After coming up 4 points short, Antoine Davis won't get another chance to break Pete Maravich's NCAA scoring record

Detroit Mercy finished 14-19 but had hoped to play in a lower-level postseason tournament

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 21: Antoine Davis #0 of the Detroit Mercy Titans brings the ball up court during the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Fifth Third Arena on December 21, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Antoine Davis scored 3,664 points in five seasons at Detroit Mercy. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Pete Maravich’s career men’s college basketball scoring record is safe for the foreseeable future.

Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis ended the 2022-23 regular season just 3 points shy of tying Maravich’s record of 3,667 points. But the school’s season is now officially over after they were not invited to the third-tier College Basketball Invitational or part of an inaugural postseason college basketball tournament.

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The Titans lost, 71-66, to Youngstown State in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League tournament. The loss dropped Detroit Mercy to 14-19 on the season and out of NIT contention. Davis took 26 of the team’s 68 shots in that game and scored 22 points.

The team’s only hope for a postseason berth was to get invited to the CBI or hope that the College Hoops Postseason 8 would push up its first season from 2024 to 2023 and invite the Titans. The CBI invite never happened and the eight-team tournament isn’t happening in 2023 either.

“I'm upset about it,” Davis told the Associated Press. "I feel like I got cheated out of something that they can’t ever give back to me. I think it's selfish — and weird — that people emailed or called the CBI to say we shouldn't be in the tournament because they didn't want me to break the record.

How would Davis’ record have been perceived?

You can totally understand why Davis is upset that he won’t have a chance to play college basketball again and have an opportunity to break the record after coming up agonizingly short. But you can also see how a Detroit Mercy postseason appearance in a largely irrelevant lower-level tournament with Davis so close to the record would have cheapened the accomplishment for many observers.

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Davis, whose father is Detroit Mercy coach Mike Davis, just finished his fifth season of college basketball after taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility offered to all college players in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Davis’ decision to take the extra year shouldn’t be chastised or even be controversial. He’s far from the only athlete to do so because of a once-in-a-generation pandemic.

That extra season of eligibility means Davis played in 144 games throughout his college career. Maravich, who played in an era where freshmen couldn’t play right away, played three seasons and 83 games for LSU from 1967-1970.

In those 83 games before the 3-point line was implemented, Maravich took 3,166 field goal attempts and went to the free-throw line 1,152 times. Davis took 2,987 shots and 1,566 of them have been 3s. He’s also been to the line 715 times.

Overall, Davis made 40% of his shots from the field while Maravich made nearly 44% of his. Maravich was a more efficient scorer in far fewer games even without a 3-point line.

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Had Davis broken the record against Youngstown State or Detroit Mercy would have beaten YSU and Davis broke the record in the Horizon League semifinals, it would have been hard to argue against his status as the man with the most points in the history of college basketball. But breaking the record in a postseason tournament not named the NCAA tournament or the NIT would have created a significant debate about the legitimacy of his accomplishment. Just ask Maravich’s son, Jason.

“I think it's a terrible look,” Jaeson Maravich told the AP. “Your season should be over if you're 14-19.

“This situation is very personal and sensitive to me. But to be clear, I'm not mad at Antoine Davis and I have nothing bad to say about Antoine Davis. My beef is with these tournaments.”