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Tenntig
LSU Fan
Franklin, TN
Member since Jul 2015
93 posts

Pete Maravich - What Might Have Been

With the addition of a well-deserved statue to Pete Maravich outside the LSU arena named after him but in which he never played, there is renewed speculation about what he would have accomplished if today's rules were applied to the era in which he played. If he had been allowed to participate in an additional 26 games with the varsity in his freshman year of 1966-67, his all-time college scoring record of 3,667 points may have be in the 4,700-point range. In that era, dunking was prohibited so when he drove to the basket he always had to bank it in. Also there was no shot clock and I recall especially Tennessee going to a four-corners offense to eat up the clock to keep the ball out of his hands, and it worked by holding Pete to a 23-point average in their six meetings -- 21 points below his career average.
But the biggest difference was the lack of the three-point shot. Former coach Dale Brown said Maravich would have averaged 57 points a game with a three-point line. Would he? Who knows? But few realized the NBA added the three-pointer in Pete's last season of 1980. A severe knee injury has slowed him to a point he played sparingly in just 43 games that year, but he did take 15 NBA-length 3-point shots and made 10. In the playoffs, he added two of six for a total percentage above 57 percent.
It obviously is a very small sampling but that compares favorably to the best three-point shooters in the history of the NBA -- Steve Kerr (45.4%) and Stephen Curry (43.5%).
This post was edited on 7/27 at 3:58 pm


Broski
USA Fan
Member since Jun 2011
50349 posts

Did you copy/paste that from an article from 2002?

Because this question has been asked at least once a year for the last 30 years.


Tenntig
LSU Fan
Franklin, TN
Member since Jul 2015
93 posts

Nope.


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Amadeo
Harvard Fan
Member since Jan 2004
4384 posts

quote:

What Might Have Been

You mean if LSU would had broken the color barrier long before Collis Temple and recruited Elvin Hayes to school.

With Pete and Elvin, that would have been two First Team All-Americans at least for a year that would have kept The Wizard of Westwood awake at night.

Hell, maybe they could have gotten Don Chaney from McKinley HS here as well.


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A1A
LSU Fan
Space Coast
Member since Sep 2015
1797 posts

Or he could have been one and done and not set any records.


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Tom Bronco
LSU Fan
Austin, TX
Member since Jun 2011
2399 posts

The dunk meant nothing to Pete. It was never a part of his game. The three point line, shot clock and hand checking would have meant a great deal. Hell, in his 68 point game with a three point line and the referees calling two ridiculous charges on him he would have had 76 or above.


Tiger1988
Houston Astros Fan
Houston
Member since May 2016
18599 posts

quote:

The dunk meant nothing to Pete. It was never a part of his game. The three point line, shot clock and hand checking would have meant a great deal. Hell, in his 68 point game with a three point line and the referees calling two ridiculous charges on him he would have had 76 or above.

Except he had some serious hang time and could flat out dunk but he was old school and preserve energy I suppose.


fishdoctor
Member since Feb 2018
790 posts

The GOAT at LSU. Never really cared about LSU basketball until I saw him in the first freshman game at LSU. Told my brother, we gettin season tickets. He was in a league of his own.


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70
ElderTiger
LSU Fan
Planet Earth
Member since Dec 2010
6151 posts

Maybe I’m biased because I love LSU, but as great as Pete was, the fact that he never played on a championship team, college or pro, that causes him to be overlooked as a true great of the game after 50 years.


PurpleExile
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2020
269 posts

We're all just guessing, of course, about how many more points Pete would have scored with the 3-point shot allowed.
But those of us who were lucky enough to see him play at LSU know that if they had painted a 3-point arc on the basketball courts, Maravich would have viewed it as a challenge and probably taken MOST of his shots beyond the 3-point line. That's just what kind of player he was.

Do the math, though. If half of Pete's 1,387 career baskets at LSU had been 3-pointers -- which I don't think is an unreasonable assumption -- that would have boosted his average per game to.... 52.5 points a game.

FWIW, Tennessee never played the Four Corners against LSU. That was a Dean Smith/North Carolina thing that didn't become popular until the early 1980s.
What coach Ray Mears did at Tennessee was simply run a slow and deliberate offense. They were in no hurry to do anything.
To stop Maravich, Mears had a smaller, quicker guard named Billy Hann guard Pete one-on-one wherever he went, and then the Vols trapped Pete with one of their wing defenders whenever he would go to either side -- creating a constant double-team.
Mears gambled that LSU's other four players couldn't make up the slack, and he was right.
The Tennessee games always left a bitter taste in the mouths of LSU people in those days. The Volunteers were roundly despised by the rest of the SEC. Kentucky was envied and respected; Tennessee was just an orange pain in the ass. They had a pregame routine like the Globetrotters, and they wore these stupid orange-striped clown warmup pants. But when the game would start, Mears would have them dribbling and passing the ball six, seven times before shooting. We hated them.

I know Maravich went on to be a fairly successful NBA player. But in my mind, Pistol Pete is forever young, wearing his floppy socks and an LSU uniform, scoring 44 points a game at the dusty old Parker Ag Center.






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BornAndRaised_LA
LSU Fan
Illinois
Member since Oct 2018
3063 posts

If today’s rules were applied he probably plays a year then goes pro.


Tenntig
LSU Fan
Franklin, TN
Member since Jul 2015
93 posts

I wonder what father and coach Press would have thought about that? He came to LSU because he would have the freedom to showcase Pete. He would not have left North Carolina State (38-13 in his two years there) to come to a basketball outpost like LSU was at the time. He was 3-23 his first season while Pete was on the freshman team and seemed to lose interest after Pete left. He spent a few years at Appalachian State where he was 12-51. Nonetheless, if the NBA was a option after one year as it is now, it would have been Press who made the call.

I originally posted because when Pete had his limited opportunity to shoot the three-pointers, he was stunningly successful at it even following his knee injury.
This post was edited on 7/28 at 12:15 pm


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AndrewD
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2013
669 posts

He'd be riding with Team Gordon


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777Tiger
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2011
59081 posts
 Online 

just thought of something a little while ago for all of the statue/HoF baws, did Burrow ever get a degree from LSU while he was here? there may be some trouble brewing in a few years


777Tiger
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2011
59081 posts
 Online 

quote:

Maybe I’m biased because I love LSU, but as great as Pete was, the fact that he never played on a championship team, college or pro, that causes him to be overlooked as a true great of the game after 50 years.



and sadly his body quit one season short of that goal, the Celtics won it the year he hung it up


Tenntig
LSU Fan
Franklin, TN
Member since Jul 2015
93 posts

Joe Burrow earned his Bachelor's Degree from Ohio State and a Master's degree from LSU.


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JustDooIt
LSU Fan
Steeelwood
Member since Jun 2006
639 posts

I had class with Pete. When he returned from road to Tenn, he looked like someone had tried to "filet" him.. eyes sunk back in head, arms/face scratched. he said they took some goons from football, had them let their fingernails grow, and purposely fouled out to contain him to a mere 20 pts per game. But without a doubt, I've never seen another athlete, in any sport, who possessed the physical skills he had....try watching replays in real time...then slo-mo and keep your mouth closed


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Draino54
Member since Mar 2022
223 posts

Pete would have played 1 yr, maybe 2 at the most under todays game. He’s the greatest Bb player I’ve seen in the SEC and I’m 67. He’d be better in todays game than he was in his era.


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Draino54
Member since Mar 2022
223 posts

Basketball is a team game and Maravich never played on a team capable of winning anything until end of his career. LSU winning a BB championship in SEC in the 60s is equivalent to Ole Miss winning a FB championship today.


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Damathe
Member since Apr 2020
5146 posts

quote:

FWIW, Tennessee never played the Four Corners against LSU. That was a Dean Smith/North Carolina thing that didn't become popular until the early 1980s.
Oh so wrong, Grasshopper!
Smith was running the 4 corners in the 60's.


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