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Detroit Mercy guard Antoine Davis finished his collegiate career as a two-time Horizon League Player of the Year and made the All-Horizon League First Team five times, but he fell just four points short of breaking Pete Maravich’s all-time scoring record.
Davis had five seasons with Detroit Mercy, and in his final season, the Titans finished 14-19 missing out on a chance to make the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the 10th consecutive season, not counting the coronavirus pandemic-impacted season of 2019-20.
Davis’ chances of breaking the record ended when the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) failed to invite Detroit Mercy to its 16-team postseason tournament.
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Detroit Titans guard Antoine Davis, #0, dribbles the ball during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Jack Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing Michigan, Dec. 4, 2020. (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
"I'm upset about it," Davis told the Associated Press on Monday. "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.
"But there's nothing to hold my head down about. I still feel like I’m the best scorer in my generation, especially finishing No. 2 behind him."
Rick Giles, the president of the Gazelle Group that runs the CBI, denied the tournament had the NCAA record in mind when deciding to leave Detroit Mercy out of the field.
"We did receive unsolicited emails and voicemails about Detroit Mercy and some said we don't ever want Pete Maravich's record broken," Giles told the AP. "The decision we made wasn't based purely on whether we wanted him to break the record or not."
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 Dec. 21, 2022 in Cincinnati. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
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Jason Maravich, the son of Pete, told the AP he had no problem with Davis breaking the record but doing it at a lower-tier tournament.
"I think it's a terrible look," Jason Maravich said. "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."
Pete Maravich played three varsity seasons with LSU from 1967-1970. He broke the scoring record originally set by Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson. He tallied 3,667 points in 83 games. Davis played in 144 games and scored 3,664 points. He received an extra year of eligibility because of COVID.
Antoine Davis, #0 of the Detroit Mercy Titans, looks on during a college basketball game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at the George Gervin GameAbove Center on Dec. 18, 2022 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Titans coach Mike Davis, who is also the father of Antoine, said a postseason tournament would’ve given the chance for players previously injured during the season to play.
"People were trying to paint a picture of us that wasn't true," Mike Davis added. "The picture painted was that we were trying to buy a record. The CBI was never going to let us in because of the backlash. The PS8 had teams pulling out, saying they wouldn't play if we were going to be in the tournament.
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"It's disappointing that people were calling our school president and athletic director and the people running these tournaments to say don't let us in. We just had to let it go."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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