silky smooth, it always looked like it was going in. Though he battled injuries and off-the-court issues his junior year, he posted the highest single season 3P% of any player on this list, hitting 31 of his 63 attempts (49%). Had his career not been haunted with hip problems and conflict, he might very well be at the top of this group. His best performance was a 5-5 effort behind the line against Georgetown as a sophomore.
4) Devonte’ Graham
3 Pointers: 273-660 (41.4%)
Unlike others on this list, Devonte’ never dealt with rough three point shooting early in his career. Graham shot out of the gate going 17-40 (43%) as a freshman, and never saw much of a dip, despite shooting more threes than any Jayhawk not named Jeff Boschee. Graham has now posted back-to-back seasons with over 200 attempts, and will likely pass 100 made threes by the end of this season.
The play of the game wasn’t a three, but here are some highlights from his unforgettable performance against Texas Tech Saturday.
3) Frank Mason III
3 Pointers: 184-437 (42.1%)
In Frank’s first season as a Jayhawk, no one expected him to develop into a player who would even be considered for a “top 10 shooters” list. He was a wrecking ball, hurling himself into lane for circus layups. When he shot threes, it wasn’t too impressive, as he hit just 18 of 55 tries (33%). As a sophomore, he began to like a player who could be effective from deep as long as he picked his spots wisely, shooting just 98 threes but connecting on 43%. His junior year wasn’t much different, but as we all know, Frank exploded in his final season. He shot nearly as well from outside the arc as he did from inside, knocking down 47% of his 174 tries.
2) Brandon Rush
3 Pointers: 205-471 (43.5%)
Rush is the three point shooting leader among Bill Self players at KU (non-Withey edition). 43.5% across is 471 attempts is insane. Though Rush was better known for his explosive athleticism and lockdown defense, Rush never even remotely struggled as a pure shooter. As a freshman he hit 47% of his 106 tries, and managed to keep his efficiency up through 191 attempts in his junior year, hitting 42%. The most underrated part of his game may very well be the strongest. I basically had him tied for first place on the list.
1) Mario Chalmers
3 Pointers: 180-430 (41.9%)
There was no bad shot for Mario, and he shot without hesitation. Brandon Rush was always criticized for not shooting often enough, but wherever Rush left his confidence, Mario Chalmers found it. As a freshman, Chalmers came out firing, hitting 38% of a team high 128 attempts in 2006. His sophomore year was solid at 40%, but he really hit his stride as a junior, when he hit 47% of 156 attempts.
As I said, I basically had him and Rush tied for first. Since I needed a tiebreaker, two small things tilted the contest in Mario’s favor. First, he was the only Jayhawk other than Paul Pierce to participate in an NBA three point contest. Second, there was this one shot in 2008...