It is altogether fitting that Wofford senior guard Fletcher Magee wears No. 3 since he is now the greatest 3-point shooter in NCAA Division I basketball history.
With seven treys in the Terriers’ 84-68 win over Seton Hall in the first round of the NCAA Tourney Thursday night, Magee surpassed former Oakland University guard Travis Bader for the top spot on the long-distance chart with 509 career 3s. Magee was 7 of 12 from deep against the Pirates, giving him 73 career games in which he has made four or more 3-pointers.
Along the way Magee accomplished some other pretty incredible feats as well, including breaking Steph Curry’s Southern Conference record of 414 made 3-pointers and being named the SoCon Malcolm U. Pitt Player of the Year as a junior and a senior.
“He is a special man,” said Wofford’s Mike Young, who is in his 17th season as head coach and 30th season overall on the Terriers’ basketball staff. “I have never had a young man as committed to becoming a great player as Fletch, and I have had many hard workers. It has been a privilege and a joy to coach him.”
At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, Magee can seemingly get his shot off from anywhere, and he began proving it almost as soon as he stepped on the Spartanburg, South Carolina, campus. As a freshman, he drained 91 of 190 (an amazing 48 percent), and he’s kept right on firing. As a sophomore he was 112 of 265 (42 percent), as a junior 148 of 337 (44 percent) and this season he is 158 of 365 (43 percent).
Magee is, no doubt, a downtown man and as proof, consider that he has made almost as many 3s in his career as 2-point shots he has taken (592).
It is all because he is already good at what he does and dedicated to getting better said Young, the SoCon Coach of the Year. It is best described perhaps by what Young saw the morning following a hard-fought 78-76 overtime win at East Tennessee State on February 7.
“He had 32 on Thursday night,” Young said, “and he was in here at 8:30 on Friday morning working on his game. He’s a rare man, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to coach him.”
Magee will now take aim at Curry’s all-time NCAA record for 3s in a single season in the Terriers’ second-round matchup against Kentucky on Saturday. Curry made 162 treys in 36 games for Davidson in 2008, followed by Darrin Fitzgerald, who also had 158 in 28 games for Butler in 1987, and Magee.
Rounding out the list were East Carolina’s Akeem Richmond (155), UNLV’s Freddie Banks (152), and Magee’s 148 in 2018.
Fittingly, the 3 that broke Curry’s SoCon record came in the last minute of a 78-74 home win over Mercer on January 5 with the game still very much on the line and in a manner that would certainly have made Curry smile. Leading 73-72, Magee’s teammate, Cameron Jackson, dove on the floor for a steal and passed the ball to Storm Murphy, who found Magee in transition for the record-breaking 3 with 38 seconds to play to help seal the victory.
It was the 415th of his career and continued his climb up the all-time list towards Bader, who made 504 of 1,246 treys (41 percent) in four seasons for the Golden Grizzlies. The 1,246 attempts are also an NCAA record.
As seems to be his fashion, Magee tried to paint his accomplishment in the context of the team’s success.
“The fact that the shot came at a point where it meant so much in the game was great,” Magee said. “I was just thinking about the game because we needed every single point to win. I was just trying to play my best defense and do anything to help the team win.”
After tossing in six 3s in an 80-69 win over Chattanooga on January 6 to move into fourth place on the all-time NCAA list with 436, Magee again tried to deflect the spotlight from himself to his team.
“I don’t want to get too caught up in it, but it’s definitely cool,” Magee said of his accomplishment. “To see yourself in any history book is definitely a rewarding feeling. That will be cooler to look back on when I’m a bit older, but right now I just want to do what I can to help take this team as far as we can go.”
With a 21-game winning streak, a program record for wins in a season at 30-4, a SoCon championship and an NCAA berth, Terrier fans would certainly agree that Magee’s long-range prowess has already taken them a long, long way this season. H&A
All photos courtesy Wofford Athletics and taken by Mark Olenck
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