Best pure shooter in Cal Basketball History

BearGreg
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Staff
Who you got? Can be male or female. Bonus points for stats, videos and/or photos.
Alkiadt
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BearGreg said:

Who you got? Can be male or female. Bonus points for stats, videos and/or photos.


Russ Critchfield
Jerome Randle

In that order.
Critchfield didn't have the 3 point line.
HoopDreams
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Crabbe would have been if he didn't have Stanford thugs grabbing him all the time (even when he didn't have the ball)
Bear8995
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Brandon Chauca

Signed, Brandon Chauca
StrawberryCanyon
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Bear8995 said:

Brandon Chauca

Signed, Brandon Chauca
Gary Franklin Jr.!

Ok, real answer: Lamond Murray
joe amos yaks
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Mark McNamara -- Center 1980-81 and 1981-82
FG 61.7% / PPG - 17.2 / FT - 50.0%
FG 70.2% / PPG - 22.0 / FT - 54.1%

Ed Gray -- Guard 1995-96 and 1996-97
FG 43.1% / PPG - 15.6 / FT 79.1%
FG 46.1% / PPG - 24.8 / FT 79.0%
OneKeg
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Echoing others, Lamond Murray, Ed Gray and Jerome Randle for the men. Honorable mention to Theo Robertson. Critchfield was before my time so I'll take people's word for it.

Don't follow the women as much but honestly, it feels like Cal hasn't had a truly deadly pure shooter in WBB forever.
Yogi Bear
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HoopDreams said:

Crabbe would have been if he didn't have Stanford thugs grabbing him all the time (even when he didn't have the ball)
wifeisafurd
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OneKeg said:

Echoing others, Lamond Murray, Ed Gray and Jerome Randle for the men. Honorable mention to Theo Robertson. Critchfield was before my time so I'll take people's word for it.

Don't follow the women as much but honestly, it feels like Cal hasn't had a truly deadly pure shooter in WBB forever.
Right guys. I would go with Gray-Lawson for the women.
Big C
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Others who deserve mention as SOME of the best...

Joe Shipp (senior year)
Keith Smith (senior year)
Amit Tamir (on a hot streak)
Ryan Anderson (kept thinking he would have a game where he busted out for 50+, but he left too soon)
oskirules
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Joe Shipp
Ryan Anderson
Lamond Murray
mbBear
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OneKeg said:

Echoing others, Lamond Murray, Ed Gray and Jerome Randle for the men. Honorable mention to Theo Robertson. Critchfield was before my time so I'll take people's word for it.

Don't follow the women as much but honestly, it feels like Cal hasn't had a truly deadly pure shooter in WBB forever.
Colleen Galloway.
BeachedBear
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A few factors go into this (just looking at MBB - haven't attended enough women's games):

Stats: Best career FG%: 66.2%McNamara had great stats, but a lot of that was from close range. Hendrick went 10 for 10 against USF and many of those were beautiful 12-15 footers. best career 3P%: 44.%Theo, season 3P%: 50% Billy Dreher. Best career FT%: 88.1% Jerome Randle. Season FT%:93.3 Jerome Randle.

Style (It just looks good): I missed Critchfield, but talking to others who watched him as well as some others, they put him in the "arguably the best" category. From my experience, I would include Randle, Dreher, Murray as well. Theo looked pretty good too, but seemed slow (probably because of his long arms). Overall, I'd say Murray looked the best.

Clutch: Under pressure. I remember a game in early 80's when Dave Butler won us a game going something like 8 for 8 from the line in the last minute or so. Great day, but I wouldn't call him a great shooter. Recently, Mathews made some clutch threes. I'd call shooting his best trait, but he's NOT a great pure shooter. Randle made many clutch shots (sometimes at the expense of an easier shot), but they went in. He did it on a regular basis as well. Kidd was pretty clutch, but had an ugly shot in college.

Personally, I'd go with Jerome Randle. He was undersized and relied on his shot and speed more than anyone. He is at or near the top in all of my categories (Stats, Style, Clutch). He also had a wider array of shots than any other player mentioned. Layups against taller players, DEEP range, a beautiful floater, BEST Free Throws in history, excellent pull-up mid range game.

Others on my list would include Murray, Critchfield, Dreher, Theo, Ed Gray, Richard Midgley, Ryan Anderson, Michael Chavez, Allen Crabbe
SBGold
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Dreher and Ryan Drew
GMP
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BeachedBear said:

A few factors go into this (just looking at MBB - haven't attended enough women's games):

Stats: Best career FG%: 66.2%McNamara had great stats, but a lot of that was from close range. Hendrick went 10 for 10 against USF and many of those were beautiful 12-15 footers. best career 3P%: 44.%Theo, season 3P%: 50% Billy Dreher. Best career FT%: 88.1% Jerome Randle. Season FT%:93.3 Jerome Randle.

Style (It just looks good): I missed Critchfield, but talking to others who watched him as well as some others, they put him in the "arguably the best" category. From my experience, I would include Randle, Dreher, Murray as well. Theo looked pretty good too, but seemed slow (probably because of his long arms). Overall, I'd say Murray looked the best.

Clutch: Under pressure. I remember a game in early 80's when Dave Butler won us a game going something like 8 for 8 from the line in the last minute or so. Great day, but I wouldn't call him a great shooter. Recently, Mathews made some clutch threes. I'd call shooting his best trait, but he's NOT a great pure shooter. Randle made many clutch shots (sometimes at the expense of an easier shot), but they went in. He did it on a regular basis as well. Kidd was pretty clutch, but had an ugly shot in college.

Personally, I'd go with Jerome Randle. He was undersized and relied on his shot and speed more than anyone. He is at or near the top in all of my categories (Stats, Style, Clutch). He also had a wider array of shots than any other player mentioned. Layups against taller players, DEEP range, a beautiful floater, BEST Free Throws in history, excellent pull-up mid range game.

Others on my list would include Murray, Critchfield, Dreher, Theo, Ed Gray, Richard Midgley, Ryan Anderson, Michael Chavez, Allen Crabbe
In my time, which is much shorter than many here, I agree it's Randle. FG% overall tells me nothing. 3pt % is a good indicator, but not all 3-pointers are created equal. Most of Theo's were open, catch-and-shoot plays from the short corner. Randle often created for himself or took shots off the dribble while contests, often from very deep.

Free throw percentage is a very fair comparison, though, because it's the same shot, every time, for every player. It's not good to measure the best scorer, or offensive player. But the question is "pure" shooter, and for that I think it's a very good measure. As you note, Randle is the Cal leader in FT% for a career and a single season.
ncbears
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For the women:
Vukodinivic - I don't really recall how pure a shooter she was. My memory may have inflated her shot.
UrsaMajor
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SFCity Bear.

He never actually made the team, but by his own admission, he was the greatest pure shooter of all time.
85Bear
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Ryan Forehan-Kelly

Career
G PTS FG% FG3% FT%
103 5.8 47 40.7 75.4


59bear
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ncbears said:

For the women:
Vukodinivic - I don't really recall how pure a shooter she was. My memory may have inflated her shot.

I thought of her for the women although I only saw her a couple of times on TV. IMHO, it's Randle for the men and not really close. Critchfield was also very good. The best from my era (mid '50's) was Larry Friend.
joe amos yaks
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Sam Potter went 50% FG and 90% FTs before transferring to ORu.

Maybe Sam and GFranklin, Jr should do lunch.
Big C
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joe amos yaks said:

Sam Potter went 50% FG and 90% FTs before transferring to ORu.

Maybe Sam and GFranklin, Jr should do lunch.
Sam Potter: Now there's a name from the past! Yes, good shooter, as a 6-7 small forward. Some Sam stories...

His senior year in HS, he led the state (CA) in scoring. Before his first game at Cal, an African American sports writer set up an appointment to interview him. When they met, said writer was surprised to find out that Potter was white and supposedly left w/o the interview.

I've attended maybe 2-3 Cal Basketball practices in my life. In one of them, right in the middle, Kuchen kicked Potter out of the practice. As I was way up in the stands, I couldn't tell what it was for, maybe loafing or mouthing off. Thus, I wasn't surprised when Potter transferred. Too bad, because those teams in the early-mid '80s needed all the talent they could get. I wanna say Potter averaged something like 15-18 ppg his senior year at Oral Roberts.

CALiforniALUM
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StrawberryCanyon said:

Bear8995 said:

Brandon Chauca

Signed, Brandon Chauca
Gary Franklin Jr.!

Ok, real answer: Lamond Murray


No, no , no....

Garrett Sim by a mile...


BearGoggles
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Lamond Murray, He was tremendously underrated, both in college and the pros.
Yogi Bear
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BearGoggles said:

Lamond Murray, He was tremendously underrated, both in college and the pros.
He was not underrated in the pros. Underachieving more like it.
UCBerkGrad
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From a statistical perspective, here are the Cal 3PM leaders since the 1986-87 season:

15. Jerome Randle: 252 3PM, 40.5%
37. Ryan Drew: 214 3PM, 38.2%
39. Allen Crabbe: 209 3PM, 38.2%
48. Jordan Mathews: 201 3PM, 40.9%
61. Jabari Bird: 187 3PM, 37.1%
66. Richard Midgley: 183 3PM, 37.9%
92. Patrick Christopher: 164 3PM, 34.2%
97. Ayinde Ubaka: 160 3PM, 33.8%
101. Joe Shipp: 157 3PM, 33.8%
105. Theo Robertson: 154 3PM, 44.0%
108. Randy Duck: 153 3PM, 36.2%

Note: Rank is Pac-12 ranking in 3PM since 1986-87

oskidunker
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So its Jordan Matthews.
The Bear will not Quit. The Bear will not die but Bart will continue to lie.
UrsaMajor
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oskidunker said:

So its Jordan Matthews.
No. According to those stats, it's Theo.
RonO
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Big C said:

joe amos yaks said:

Sam Potter went 50% FG and 90% FTs before transferring to ORu.

Maybe Sam and GFranklin, Jr should do lunch.
Sam Potter: Now there's a name from the past! Yes, good shooter, as a 6-7 small forward. Some Sam stories...

His senior year in HS, he led the state (CA) in scoring. Before his first game at Cal, an African American sports writer set up an appointment to interview him. When they met, said writer was surprised to find out that Potter was white and supposedly left w/o the interview.

I've attended maybe 2-3 Cal Basketball practices in my life. In one of them, right in the middle, Kuchen kicked Potter out of the practice. As I was way up in the stands, I couldn't tell what it was for, maybe loafing or mouthing off. Thus, I wasn't surprised when Potter transferred. Too bad, because those teams in the early-mid '80s needed all the talent they could get. I wanna say Potter averaged something like 15-18 ppg his senior year at Oral Roberts.


So here's my favorite Sam Potter story - well actually maybe it's a Bill Walton story. Recently retired Bill got a gig on a Bear game, and then as always he was unprepared. After Sam hit three or four from the conner, he was raging about how far over his head he was, he can't do that, it's the best five minutes of his life, .... The play by play guy then said, "well he was city player of the year". Bill quickly yelled "yeah, but what city". The play by play guy deadpanned "Los Angeles".
SFCityBear
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UrsaMajor said:

SFCity Bear.

He never actually made the team, but by his own admission, he was the greatest pure shooter of all time.
Gee, and we had been getting along so well lately, too. Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed or something? Why take an interesting Cal thread like this and turn it into a personal attack on me, when I haven't yet posted an opinion on this great topic? The opinions here have been so interesting, and brought back memories of so many great Cal players. But you couldn't resist the temptation to take a swipe at me. How petty. How childish.

You are right about one thing. I didn't make the Cal team. You conveniently left out the details. It wasn't because I couldn't shoot. Coach Herrerias told me I was too small, but invited me to add some weight and strength and try out again the next season, as they needed shooters. Can you even begin to comprehend how difficult it was to make the Cal frosh roster in 1959? Six months earlier Cal had won the NCAA Championship. Many of the best players from all over the state wanted to come to Cal and play for Newell. The frosh team had 17 scholarship players arriving, all of whom were all league or league MVPs, like Jim Smith, who averaged over 35 ppg at Santa Cruz, Dick Smith of Gilroy, Cam Wall of Los Gatos, and Dan Lufkin of Alameda. Frosh tryouts were held in the Fall, three days of scrimmages and 60 players tried out, including the 17 scholarship players, for an 18 man team. So there were 43 of us trying out for the one walk-on spot. The player who eventually won the spot was Dub Washington, a black kid, and All-City player from Galileo High. I was told I was the third leading scorer after 3 days of scrimmages, behind Dick Smith and Camden Wall. It was the greatest experience of my athletic life in several sports, playing against the best players I had ever faced. I had never seen or played against a seven-footer, and that team had two of them. That led to my most embarrassing moment in sports, when after making a ton of long range bombs, I figured I better show the coaches I can drive, so I drove the lane. Cam was camped under the basket, and he took one step toward me, and so I stopped at the stripe to take a jumper, and he leaped in the air, put his hand on the ball, shoved it back in my face so hard, I fell over on my back. He and I laughed about that for years. I remember asking my dad who had played for the Cal frosh in 1930 for advice on how to make the team. He told me the tall players, when they grabbed a rebound, usually brought the ball down low, and I could steal it from them at that point, which I did to my great satisfaction. I never considered not making the Cal frosh to be a failure. All I ever wanted to do in basketball was play for Lowell and play for Cal, as my father had done. I did play for Lowell, and came pretty close as one of the last players cut from that Cal frosh, and I'm very proud of that, considering what I was up against. Today, there is no such rush among the state's best high school players to come and play for Cal. Cal coaches have difficulty recruiting the best ones, and they even have trouble filling out a roster with good walk-ons. How many pickup games are there on campus now? Close to zip, I'd guess. I bet Cal does not even hold tryouts anymore, and if they do, can they draw 60 players every year to try out for the team, let alone 60 good ones? Kids today play soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, skateboarding, video games, computers and cell phones, but not many play basketball. There are still good young players, but not as many now. Cal has trouble finding 2 or 3 good recruits each season. Cal is so desperate this season, that to fill the roster, they actually gave a roster spot to a boy who sat on the bench the last two years as the team manager! Now that sure looks like scraping the bottom of the barrel. But congratulations to him for realizing the dream.

As to me being the best pure shooter, I never said it, never wrote it, or "admitted" it. That is a lie. Why would you tell a lie about me? Are you a modern media guy, who makes a living playing fast and loose with facts? The reason I tell stories about my few years in basketball, especially shooting a basketball, is because I decry the sorry state of basketball and the shooting skills of the average player. I shot well, yes. At 11, I entered a shooting contest for age 12 and under kids held by the SF Examiner. The judges had us shoot from all over the floor, and kept extending the range to eliminate players. It came down to myself and a kid who was bigger than me. The judges moved the range out another 5 feet, and the other kid made the shot, and I couldn't reach the basket from there and lost. He came over to me afterwards, and told me he was 13. "Tough luck, kid," he said. If I had modern parents who protect their kids from every bad thing, they would have fought for me, I'd have that trophy, but my parents were both working and seldom saw me compete at anything.

I was the best shot on all the teams I played for and in that Cal frosh scrimmage in 1959. In 1960, I was the leading scorer in the Cal intramural league. All of this is small potatoes. But they are my potatoes, and I'm proud of all of them. With my small, frail, unathletic body I accomplished a lot more than anyone thought I could in basketball, mostly because I had an eye, and I worked so hard to be better. I proved that a kid no matter how small and not athletic could learn a skill well enough to almost make it to the big time, which for me was make the Cal team, when it was the best team in the country. I had no coaches working to make me better. I did it on my own. I watched good players and tried to copy them, adding my own moves here and there. For the one-hand shot, I tried to copy Bob Matheny and Larry Friend. For the jumper, I copied Robin Freeman of Ohio State. For the hook shot, I copied Bob McKeen, and for bank shots, I copied Dennis Shutter, an All-City player for Poly. And I spent thousands of hours perfecting those shots, all by myself, in a schoolyard, staying until after dark. I mastered all those shots to some degree. As a kid I played center, so I favored hook shots, bank shots, and short jumpers. As a high school player, I played forward, so it was mostly jumpers and one hand push shots. In the Cal scrimmages and intramurals, I played guard, and it was almost all long range push shots.

I shot free throws well, over 90% all the time, and as a high school senior, went 24-24 for the season. On the Boys' Club free throw team, I was #3, as I have written, not the best. I shot 67% from the floor that senior year, and 68% from the floor in the CYO that year. My teammates all know me and how well I shot. They also know about my lack of other skills. I probably lost the ball on turnovers almost as much as I scored with my shooting, which is another reason I harp on fundamentals so much, as being so important to winning games. Today players don't seem to care a whit about making a turnover. They know that in a few seconds, they get the ball back anyway, so what's the point?

The best pure shooter I ever saw was probably Larry Bird. He had every shot: short jumper, mid-range, and three, hook shots with either hand, bank shots off the glass from anywhere, floaters, scoops, on balance and off balance, wide open, or with a defender inside his jersey, free throws, and any shot in the clutch, especially in the clutch. I never saw him look bad taking a shot. And he did it against the best defenders in the world. I was a good pure shooter in my little world, which was Grattan Grammar School, Lowell High School, St Agnes, the SF Boys Club, a Cal frosh tryout, and a Cal intramural season. That is all. Larry was a great pure shooter against the best in the world. I got a chance to play against perhaps the best defender in the game at that time, K.C. Jones, in a pickup game. I thought I could shoot, but K.C. never gave me a chance to shoot. He was in front of me, on either side of me, above me, and maybe in back of me. He never allowed me to get a single shot off in that entire game. To be a great pure shooter, you at least have to be able to get the shot off, and I couldn't do it. But I'm still grateful I had the chance to play against him, like I was grateful to be able to try out for the Cal team.







Big C
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RonO said:

Big C said:

joe amos yaks said:

Sam Potter went 50% FG and 90% FTs before transferring to ORu.

Maybe Sam and GFranklin, Jr should do lunch.
Sam Potter: Now there's a name from the past! Yes, good shooter, as a 6-7 small forward. Some Sam stories...

His senior year in HS, he led the state (CA) in scoring. Before his first game at Cal, an African American sports writer set up an appointment to interview him. When they met, said writer was surprised to find out that Potter was white and supposedly left w/o the interview.

I've attended maybe 2-3 Cal Basketball practices in my life. In one of them, right in the middle, Kuchen kicked Potter out of the practice. As I was way up in the stands, I couldn't tell what it was for, maybe loafing or mouthing off. Thus, I wasn't surprised when Potter transferred. Too bad, because those teams in the early-mid '80s needed all the talent they could get. I wanna say Potter averaged something like 15-18 ppg his senior year at Oral Roberts.


So here's my favorite Sam Potter story - well actually maybe it's a Bill Walton story. Recently retired Bill got a gig on a Bear game, and then as always he was unprepared. After Sam hit three or four from the conner, he was raging about how far over his head he was, he can't do that, it's the best five minutes of his life, .... The play by play guy then said, "well he was city player of the year". Bill quickly yelled "yeah, but what city". The play by play guy deadpanned "Los Angeles".
Thanks and you may have jogged my memory... it could be that I was thinking "leading scoring in Cali", when Potter's senior honor was actually "LA city player of the year". I may have confused it with when KJ was "leading scorer in Cali" (or maybe SP was both).
UrsaMajor
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Sorry, SFC, I was just trying to be humorous. sorry it didn't work; no offense intended.

I agree about Bird, although there have been a number of really great shooters in the NBA. Of course, you need to define what is meant (i.e., are we talking outside shots--3-point or that distance before the 3-point shot? Or all shots). If we're talking shooting in general, I'd put Wilt up there, even if he never took 20' shots. For pure 3-point shooting there's Reggie Miller, Steph Curry, Bird, etc.
joe amos yaks
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Hi there. A lot of good information here. Very impressive. I do remember the frosh.

BTW- I think you took UMajor's comment wrong. I thought it was in jest, too. Most surely.
ddc_Cal
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I thought the comment was meant to be humorous and not serious, but I'm glad it provoked your story(s).
I really enjoyed it.

But I thought Camden Wall was 'only' 6'10".
Californication
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Shooting just over 50% at the line automatically disqualifies a player from any "pure shooter" ranking. Ed Gray, on the other hand, was a good shooter from all over the floor. Took too many shots or he may have had better numbers.
puget sound cal fan
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His underachieving in the NBA began when he was drafted by the Clippers.
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