April 17, 2006
By David Friedman
Even Dick Vitale would run out of superlatives to describe Austin Carr’s performances.
The 6-4 Notre Dame guard holds NCAA Tournament records for points in a game (61), most field goals in a game (25) and most field goals attempted in a game (44). He scored 158 points in three NCAA Tournament games in 1970, averaging an all-time single-season best 52.7 ppg. He made 68 of his 118 field goal attempts in those games for a sterling .576 shooting percentage. The next year Carr “slumped” to 41.7 ppg (125 points in three NCAA Tournament games). No one else has averaged even 36 ppg in a single season in the NCAA Tournament.
Carr’s 41.3 ppg in seven career NCAA Tournament games shattered Bill Bradley’s 33.7 ppg record. He has three of the six 50-plus point games in NCAA Tournament history (the other three are by Bradley, Oscar Robertson and David Robinson) and five of the 12 highest scoring NCAA Tournament games.
Carr says that preparation and focus played a big role in his success in the NCAA Tournament.
“Usually what I tried to do – what I was taught to do – was to really diagnose the whole team, not just who I had to guard,” Carr recalls. “I think that’s what really helped me a lot. At that time in college, they were trying the `box and one’ and `triangle and two,’ so I had to understand the scheme of the defense in order to figure out where I could get the shots from. That helped me going into the pros, too, because – as a lot of the veterans taught me – I learned how to get ready to play the game not just physically but mentally. When tournament time came, my game was just on because I wanted to win a championship so bad. I got in a zone because of the desire to win a championship.”
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For more information and perspective on Carr’s career at Notre Dame and Irish basketball history in general, see the following links: