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The IV File: McKinley Wright’s honors, records, and greatest games

BOULDER, CO - Jan. 30, 2021: ...
BOULDER, CO – January 30, 2021: Colorado’s McKinley Wright IV gets past Utah’s Mikael Jantunen at the Pac-12 game between Utah and Colorado in Boulder on January 30, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Regardless of how the NCAA Tournament unfolds, Colorado senior point guard McKinley Wright IV will leave a legacy with the Buffaloes program that will not be forgotten. A look at the records, accolades, and milestones compiled by Wright heading into the Buffs’ first-round date against Georgetown.

CU BUFFS ALL-TIME LISTS

Points: 1,835 (6th)

Assists: 669 (1st)

Assists per game: 5.2 (T-2nd)

Rebounds: 634 (21st)

Steals: 138 (11th)

Field goals made: 660 (6th)

Field goals attempted: 1,409 (7th)

3-pointers made: 132 (9th)

3-pointers attempted: 399 (10th)

Free throws made: 383 (9th)

Free throw percentage: .801 (10th)

Games played: 129 (T-7th)

Games started: 128 (3rd)

Minutes played: 4,282 (2nd)

Double-doubles: 14 (16th)

Games with double-digit points: 107 (1st)

Games with double-digit assists: 9 (1st)

HONORS

—Three-time first team All-Pac-12 selection (2019-2021). Wright is just the third Buffs player to collect three first team all-league honors following two CU stars from long-ago eras in Wilky Gilmore (1959, 1960, 1962) and Cliff Meely (1969-71).

—Honorable mention AP All-American (2021)

—Two-time USBWA All-District VIII (2020-21)

—Two-time NABC First Team All-District 19 (2020-21)

—Honorable mention All-Pac-12 (2018)

—First team Pac-12 All-Defense (2020)

—Three-time honorable mention Pac-12 All-Defense (2018-19, 2021)

—Six-time Pac-12 Player of the Week honoree (CU record, as is his four Player of the Week honors in 2020-21 season).

—Two-time top 10 finalist for Bob Cousy Award (2020, 2021).

NOTABLE

—Wright became the first Pac-12 men’s basketball player to collect at least 1,600 points, 600 assists, and 600 rebounds in his career. He is one of just six Division I players since 1985-86 to record at least 1,800 points, 600 rebounds, and 600 assists.

—Wright owns four of the top nine single-season assist totals in team history: 175 in 2017-18 (second), 168 in 2020-21 (sixth), 167 in 2018-19 (seventh), and 159 in 2019-20 (ninth).

—Wright’s 14 assists against USC on Feb. 25 tied for the second-best single-game total in CU history.

—Wright has missed just one game in his four-year career, sitting out a game at Utah on Jan. 20, 2019, due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He didn’t miss another game that season before undergoing surgery to repair the shoulder immediately after the season.

—Among his 14 career double-doubles, nine arrived via points-assists, the other five as points-rebounds.

WRIGHT’S GREATEST HITS

A look at the point guard’s biggest games:

1. Colorado 70, UCLA 61 (Feb. 27, 2021): It wasn’t Wright’s final game at the CU Events Center. But it was Senior Day for the Buffs, and Wright made it a memorable one. Wright went 10-for-16 from the field, finishing with 26 points, six assists, and four rebounds. With the Buffs trailing by a point at halftime, Wright opened the second half with a jumper and added an assist to Eli Parquet and two free throws immediately after the break. It was the third-highest scoring total of his career.

2. Colorado 78, No. 13 Dayton 76, OT (Dec. 21, 2019): In one of the more memorable victories of Wright’s career, the Buffs outlasted the Obi Toppin-led Flyers on a D’Shawn Schwartz 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer. But even on a tough showing from 3-point range (1-for-8), Wright came through, going 9-for-14 on the rest of his shots and 8-for-10 at the free throw line. In a win that would have propelled the Buffs into the ultimately canceled 2020 NCAA Tournament, Wright posted 29 points and 10 rebounds.

3. Colorado 112, South Dakota State 103, 2 OT (Dec. 15, 2017): In just his sixth game at the CU Events Center, Wright put on a show. Following the team’s listless performance three days earlier in a home loss against San Diego, head coach Tad Boyle sent a message with a heavily juggled starting lineup (the short-lived quintet of Schwartz, Dallas Walton, Dom Collier, Alex Strating, and Josh Repine) that didn’t include Wright. For the first and, ultimately, only time in his career, Wright came off the bench to go 10-for-19 from the field and 9-for-10 at the free throw line. His 30 points (still a career-high) and 11 assists gave Wright two different double-doubles — one points-rebounds, one points-assists — within his first 11 collegiate games.

4. Colorado 79, No. 17 Oregon 72 (Jan. 7, 2021): The highest-ranked team the Buffs toppled in college basketball’s pandemic season was sparked by a 21-point, 10-rebound, five-assist performance from Wright. He went 7-for-14 from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line.

5. Colorado 97, Arizona State 85 (March 7, 2017): A memorable Pac-12 tournament debut from Wright helped the Buffs race past the Sun Devils in the first round. Wright went 8-for-14 overall and 2-for-3 on 3-pointers, finishing with 20 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds. Wright also committed only two turnovers while logging 37 minutes in a fast-paced game.

Honorable mention

Nov. 17, 2017 vs. Quinnipiac: Wright sets the stage for what’s to come with his first 20-point game (21), culminating with the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Jan. 6, 2018 vs. Arizona: Buffs topped the 14th-ranked Wildcats in the “Hell yes!” game behind Wright’s 16 points and 10 assists.

Dec. 1, 2018 vs. Colorado State: Wright approached triple-double territory in a home win, going 8-for-12 with 18 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds.

Jan. 14, 2021 vs. Cal: Wright surpassed Jay Humphries in career assists in his 112th game, the same number Humphries played for the Buffs in the 1980s. Wright finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Feb. 11, 2021 at Stanford: Again Wright flirted with a triple-double in a key road win, posting 14 points, nine assists, and nine rebounds.

March 13, 2021 vs. USC: Wright made it a perfect 7-for-7 against the Trojans over his final three seasons by going 9-for-16 with 24 points, five rebounds, and four assists in a thrilling Pac-12 semifinal win.