For decades, local teams and individuals have compiled extraordinary records in a variety of sports. Ten of them stand out above the others and might never be broken. David Climer of The Tennessean ranked the scoring records of Philip Hutcheson and John Pierce as the No. 4 record in Middle Tennessee.
When Lipscomb was competing in the NAIA in the eight-year period from 1987-94, Philip Hutcheson and John Pierce combined to score 8,336 points. When Hutcheson completed his career in 1990, he was college basketball’s all-time leading scorer with 4,106 points.
Pierce, who had redshirted during Hutcheson’s senior season, eclipsed the record over the next four years by scoring 4,230 points.
Pierce and Hutcheson still rank Nos. 1 and 2 on college basketball’s all-time scoring list, regardless of classification.
As a point of comparison, the leading scorer in Vanderbilt history, Shan Foster, came into the program just as No. 2 scorer Matt Freije was leaving. Their combined point total in those eight seasons — 3,902.
As it turned out, Coach Don Meyer was wise to redshirt Pierce in his first year at Lipscomb. Pierce, now boys basketball coach at Franklin Road Academy, recalls that he grew a couple of inches and added roughly 40 pounds from high school graduation to his first college game with the Bisons.
Thus, a player who was recruited as a forward, grew into a post player — a very, very good post player.
The huge numbers put up by Hutcheson and Pierce came via the combination of their scoring skills and Meyer’s coaching system. Offensively, Meyer spread the perimeter with four capable shooters, usually forcing one-on-one defense against the post player.
“That four-out, one-in offense is hard to stop if you have good shooters on the perimeter and move the ball,” said Hutcheson, now athletics director at his alma mater. “A good post player can’t be stopped one-on-one.”
Said Pierce: “It was kind of the perfect storm — the coaching system, staying healthy, all those things. It all fell into place for those eight years.”
He’s right. No other college ever has gotten anything close to that kind of point production — 8,336 — out of two players at the same position in an eight-year period.