Jan. 23, 2012
The 3-point shot was added to the college basketball game 25 years ago. In celebration of its silver anniversary, ESPN recently held a contest to elect the all-time greatest 3-point shooters. Tennessee great and legendary sharpshooter Chris Lofton won the competition.
Thousands of people voted during last week’s election, and ESPN announced Lofton as the winner during halftime of the Louisville-Pitt basketball game last Saturday.
Lofton received 118,265 overall votes—more than 12,000 ahead of second place—including 7,875 first-place votes—more than two thousand ahead of second place (results below).
The 2007 SEC Player of the Year (AP) earned All-America status three times during his career on The Hill, including consensus honors in 2007. Lofton, a Maysville, Ky., native, holds the SEC record for most career 3-pointers made (431), which ranks third all-time in NCAA history.
Lofton led the SEC in scoring (20.8) during the 2006-07 season, and also led the conference in 3-point field goals made during his freshman (93), sophomore (114) and junior (106) seasons. In 2004-05, he also led the league in 3-point percentage (.465).
The Big Orange record book was virtually rewritten during Lofton’s career at Tennessee. He holds the Tennessee single-game records for 3-pointers made (9) and attempted (20). He holds single-season records for 3-pointers made (118) and attempted (307). His career 3-point average of .422 ranks second in school history. He ranks fourth in scoring at UT with 2,131 career points.
Vols fans didn’t sit down much during Lofton’s playing days, as his spectacular shots kept everyone on their feet. Most notably, Lofton hit a buzzer-beater from behind the 3-point arc to lift Tennessee to a 63-61 win over Winthrop during first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The next season, a 6-foot-2-inch Lofton nailed a closing-seconds 40-plus footer over 6-foot-9-inch Kevin Durant. The Vols went on to defeat Texas in Knoxville 111-105 in overtime.
To Vols fans, he has alwaysbeen remembered as college basketball’s best 3-point shooter. Now it’s official.
(Ranked by overall votes received)
|Name, School||Overall Votes||First-Place Votes|
|1. Chris Lofton, Tennessee||118,265||7,875 (1)|
|2. J.J. Reddick, Duke||105,418||5,556 (2)|
|3. Kyle Korver, Creighton||96,420||448 (7)|
|4. Stephen Curry, Davidson||95,486||588(6)|
|5. Steve Kerr, Arizona||94,033||1,661 (4)|
|6. Jimmer Fredette, BYU||93,611||1,165 (5)|
|7. Dennis Scott, Georgia Tech||90,753||218 (9)|
|8. Tony Bennett, UW-Green Bay||88,242||1,717 (3)|
|9. Keith Veney, Marshall||85,148||212 (10)|
|10. Curtis Staples, Virginia||82,146||375 (8)|