Fletcher Magee breaks NCAA career 3-point record, shoots Wofford to 1st tournament win

Henry Bushnell
·4 min read

Wofford’s Fletcher Magee might just be the best shooter in college basketball history. Better than J.J. Redick. Better than Steph Curry. And now he has the place in the NCAA record book to prove it.

Magee had already passed those current NBA stars on various long-range shooting lists. On Thursday night, he passed Oakland’s Travis Bader to claim the Division I record for most 3-pointers made in his career.

Magee drained Nos. 503, 504 and 505 in his NCAA tournament debut. Then, in a battle with 10th-seeded Seton Hall, he drained Nos. 506, 507, 508 and 509 for good measure. His threes – 7-of-12 in all – propelled Wofford to its first-ever tournament victory.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - MARCH 21:  Fletcher Magee #3 of the Wofford Terriers reacts in the second half against the Seton Hall Pirates during the first round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on March 21, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Fletcher Magee is officially the greatest shooter in college basketball history. (Getty)

Magee’s record-breaking 3s

No. 503 was classic Magee, shoulders nowhere near square to the hoop, from well beyond the arc:

The record-tying triple was a four-point play off a screen, with two defenders right in his grill, again several feet behind the line:

The record-breaking shot opened the second half, and extended Wofford’s lead to 13:

Seton Hall, behind Myles Powell’s 27 points, climbed back into the game, and actually took two separate one-point leads. But then Magee got hot:

Behind Magee’s 24 points and Nathan Hoover’s 18, Wofford pulled away for an 84-68 win. Next up? Kentucky.

Magee’s 3-point record is as incredible as it sounds

Magee not only has the record. By almost any statistical measure, he’s a better shooter than the other greats immediately below him on the list.

Of the top 25, Magee has the best hit rate – almost 44 percent – by more than 1.5 percentage points. He broke Bader’s record in 96 fewer attempts. He bests Redick – third on the list – by three percentage points and 48 makes. He’s played fewer games than both.

Earlier this season, Magee broke Curry’s Southern Conference record. Of course, the former Davidson, now-Golden State Warriors superstar made his 414 threes in three seasons. Had he stayed for a fourth, he almost certainly would top the list.

But he didn’t. Magee, a fringe NBA prospect at best, did. He finally led Wofford to the tournament in his fourth and final attempt. And after Thursday night, America now knows his name.

The Fletcher Magee fables

There are all kinds of Fletcher fables that sound like myths. Like the time, as told by The Athletic’s Dana O’Neil, when his childhood neighbors had to call his parents to ask that he stop shooting in the driveway past midnight. Fletcher, instead of stopping, simply piled up couch cushions underneath the net, to mute his obsessive shooting past 2 a.m.

And like this one:

His shot selection is questionable. His form is unconventional. If it didn’t send a basketball swishing through a net more than 43 percent of the time, it would be labeled ugly. Magee would be labeled a gunner.

But it does. He is a gunner, but in the best of ways. And now he’s an NCAA record-holder.

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