Pete Maravich scoring record: Craziest stats from former LSU star's decorated NCAA career

Pete Maravich is the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I basketball history, men’s or women’s — at least, before Sunday's women's basketball game between Iowa and Ohio State..

With just 18 points Sunday against the Buckeyes during a prolific senior season in which she’s averaging 32.2 points per game, Iowa guard Caitlin Clark will pass the former LSU star to become the career points leader in NCAA Division I basketball history.

Though Maravich, who died in 1988 at 40 years old as the result of a rare congenital heart defect, will no longer stand atop the list of the most prolific men’s and women’s basketball scorers ever, Clark’s pursuit of his mark has offered an opportunity to look back on and appreciate the astonishingly productive college career of the man famously known as “Pistol Pete.”

REQUIRED READING: Caitlin Clark vs. Pete Maravich: How Iowa star compares to NCAA scoring record-holder

Maravich is one of the most mythical figures in basketball history at any level, with a carefully crafted and flamboyant skill set that was ahead of his time. Though that legend began earlier, it firmly took hold at LSU. With that, here's a look back at his decorated tenure with the Tigers.

Pete Maravich scoring record

During his LSU career, Maravich racked up 3,667 points, leading all Division I men’s and women’s players.

Only one Division I men’s player, former Detroit Mercy guard Antoine Davis, is within 400 points of Maravich’s career total. Davis — the son of Detroit Mercy coach Mike Davis, formerly the head coach at Indiana and UAB — finished his career in 2023 with 3,664 points, only three fewer than Maravich. But he reached that mark in five seasons, as he, like other athletes who played during the pandemic-affected 2020-21 season, was given a waiver for an additional year of eligibility by the NCAA.

Even once Clark (likely) surpasses him, Maravich will still hold several other Division I scoring records, many of which will be significantly harder, if not impossible, for anyone to break or match barring truly unforeseen circumstances.

Maravich has the most points scored in a men’s Division I season, with 1,381 during his senior year in 1969-70. He owns the record for both the highest career scoring average (44.2 points per game) and highest scoring average in a season (44.5 points per game in 1969-70). He has the most games with at least 50 points in a season (10, in 1969-70) and in a career (28), as well as the most career games with at least 40 points (56).

Maravich undoubtedly benefitted from a few factors that were specific to both his situation at LSU and the era in which he played.

With the Tigers, he played for his father, Press Maravich, who was LSU’s coach from 1966-72. Under his father’s watch, Maravich had an extraordinarily large role in the Tigers’ offense, averaging 38.1 shots per game over his career. In his three seasons with the Tigers, he was responsible for 3,166 of his team’s 6,284 shot attempts, or 50.4%. Additionally, he played in a largely segregated conference, which included his own team. Only two of the SEC’s 10 programs at the time, Vanderbilt and Auburn, had integrated at the varsity level while Maravich was in college.

Still, there were several other variables that prevented Maravich’s career stats from being even more eye-popping than they already are.

At the time of Maravich’s college career, freshmen were ineligible to play on schools’ varsity teams, meaning Maravich only had three years to rack up the numbers he did, rather than the customary four. In 19 games for LSU’s freshman team in 1966-67, he scored 741 points, which would have brought him to 4,408 for his career.

College basketball at the time also didn’t have a 3-point line or shot clock, both of which wouldn’t be adopted until nearly 20 years after Maravich’s final college game. Former LSU coach Dale Brown, who succeeded Press Maravich in 1972 and led the Tigers for 25 years, once reportedly charted every shot Maravich took in college and found that had there been a 3-point line, Maravich would have averaged 57 points per game.

Pistol Pete NCAA records

Beyond all of his various scoring feats, Maravich set a slew of other NCAA Division I men’s records that still stand today:

  • 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)

Maravich also has three of the five highest-scoring seasons in Division I history, owns the top three spots in highest scoring average in a season and has two of the four largest single-game point totals in Division I history — 69 points vs. Alabama in February 1970 and 66 vs. Tulane in February 1969.

In NCAA Division I men’s history, there have been 25 instances of a player scoring at least 60 points in a game. Maravich accounts for four of them, while nobody else has more than two. He’s the only player among the top 11 Division I career scoring leaders who played fewer than four college seasons.

Maravich's career points-per-game average is incredibly unlikely to be broken, if not impossible. The next-closest player to him on the list, former Notre Dame star Austin Carr, is a full 9.6 points per game behind him.

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Pete Maravich stats in college

Over the course of his three seasons at LSU, Maravich averaged 44.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. He shot 43.8% from the field and 77.5% from the free-throw line. Sports writers from that era noted that Maravich frequently attempted long jump shots, despite there being no 3-point line, which played a role in bringing down his shooting percentage.

Here’s a look at his season-by-season per-game stats:





























Pistol Pete record in college

Though Maravich was unmatched as an offensive threat during his time and throughout the sport’s history, his teams were never wildly successful.

LSU went 49-35 during Maravich’s three varsity seasons. That represented significant improvement for the program, which had just one winning season in the 13 years before Maravich joined the Tigers’ varsity squad, including a 3-23 mark during his freshman year at the school.

While it was ranked at some point in each of his final two seasons, LSU never made the NCAA Tournament with Maravich. During Maravich’s junior and senior seasons, the tournament only had 25 teams, nearly one third of the 68 it has today.

Maravich’s final season at LSU was the program’s best, as it went 22-10 in 1969-70 and made the NIT semifinals.

Press Maravich was the Tigers’ coach for two more seasons after his son left for the NBA, where he became a five-time all-star. He died at 71 years old in April 1987 — only about nine months before his son.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Pete Maravich stats, points, records and more from LSU star's career