PROVO — When it comes to long-distance sharpshooting, you'll find that three's a crowd on the BYU basketball bench, where a trio of the Cougars' most prolific 3-point shooters ever can be found this season.
However, only one plays — junior swingman Mark Bigelow, who not only shoots the 3 but wears the 3 on his jersey. The other two are former players — assistant coach Andy Toolson and director of basketball operations Nathan Call.
With 24 3-pointers through 13 games this season and 133 total through 2 1/2 seasons, Bigelow is closing in on Toolson's BYU career record of 141 treys.
"I'll have to tell him to move in a few steps now," kidded Toolson, who like Bigelow says he wasn't aware of either of the two's career total until the past week.
Toolson's 141 3s came in just three seasons. After playing his freshman year before serving an LDS Church mission, he returned in 1987 — a year after the NCAA instituted the 3-point shot. "I came off my mission and everybody was talking about it," he said.
He has since shot 3-pointers from three different distances — from the NCAA's 19 feet and 9 inches and the NBA's 23-9 to the 20-6 international arc — which he calls "ideal" for the college game after a lengthy pro career in Europe.
"The closeness of the (college) shot really influences games," he said.
Call is listed in the Cougar record books as having the best 3-point percentage — .543 for a season back as a starter in 1987-88 and .456 for his BYU career. He credits pre- and post-practice routines of long-distance shooting games with then-teammate Michael Smith as helping his accuracy.
By comparison, Bigelow is 134-of-325 for .411 percent for his career and shooting a tad better this season.
On tap to become the Cougars' career trey-master, Bigelow already claims one BYU career mark — most consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer. His string of 22 came over two seasons — and several more years. He ended his freshman season in 1999 with a 3 in his final seven games; then, after a two-year LDS Church mission to Florida, he connected in each of his first 15 games as a sophomore last season.
His highs in 3-pointers this season have been a 4-of-6 performance against Southern Utah and a 4-of-8 outing at Creighton. But he has gone without a 3 twice as well, failing in four attempts at San Francisco and not even taking a shot from behind the arc at Arizona State. And Wednesday night at Weber State, he was 1-of-5.
Junior swingman Mark Bigelow is climbing the BYU career charts for 3-point shooting. Below are several of the Cougar career and season records for 3s.
BYU CAREER RECORDS
3-point field goals attempted
355 Randy Reid (1991-96)
321 Terrell Lyday (1999-2001)
325 Mark Bigelow (1998-99, 2001-03)
3-point field goals made
141 Andy Toolson (1984-85, 1988-90)
134 Mark Bigelow (1998-99, 2001-03)
127 Terrell Lyday (1999-2001)
3-point percentage (starters)
.456 Nathan Call (1985-87, 1989-91)
.445 Mark Heslop (1987-91)
.437 Andy Toolson (1984-85, 1987-90)
Mark Bigelow is shooting .411 (134-325)
BYU SEASON RECORDS
3-point field goals made
74 Andy Toolson (1989-90)
73 Nick Sanderson (1992-93)
68 Danny Bower (1997-98)
Mark Bigelow hit 65 3s last year and has 25 this year
Consecutive games with a 3-pointer
21 Terrell Lyday (1999-2000)
16 Andy Toolson (1989-90)
15 Mark Bigelow (2001-02)
SOURCE: BYU media guide