Antoine Davis can break Pete Maravich’s NCAA scoring record


Antoine Davis has what could be his last chance to break a hallowed college basketball record Thursday night — with a few stars thrown in.

Davis, who plays for little-known Detroit Mercy, is within 25 points of tying Pete Maravich’s NCAA scoring record of 3,667 points, set in 1970. A second-round game against Youngstown State in the Horizon League tournament will give Davis what could be his last opportunity to tie or eclipse Maravich’s mark.

That’s a tall order for Davis, who has enjoyed star-worthy upside that wasn’t available to Maravich, who set the record in 83 games at LSU. Davis will play in his 143rd game Thursday night, helped by the NCAA waiver that gave an extra year of eligibility to athletes due to schedules altered by the coronavirus. Maravich played before the three-point shot came to the college game in 1986 and two years before the NCAA instituted eligibility for freshmen. There was also no shot clock when Maravich played.

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A 24-year-old fifth-year senior whose 28.1 points per game average leads the nation, Davis plays on a Titans team has a 14-18 overall record, 9-11 in the Horizon. He scored 38 points Tuesday night against Purdue-Fort Wayne, but Youngstown State, the top seed in the tournament at 23-8 and 15-5 in the conference, presents a formidable challenge. Davis scored 32 points against Youngstown on Jan. 12 and 15 points on Jan. 29, both Titans’ losses, and he has averaged 34.4 points over his last nine games.

But a loss Thursday would end the Titans’ season and Davis’ college career.

Davis’ coach, who happens to be his father, would be fine if his son and Maravich end up sharing the record.

“I feel Antoine is the best scorer of this generation and Pistol Pete is the best scorer of his generation,” Mike Davis told Yahoo recently, and Maravich’s son Jaeson agreed, though he noted that Davis’ five-year record and his father’s three-year . is “really an apples and oranges comparison.”

“I’m proud of all of Dad’s records,” Maravich said of his father, a Hall of Famer who died in 1988 at age 40. “I want them to stand as long as possible. But if he breaks it, I’m certainly not going to hate this guy. I will be happy for him.”

Davis, the NCAA’s all-time leader in three-pointers with 584, quickly climbed the all-time scoring list this season, passing the likes of JJ, Redick, Larry Bird, Tyler Hansbrough and Oscar Robertson. On Tuesday night, he was aware of how the pursuit of scoring and victory are connected.

“Yeah, I mean I’m close now, really close,” Davis told the Detroit News with his dog, Milo, sitting at his feet. “It would be good to get that next game, but you know, we have to win these games.”

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