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Detroit Mercy’s Davis nears Maravich’s NCAA scoring record

NCAA Basketball: Detroit at Cincinnati

Dec 21, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Detroit Mercy Titans guard Antoine Davis (0) drives to the basket against Cincinnati Bearcats guard Landers Nolley II (2) in the second half at Fifth Third Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Antoine Davis is on the verge of breaking a scoring record once considered untouchable - and, in some ways, remains so.

Detroit Mercy’s star guard needs just 26 points to surpass Pete Maravich as the NCAA’s career scoring leader. Davis, who leads the nation with a 28.4 points per game average, can break “Pistol” Pete’s revered 53-year-old mark in a Horizon League tournament game against top-seeded Youngstown State.

Davis scored 38 on Tuesday night in a win over Purdue Fort Wayne to advance the eight-seeded Titans and close in on the mark that Maravich set as an All-American for LSU from 1967-70.

Just weeks after LeBron James went past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s career scoring leader, Davis has a chance to top Maravich, the Hall of Famer his father had him study while learning to play as a kid.

A gifted shooter and scorer, the smooth 6-foot-1 Davis will have his work cut out to break the record against the Penguins, who held him to 15 points on Jan. 29 at Youngstown State. He also dropped 32 on them in the first meeting this season.

Davis already holds several NCAA records, including consecutive games in double figures (143), 3-pointers (584) and he’s seven 3s away from Stephen Curry’s record of 162 in a season.

If he’s able to overtake Maravich and make history, the new scoring record will belong to Davis as well. However, this one might need an asterisk - or two.

Davis has scored 3,642 points in 142 games while it took Maravich just 83 to get 3,667 during three seasons for the Tigers when he was known as much for a shaggy haircut and droopy socks as his on-court wizardry.

Unlike Davis, who was granted a fifth year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maravich didn’t play as a freshman - it wasn’t allowed at the time - and there was also no 3-point line or shot clock, placing a premium on every possession.

It’s mind-boggling to consider that Maravich, who died in 1988 at age 40 after suffering a heart attack while playing in a pickup game, averaged 44.2 points without taking or making a single 3-pointer.

Along with their scoring proclivity, Davis and Maravich share something else: both played college ball while being coached by their fathers.

Mike Davis has credited losing his job at UAB and moving his family to Houston, where his son, then in middle school worked out with former NBA coach John Lucas, with changing the trajectory of his playing career.

To supplement the hours working with Lucas, Davis had his son watch instructional videos of Maravich, who had a gift for making dribbling, passing and shooting look easy.

“A lot of times people can do things but they can’t teach it,” Mike Davis told Yahoo Sports. “Pete could actually teach it. The way he explained how he did things, it was so simple. You didn’t have to be a basketball coach to understand.”