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When LSU’s Pistol Pete Maravich broke Oscar Robertson’s NCAA career scoring record of 2,973 points on Saturday, Jan. 31, 1970, it was an iconic event.
About 11,000 filled LSU’s John Parker Agricultural Coliseum, which was known as the Cow Palace, but this was no crap show.
The game was stopped with 4:39 to play just after Maravich sank a 23-footer for his 2,975th career point and 41st of the game. That would have been a 3-pointer in the present game, but it was not then. Maravich’s teammates lifted him on their shoulders. Fans, cheerleaders, photographers, band members, the Mike the Tiger mascot and the rest of the Tigers rushed the floor. Maravich even did a local television interview on the court.
“Feels great,” Maravich said. “Feels great.”
IF PETE MARAVICH RECORD FALLS, A LARGE COVID ASTERISK WOULD BE NEEDED
It took several minutes for order to be restored before the game could resume. Maravich finished with 53 and 12 assists in a 109-86 victory over Ole Miss. He would score 50 or more four more times as LSU finished 22-10 in the NIT final four and 13-5 in the SEC for second. Maravich’s ended his three-year college career with 3,667 points. Freshmen were not eligible at the time. Maravich, who died in 1988 at age 40 because of a heart attack, still holds the NCAA career scoring average record at 44.2 a game without the 3.
Pete Maravich’s Record Setting Night Was A Wild Scene
“Have you ever heard such an ovation in all your life,” LSU’s radio play-by-play man Bob Peters exclaimed that night 53 years ago. The scoring revolution was not televised.
“This crowd is wild,” he said.
On this same night, LSU center Danny Hester grabbed 25 rebounds to tie the school game record held by Bob Pettit.
LSU fans paraded a banner through the crowd that said, “Pistol Pete, No. 1 Scorer.”
There is likely not to be a similar scene in Daytona Beach, Florida, on March 18 or 19 when the first round of the 16-team College Basketball Invitational opens, if Maravich’s record falls.
Detroit Mercy fifth-year senior guard Antoine Davis is four points away from breaking the record. He has scored 3,664, thanks to a one-year extension because of COVID-19 waivers in 2020. Davis is the NCAA’s career record holder for 3-pointers with 588, though he has never led the nation in 3-pointers made per game.
Davis just missed Maravich’s record last week in a 71-66 loss to Youngstown State in the Horizon League Tournament as he scored three points below his average of 22. Detroit Mercy fell to 14-19 on the season. Usually, such a record after a league tournament means your season is over.
Antoine Davis Needs Only 2 Buckets
But the CBI has often invited teams with losing records for marketing reasons. For example, if a school is a brand name from a Power Five conference or it has a star player. The CBI requires a $27,500 entry fee. This is where Detroit Mercy and Davis come in.
Would Detroit Mercy pay for Davis to break the record? So far, the option is not on the table, according to CBI Tournament director Rick Giles. OutKick asked Giles on Thursday if an offer has been extended to Detroit Mercy.
“No decision yet,” he said.
CBI invites will start going out publicly on Sunday after the NCAA Tournament and NIT selections are made.
Detroit Mercy athletic director Robert C. Vowels Jr. has not returned a call for comment to OutKick.
Maravich’s son Jaeson did talk to OutKick, and he is not going to like it if Detroit Mercy plays in the CBI.
Jaeson Maravich Calls ‘Bush League’ If Detroit Mercy Plays
“Absolutely not,” Maravich, 43, said over the phone from his native Covington, Louisiana. He was 8 years old when his father died.
The younger Maravich, who averaged 20 points a game at William Carey College from 2002-04, is a youth basketball instructor in Covington.
“I think that would be buying a record,” Maravich said. “That would look bad. It would be a farce if they play in the tournament. Nothing against the kid. He’s a great player. But if the school goes to that tournament, it’s bush league. It would be crazy. They wouldn’t deserve the record.”
Maravich had no problem with Davis breaking the record during a regular season and conference tournament.
“But the CBI takes teams with losing records if they pay,” he said. “That’s overboard. If he had broken it in the season, I said it was apples to oranges. They would have been different records – my dad did his in three years, and he would’ve done his in five. That’s night and day, but it still would’ve been a record. A record’s a record. If he got it then, then he got it, because he is a great player.”
Would Antoine Davis Go To CBI Without Chance at Record?
“But this is different,” Maravich continued. “We know why it would happen. They just want to bring publicity to the school and to the tournament. If Antoine Davis wasn’t close to the record, there is no way Detroit Mercy would be invited.”
Maravich was so upset about the possibility that his father’s record would fall in a pay-for-play tournament that he posted last week on his Facebook page for the first time in many years.
“I want to be clear this is not a shot at this kid, Antoine Davis, at all,” Maravich wrote. “From everything I have heard, he is a great kid with a strong faith. This is about a BS tournament.”
The Facebook post had drawn 625 likes, 306 comments and 111 shares as of Thursday.
“Not one person has told me anything negative about the post,” Maravich said. “I read every comment. About 99 percent are in agreement with me. Even some of the people with the school agree with me. A lot of people think there would be a lot of backlash.”
Even Detroit Mercy radio analyst Earl Cureton, a former Detroit Mercy player who played in the NBA, seemed hesitant about the Titans playing in the CBI. He said it might not be a good idea during the Titans’ postgame show after the loss to Youngstown State.
Dick Vitale Speaks On Pete Maravich Record
Dick Vitale, ESPN’s voice of college basketball for more than four decades, was Detroit Mercy’s coach from 1973-77. And he does not like the way in which Davis could break the record.
“I personally feel it would be more powerful to be recognized as the best scorer of your generation than to get the record in that fashion,” Vitale told OutKick. “What Antoine has done is amazing. But nothing will ever take away what Pistol achieved in three years without a 3-point shot. He averaged 44 points. With the 3, he would have averaged 50. Just think about that. Hard to believe, baby.”
3 CommentsLeave a Reply
Stats shouldn’t count in a non-NIT/NCAA tourney.
No one will ever approach Pete Maravich.
The Pistol was phenomenal. Detroit Mercy will claim racism if not invited. Kendrick Perkins will tell you all about it.