By now, you should be more than familiar with our series of regularly updating leaderboards for various Marquette Golden Eagles sports accomplishments. Keep checking back to that link in the previous sentence for our charts as the seasons continue to churn through history and MU’s various teams continue to create new memories and accomplishments.
Today, we’re going to talk about Marquette’s single season assists record and top 10. We’re bringing it up because over the next two months, it’s going to be changing a bit.
The conversation starts in the mid-1990s and very clearly starts with Tony Miller. The Marquette legend holds the all-time single season record for assists with 274. He is the only player to ever clear 250 assists in a season, setting the program’s all time record as a junior. Miller is also the only player to post 220 assists in a season, and he did that first as a freshman when he beat out Sam Worthen’s then-record of 209 assists from the 1978-79 season. Miller then passed Worthen again as a sophomore before setting what is now the record as a junior and then threw up an extra 248 helpers as a senior.
The wild part about the entire thing is that the very next year, 1995-96, Aaron Hutchins passed Worthen as well and surpassed Miller’s sophomore campaign too, breaking up the stranglehold on the top four spots. Since then, no one has cleared 200 assists in a season.
Travis Diener came the closest, putting up 184 as a sophomore partially thanks to the Final Four run and then passing that with 187 in his junior year. Junior Cadougan was the most recent entrant to the top 10, tying Lloyd Walton’s 1976 mark and one-time program record of 183 as the Canadian helped guide the Golden Eagles to the Sweet 16 in 2012 and got to benefit from throwing the ball to Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom.
That brings us to this season, where Tyler Kolek has 86 assists through 11 games. That’s 7.8 per game right now. Marquette has 21 guaranteed games left on the schedule as I write this on the morning of December 16th: 20 Big East regular season games and one Big East tournament game. If Kolek just holds his average for the rest of the season, that’s another 163 assists and brings him to 249 on the season. That would be the sixth 200 assist season in Marquette history and the first since 1996. Kolek’s 2022 season was the closest that any Golden Eagle had come to 200 assists since Junior Cadougan’s 2012 campaign, so between his current trajectory and the fact that he fell just 12 short last year.... yeah, feels like Kolek can at least get to 200.
Can he get to 249 and thus surpass Tony Miller for the second most assists in program record and break up Miller’s hold on the top three spots on the chart? Like I said, he has to hold his average of 7.8 for the rest of the season to do it. Can Kolek average nine assists the rest of the season? Can Marquette tack on some more postseason games than just one Big East tournament contest to give Kolek a hand? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then Tyler Kolek might have a shot at taking down Miller’s all-time program record.
We’re still a ways off from Kolek even passing Cadougan and Walton, though. At his current pace of 7.8 per game, we can expect him to get there on Saturday, February 4, when Marquette hosts Butler for National Marquette Day. If he picks up the pace, Kolek could get there sooner, and the sooner he gets there, the more likely it is that he gets to pass Miller’s record.
Here’s the chart as it stands after Marquette’s January 28th game against DePaul.
Marquette Men’s Basketball Single Season Assists