Thursday, February 7, 2013

MAAC Has History Of National Scoring Leaders

Iona's Lamont "Momo" Jones currently ranks third nationally in scoring on the Division I level, averaging 21.9 points per game.

But the Gaels' senior guard isn't likely to catch Erick Green, a senior guard at Virginia Tech (who currently averages 25.0 ppg.) and become the fourth player from the MAAC to lead all college scorers.

Surprisingly, that elite group does not include former La Salle standout Lionel Simmons, whose career total of 3,217 points still ranks third all time, behind only Pete Maravich (3,667) and Freeman Williams (3,249).

Simmons had season averages of 20.3 points per game in 1986-87, 22.3 in 1987-88, 28.4 in 88-89 and 26.5 in 1989-90.

The seasonal scoring leaders in those seasons were, in order starting in 1986-87, Kevin Houston of Army (32.9), Hersey Hawkins of Bradley (36.3 ppg.), Hank Gathers of Loyola-Marymount (32.7) and Bo Kimble, also of Loyola-Marymount (35.3).

But that list includes the first of the three MAAC players to lead all national scorers. That would be Kevin Houston of Army when that program was still a conference member.

That 1986-87 was memorable for one other bit of trivia. David Robinson of Navy topped the national rebounding list (13.0) that season. It was the only time in college basketball history that players from military academies led the country in one of those two major statistical categories, and both did it in the same season.

The other MAAC players to win a single-season scoring title were Niagara's Alvin Young, who averaged 25.1 ppg. in the 1998-99 season; and, Keydren Clark, who actually led the nation in scoring twice ... 26.7 in 2003-04 and 35.8 n 2004-05.

One other bit of MAAC scoring trivia/history: Only seven players in Division I history have ever scored more than 3,000 points over their career, and two of them came from the MAAC.

They are Simmons (3,217, third all-time), and Clark (3,058, sixth all-time).

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