Travis Bader, the Greece-bound former OU star, enjoyed five-year run as DI's 3-point king

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Former Oakland University star Travis Bader no longer is the Division 1 3-point king.

They say records are meant to be broken.

And in recent weeks, Travis Bader started getting a sneaking suspicion his five-year run as Division I college basketball's 3-point king was about to come to an end.

On Thursday night, there it went — when Fletcher Magee of Wofford College made his third 3-pointer of the night in an eventual 84-68 win over Seton Hall in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Magee ended the night with 509 made 3-pointers; Bader, the Okemos, Mich., native who played four years at Oakland University, had 504.

"As the season went on and we got closer and closer to the (NCAA) Tournament, I heard about it here and there," Bader said Sunday afternoon while packing a suitcase in Austin, Texas, where he just finished his G-League season. "And then I started kind of looking up, based off his stats and stuff, and saw how good of a shoot he was, his efficiency, all the way through his career.

"So I kind of figured it would happen, especially with how Wofford was doing. Whenever a good team is destined to make a little bit of a run, it definitely helps.

"It not in the NCAA, I imagine Wofford would've gone to the NIT."

Interestingly, Magee, 22, a 6-foot-4, 200-pounder from Orlando, Fla., finished his career with those 509 made 3-pointers for Wofford, a South Carolina school.

In a second-round loss to Kentucky, Magee went an astonishing 0-for-12.

Wofford guard Fletcher Magee looks to pass the ball in the Kentucky game.

If Magee would've gone 0-for-12 in Round 1, Bader probably would've remained the king. And don't think he hasn't thought about that.

"It's funny, everybody's like, 'Oh, he broke the record and then he went 0-for-12, does that bum you out?'" Bader said, laughing. "And honestly, he kind of deserves the record with the way he's been shooting it, the career he's had. No doubt, he's definitely deserving of it. 

"It was kind of tough to see (the second game), it was such a good game. I was watching that game before we played, and you're watching, and if the kid makes two, three 3's, it's a completely different game (Kentucky won, 62-56). My heart kind of went out to him. I know that whenever you're going through shooting struggles, you just want to push through it and stay as positive as possible, just keep shooting, as they say.

"I know it's definitely tough for him."

Bader, 27, said he still remembers his bigger goose egg on 3-pointers.

It was Dec. 23, 2013, his senior season, and Oakland was playing a nationally televised game against Indiana.

Bader put up 10 3-pointers, and he missed them all. That ended a streak of 62 consecutive games with at least one made 3, and Oakland lost, 81-54.

"Oh yeah, I do," Bader, who reveled in the nickname "Darth" in college and still embraces it on Twitter (@DarthBader3), said when asked about his worst 0-for, without missing a beat. "It was definitely my worst game. Just like with Fletcher, they had a guy in my jersey everywhere, it didn't matter where I was, if I was a halfourt or whenever.

"And it was on ESPN. That was a pretty big game."

The Oakland student section was loving Travis Bader as he neared the 3-point record in 2014.

Bader arrived at Oakland in 2009-10 and red-shirted, then played from 2010 through 2014. He took 1,246 3-pointers, made 504, and shot 40.5 percent.

He became the Division I all-time 3-point king in early February of his senior season, when he shattered former Duke star J.J. Redick's record of 457.

Bader was a member of Oakland's last NCAA Tournament team, in 2011. Since graduating, he has had a well-traveled professional career that has included two stops in the NBA's G-League — in 2015 with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and the last two months with the Austin Spurs. He averaged 8.9 points in 17 games this season.

He's also a veteran of playing aboard, with basketball skills taking him to such places as France, Lithuania, Italy and Greece. He's getting set for a second stint in Greece, having just signed a contract with the Rethymno Cretan Kings. He is scheduled to fly out either Monday or Tuesday, as he attempts to keep alive his basketball dream — even if his collegiate shooting record is no more.

"I'm looking forward to it," Bader said. "One, make the money, and two, continuing playing to help my status over in Europe.

"Hopefully it will lead to bigger and better things."

Twitter: @tonypaul1984