Matt Jones has been the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2010. He is also a feature writer for Hawgs Illustrated magazine and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in journalism.
Bradley watches record fall
Mississippi's Marshall Henderson (22) greets former Arkansas player Pat Bradley following an NCAA college basketball game against Alabama in Oxford, Miss. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)
FAYETTEVILLE Pat Bradley knew this day would come.
One of the greatest shooters in the history of the Southeastern Conference sat court side Wednesday night as Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson took down another record Bradley held when he left Arkansas. Henderson has now made a 3-pointer in 61 straight games, topping Bradley's conference record of 60 straight that stood for more than 16 years.
"Records are made to be broken," Bradley said. "It's kind of surprising that he's been the only guy close to breaking it because the 3-point shot is just such a part of everybody's game now, whether it's a 7-footer all the way down to the point guard. It's such a big part of the game at such a young age. Now everyone shoots it.
"I don't know if a lot of folks understand just how hard it is from a conditioning standpoint just to get yourself open to shoot. When I see Henderson, that's what is impressive - how he's able to compete night-in and night-out and get his shots off."
Bradley, now a radio host for KABZ-FM in Little Rock, was invited to the game by a listener who has court side seats at Ole Miss.
"He called up to the radio station and offered to pick me up and pack me up so he could enjoy watching one of his Ole Miss Rebels take down my record," Bradley said. "I thought about it and figured it would be a good experience in general."
Bradley made a 3-pointer in 120 of 132 career games. His record streak began as a freshman and didn't end until his junior season when he went 0-for-4 in a loss to Murray State on Christmas day in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"It was brutal because we went into that tournament as the 12th-ranked team in the country," Bradley said. "We lose to American University of Puerto Rico and then I don't make a 3."
The Everett, Mass. native finished his career as the greatest 3-point shooter in the history of the SEC. His 366 made 3-pointers and 915 attempted 3-pointers were conference records when he played his last game at Arkansas in 1999 and both are still school records.
Former Tennessee guard Chris Lofton broke the made 3-pointers record in 2008. Bradley said Lofton, Henderson and former Razorbacks guard Rotnei Clarke would be tied for the best shooters he has seen come through the league since his playing days.
Still being a part of the conversation is what Bradley enjoys most.
"Nobody talks about these things anymore until it's time to break them," Bradley said. "It's kind of fun. I'm glad I get to get to be in sports talk radio and grateful I can actually enjoy it, and be close to it.
"If it's going to happen I'd much rather it happen now than when I'm too old to walk up to the games anymore."