Kansas Basketball Record Watch 2018-19: Lagerald Vick
A couple of months ago, when KU junior Udoka Azubuike announced he would return for his junior season at Kansas instead of trying to make it in the NBA, the first thing that popped into my head was where Azubuike stood in KU’s record books in a few key areas.
Granted, because he missed all but 11 games of his freshman season and also missed time during his sophomore season, Azubuike has not exactly played the kind of games or logged the amount of minutes to make a real push for any of KU’s biggest records.
But surely there are some that, after a monster junior season, could be a factor for Azubuike, right?
And if that’s the case, couldn’t that be true for just about every scholarship player on KU’s roster?
I mean, we all can agree that Quentin Grimes isn’t going to finish his first year at Kansas — and possibly his only year here — as the school’s all-time leading scorer, but could he make a push for KU’s freshman scoring record?
Last year’s KU media guide featured 19 full pages of school records. So over the next several days, we’re going to take a look at (a) what records some of these guys might be closing in on, if any, and (b) which record(s) each KU player could realistically make a run at during the 2018-19 season.
Some of it might be a stretch. But, hey, it’s August, and even if some of what you’ll read in the next few days isn’t likely, it’s still kind of fun to think about the best case scenarios in a sort of what-if mentality.
Next up: Lagerald Vick
From what I can tell, there are two main schools of thought on the topic of Vick the 3-point shooter during his senior season.
The first is that, as the best and most proven and accomplished 3-point marksman on the roster, Vick is going to get a bunch of plays run for him and find a lot of open space to step into and knock down rhythm 3-pointers. Part of that is his status as the best knock-down shooter on the roster and also the extra room that figures to exist on the perimeter given KU’s depth and talent down low.
The second school of thought is that, as the most proven and accomplished 3-point marksman on the roster, Vick is going to get the most attention from opposing defenders, who will look to force anyone but Vick to beat them from the outside, therein giving the KU senior very little room to get off shots and torch the nets from distance.
I’m in the first group and I think Vick — both because of confidence and status — will have a chance to be a real weapon from the outside regardless of whether he starts or how many minutes he plays.
As much because of KU’s style as his own skill, I can’t imagine Vick following in the shoes of Devonte’ Graham and Svi, who both made more than 100 3-pointers last season. But I don’t think it’s crazy to think he could set a career high and top the 59 that he made last season.
If he does that, and if he succeeds in achieving the goal of efficiency over volume — that’s been a huge emphasis for KU’s coaching staff this summer — Vick might have a real shot at KU’s career 3-point percentage record.
Milt Newton (1985-89) is the current holder of that record, having knocked down 100 of 224 career 3-point attempts for a 44.6 clip, which puts him just ahead of Jeff Gueldner (90 of 205, 43.9), Brandon Rush (205 of 471, 43.5) and Kirk Hinrich (236 of 546, 43.2) as the only four KU players to finish their careers above 43 percent.
In order to get there, under the parameters outlined above, Vick would need to hit 65 of 104 3-point attempts this season, which would give him career totals of 166 makes and 371 attempts for a 44.7 percent total.
Should he get it that way, Vick also would eclipse Hinrich’s single-season percentage record by draining an incredible 62.5 percent of his 3-point shots during his senior season. Hinrich made 55 of 109 (50.5 percent) during the 2000-01 season.
Vick making nearly 63 percent of his 3-point attempts this season would probably wind up as a more improbable and incredible feat than Azubuike draining 77 percent of his field goals a season ago.
But given the style the Jayhawks figure to utilize and Vick’s status as an aggressive and confident senior, this certainly qualifies as his most attainable major record during the 2018-19 season, slightly ahead of tying or passing Jeff Boschee for most 3-pointers in a single half (7) or something like most 3-point attempts without a miss.