A Record Will Be Set Tonight In Laramie.
Justinian Jessup looks to become the conferences all-time three-point shooter with just one knocked down triple.
A look back at some of the deadliest three-point shooters in conference history.
As this week’s slate of conference games are set to kick off tonight, a bit of history is also set to be made by a certain Bronco in Laramie. Justinian Jessup is currently tied for first with former Mountain West star and BYU great Jimmer Fredette, for the all-time leader in three-point field goals made in Mountain West Conference history. It’s a big honor for any player, getting your name in the record books. But it has to feel a bit different seeing your name atop those record books in true dominant fashion.
As Jessup knocked down two threes in Boise State’s 73-64 win over Nevada over the weekend, he also stepped into the number one spot, tying Fredette with 296 made threes. He’s been able to do so in less games overall, with 120 games under his belt so far compared to Fredette’s 139.
With any knocked down three-point shots going forward, Jessup will become the Mountain West Conference’s sole all-time leader. While looking to be the only person to reach three hundred made three-point field goals in conference history with only four threes needed and at least a guaranteed eight games left to do it.
Now with the rest of the season to take sole ownership of first place, hit the 300 mark and create a gap between him and any other challenges on the list. Let’s revisit the career 3-Point field goal leaders top-10 list, which does feature another active player possibly capable of catching up to Jessup with his remaining eligibility.
The Top 10
T-1. Jimmer Fredette, BYU 2008-2011
3-Point Field Goals: 296
Career Stats: 18.7 PPG 3.7 APG 2.6 RPG 1.2 SPG & .394 3P%
Best Shooting Season: 2010-2011, Made 124 of his 313 three-pointer field goal attempts compared to 172 in the first three years of his career.
Jimmer mania was huge in 2011, a small list of accolades garnered in that season include; nation’s leading scorer, conference POY, National POY, 1st-team All-American and lottery pick (yeah, I know). Fredette made it rain from beyond the arc, sometimes closer to the half-court mark than the three-point line. Even with BYU’s exit from the Mountain West and Fredette’s lest than a stellar professional career, I think he is still a key component in the conference’s aim for national recognition and an all-time great.
Justinian Jessup, Boise State 2017-Current
3-Point Field Goals: 296
Career Stats: 11.9 PPG 4.1 RPG 2.0 APG & .407 3P%
Best Shooting Season: 2017-2018, Made a career-high 90 of his 197 three-point field goal attempts, good enough for 45% from deep that year.
Jessup should see his name atop the list by season’s end, but how far above everyone else is completely up to him. He has had a pretty impactful career in Boise, starting 111 of his 120 career games and cementing a legacy as a Bronco on the court as one of the best shooters in conference history.
2. Nick Jacobson, Utah 2001-2004
3-Point Field Goals: 287
Career Stats: 12.7 PPG 2.1 RPG 1.2 APG & 42.6 3P%
Best Shooting Season: 2003-2004, Made a career-high 99 of his 227 three-point field goal attempts, good enough for 43% from deep that year.
Jacobson was lights out from beyond the arc during his time in Salt Lake City. Jacobson grew as a player in every season as a Ute and as a senior led Utah to a 3rd place finish in the Mountain West, a conference tournament championship and an NCAA tournament berth before falling 51-58 to Boston College in the first round. Jacobson never made his way onto an NBA roster but did have several summer league appearances and played a bit overseas in the Euro Cup.
3. Sam Merrill, Utah State 2017-Current
3-Point Field Goals: 285
Career Stats: 16.1 PPG 3.6 ROG 3.6 APG & 42.0 3P%
Best Shooting Season: 2017-2018, Made a career-high 98 of his 211 three-point field goal attempts, good enough for 46% from deep that year.
Merrill is the only player aside from Jessup with any college eligibility left on this list. Both seniors, Merrill only has eight guaranteed games to catch up to Jessup but would need a near-flawless performance the rest of the way and a heck of a lot of threes to surpass him. Anything is possible but Merrill is having a bit of a down year in the shooting department, nevertheless, he will still go down as one of the more lethal players from deep in conference history.
4. Brandon Heath, San Diego State 2004-2007
3-Point Field Goals: 281
Career Stats: 17.5 PPG 3.4 RPG 3.2 APG & 35.2 FG3%
Best Shooting Season: 2005-2006, Made 98 of his 240 three-point field goal attempts, good enough for 41% from deep that year.
Everyone knows what state the San Diego State Aztecs program was in when Steve Fisher took over in 1999. Consistent years hovering just above .500 or well below, it was players like Brandon Heath who helped take the San Diego State program from the cellar of the Mountain West and molded it into the premier program we know today. Heath is still the Aztec’s all-time leading scorer and his scoring prowess has given him a successful career in Europe with a couple of stints in the NBA’s G-League.
5. Anthony Drmic, Boise State 2014-2017
3-Point Field Goals: 275
Career Stats: 14.8 PPG 4.6 RPG 1.9 APG & 35.0 FG3%
Best Shooting Season: 2012-2013, Made 80 of his 204 three-point field goal attempts, good enough for 39% from deep that year.
Drmic is one of three Boise State Broncos on the list and one of two Australians. He was a scoring force during his time at Taco Bell Arena (yes that felt good to type). Drmic did receive a fifth year of eligibility due to the 2014-2015 season cut short due to injury but was a consistent threat from deep and is still knocking them down from deep in Australia’s NBL with the Adelaide 36ers.
6. Chad Toppert, New Mexico 2006-2009
3-Point Field Goals: 266
Career Stats: 8.4 PPG 2.5 RPG 0.9 APG & 43.9 FG3%
Best Shooting Season: 2007-2008, Made 85 of his 177 three-point field goal attempts, good enough for 48% from deep that year.
Toppert made a living on the three-point line in the Pit, especially in the corners and off of ball screens freeing him and his jump shot up to rain threes. The Albuquerque native was a part of a golden era for native New Mexicans taking the court in cherry and silver and he went on to enjoy a career in Europe and in the NBA’s G-League.
7. Jonathan Tavernari, BYU 2007-2010
3-Point Field Goals: 265
Career Stats: 11.5 PPG 5.0 RPG 1.4 APG & 38.0 FG3%
Best Shooting Season: 2008-2009, Made 85 of his 223 three-point field goal attempts, good enough for 38% from deep that year.
The Brazilian forward was a scoring threat and mismatch nightmare for the Cougars back in the Mountain West. Tavernari saw his role as a scorer diminish as Jimmer Fredette’s game began to grow. He is still one of the best Cougars to play in the conference’s first decade of existence and went on to enjoy a professional career in Europe and Latin America while also representing his native Brazil in FIBA competition in 2009 and 2010 winning gold medals in both.
8. Nick Duncan, Boise State 2014-2017
3-Point Field Goals: 250
Career Stats: 8.8 PPG 3.5 RPG 1.2 APG & 36.6 FG3%
Best Shooting Season: 2014-2015, Made 76 of 198 three-point field goal attempts, good enough for 38% from deep that year.
Ah yes, the famed Australian forward built like an offensive tackle Nick Duncan. Duncan was a fan favorite across the Mountain West (depending on which team you were rooting for). And will always go down as the big man who could knock down threes, and the guy who flipped off Utah State fans making fun of his weight (265 pounds during at the time of the incident).
9. Johnnie Bryant, Utah 2006-2008
3-Point Field Goals: 245
Career Stats: 14.1 PPG 2.6 RPG 2.1 APG & 44.0 FG3%
Best Shooting Season: 2007-2008, Made 89 of his 201 three-point field goal attempts, good enough for 44% from deep that year.
Scary to think of what Bryant could have done with just one more season in Salt Lake City after spending his freshman year of college in juco at San Francisco City College. If he would have had a similar fourth year of production at the division-I level, he could have ended his career atop this list with a healthy buffer between him and 2nd place.Still attached to the game Bryant currently enjoys a career on the sidelines still, as an assistant coach with the Utah Jazz.
T-10. Andy Birley, Colorado State 2000-2003
3-Point Field Goals: 235
Career Stats: 8.6 PPG 1.8 RPG 2.7 APG & 42.3 FG3%
Best Shooting Season: 2002-2003, Made 90 of his 213 three-point field goal attempts, good enough for 42% from deep that year.
Birley and his teammates back in 2003 were apart of a Cinderella-like run that led the Rams to an NCAA tournament berth and still holds the record for lowest Mountain West tournament seed to ever win the tournament to this day.
Shaun Green, Utah 2006-2009
3-Point Field Goals: 235
Career Stats: 8.9 PPG 5.0 RPG 2.2 APG & 41.2 FG3%
Best Shooting Season: 2006-2007, Made 64 of his 125 three-point field goal attempts, good enough for 51% from deep that year.
Green is the second player mentioned on the list standing above 6-7, and was a hometown kid from near by Olympus High School. Big men with a touch from beyond the arc are always in demand, and his shooting ability took Green to Europe and Latin America to enjoy a nice professional career after his time in the Mountain West.
This list has some fan favorites and some of the best shooters in the Mountain West’s relatively short existence. It’s hard to tell when someone else will climb these ranks in the near future, with some names on the list whose eligibility ran out years ago and a few down the list with the chance to make a climb in seasons to come. Record-setting is always exciting and we should all tune in to the game in Laramie tonight to see it happen.