It’s always exciting to watch a basketball player catch fire during a game. Every time this individual points up a shot, you can’t help but think it’s going in. And that’s exactly what went down on Thursday night when the Gonzaga Bulldogs took on the Pacific Tigers. The guy with the hot hand was Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer, who exploded for 45 points, and recorded the school’s highest single-game individual scoring total in 54 years. That’s not a bad way to help your team record their 20th-straight win.
There’s no denying that Wiltjer’s performance was special. It’s not easy to put together this kind of scoring outburst. But he’s not the only player in college basketball this year to shoot the lights out in a single game. And these guys deserve a bit of the spotlight as well. So let’s take a look at the best best individual performances in college basketball this season
5. Craig Bradshaw (pictured), Chris Fowler [tie]
Points scored: 42
For those of you who don’t know, the Belmont Bruins are a physical basketball team who have been to the NCAA Tournament six times in the history of the program. On November 29, 2014, junior guard Craig Bradshaw put on a show on the road against the Ohio Bobcats. Not only did he drop 42 points, but he also hit eight three-pointers and was perfect from the free-throw line.
Central Michigan shooting guard Chris Fowler went for 42 points on February 4, 2015, against the Bowling Green Falcons. One of the major reasons that he eclipsed his season average of 15.6 points per game, probably has something to do with his aggressive play on the night — he hit 14-of-23 shots and made 12 of 17 free-throw attempts.
4. Askia Booker
Points scored: 43
Askia Booker, the 6-foot-2 guard, is having a breakout senior season for the Colorado Buffalos. On the year, he’s averaging 17.4 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steal per game. But on January 29, 2015, Booker went off against the USC Trojans. He connected on four shots from beyond the three-point line, made 13 total field goals, and hit 13 free-throws. That’s a pretty good stat line.
2. Kyle Wiltjer (pictured), C.J. Carter [Tie]
Points scored: 45
Kyle Wiltjer’s may have gone for 45 points on Thursday, but he had an impressive all around game as well. On top of his seven three-pointers, Wiltjer made eight free-throws, pulled down six rebounds, and dished out four assists. He was a superhero for the Bulldogs on this night.
C.J. Carter hit the 45-point mark on January 18 against IUPUI. He made a ridiculous 19 shots on 25 total attempts; seven of which were three-pointers. He would’ve scored more, but he missed both of his free-throw attempts. He probably wasn’t too upset with how the night turned out.
1. Amere May
Points scored: 48
The most impressive individual scoring effort on the year belongs to Delaware State’s Amere May. On December 17, May put together a very efficient performance. His 48 points came on 16 made field goals, with six buckets coming from three-point range. He was also perfect from the free-throw, going 10-for-1o on the night. What a show this must have been.