For the last few days, Jaeson Maravich, the eldest son of "Pistol" Pete Maravich, has wondered what his late father would have thought about Detroit Mercy star Antoine Davis breaking his NCAA all-time career scoring record on Thursday in his team's matchup against Youngstown State in the Horizon League tournament quarterfinals.
Maravich told ESPN prior to Thursday's game that he believes his father would have celebrated Davis' pursuit of 3,667 career points. Davis went on to finish with 22 points as Detroit Mercy was eliminated from the Horizon League tournament in a 71-66 loss to Youngstown State, leaving him three points shy of tying Maravich's all-time Division I scoring record.
"I was thinking about this the other day: 'What would my dad say?'" Maravich said. "I think he'd be cheering the kid on. I really do. I don't think the records meant that much to him, to be honest. I know later in his life, they definitely didn't mean anything to him. Maybe earlier when he was playing, he took pride in it. But I don't think he'd be bitter about it. I think he'd be excited for [Davis] and hope he would break it [Thursday]."
But Maravich also said the two records are difficult to compare.
His father played in the era when freshmen weren't eligible to compete, so Maravich only had three years to set the mark (he averaged 44.2 PPG). He also played before the 3-point line had been introduced to men's college basketball. With more years and more ways to score, Maravich said, his father's record would have been untouchable.
"To me, it's an apples and oranges comparison," Maravich said. "I look at it as two completely different records. It's really so hard to compare because it's so different. His freshman year didn't even count because freshmen couldn't play varsity. I just look at what he did in three years and that's like a video-game numbers kind of thing."
The extra season granted to all NCAA athletes who were impacted by COVID allowed Davis to return to Detroit Mercy for a fifth season and position himself to chase the all-time mark on Thursday night. Davis has said that he respects Maravich and never expected to get close to his record, but he also believes his achievements are valid, too.
Davis has played 144 games in his career, while Maravich played in 83 games at LSU. But Davis (2,987) had fewer field goal attempts than Maravich (3,166), although Maravich didn't have access to a 3-point line. Davis (600 3-point attempts) is the Division I all-time leader in 3-pointers.
While Maravich argued that his father's mark is still one of the game's most impressive records, he said he would have celebrated Davis' accomplishment prior to Thursday night.
"If he breaks it, I'll be happy for him," Maravich said. "I'm not going to be bitter about it. Of course, every record my dad has, I would like to stand the test of time. But if he breaks it, he breaks it, whether he broke it in five years or whatever, I'll be happy for him. But I just look at it like it's so hard to compare things like this."
At this juncture, it is unknown if Detroit Mercy will play another game this season, as it will not receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament or NIT due to their below-.500 record. The CBI does not have any sort of win percentage criteria to participate, so long as the team is invited and willing to pay a $50,000 entry fee.
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