2022-2023 Basketball

Antoine Davis and the HBCU ties to college basketball’s scoring legacy

Antoine Davis was once headed for an HBCU. But did you know the leading scorer in NCAA history actually played at an HBCU?

By the time you read this, Antoine Davis could be the leading scorer in NCAA Division I history.

The Detroit-Mercy senior forward scored 38 points in Detroit Mercy’s 81-68 Horizon League Tournament win on Tuesday. That means he was just 26 points behind “Pistol Pete” Maravich for no. 1 on the scoring list — at the Division I level. 

One remarkable thing about Davis’ career is the fact that it could have played out at an HBCU. Davis committed to Texas Southern University back in 2018 when his father, Mike Davis, was head coach at the Houston-based HBCU.  He actually committed to the University of Houston first, but later decided to join his father at Texas Southern

His father had already done a masterful job at Texas Southern with four SWAC regular season titles and three in the postseason, with another one on the horizon that fall. Securing Davis, a solid three-star prospect, along with Damon Harge had it looking like TSU would continue to rule the SWAC and possibly break through the glass ceiling that HBCUs have been forced to deal with at the NCAA. 

Antoine Davis, Travis Grant

But, that was not to be. The elder Davis was lured to Detroit Mercy, and his prolific scoring son followed suit. Texas Southern replaced Davis with Johnny Jones, who has led the school to back-to-back wins in the First Four over the past two seasons. 

Davis currently leads Division I in scoring at 28.1 points per game. And he did much of his damage from the 3-point line, as he is now the all-time leader in 3-pointers made.

Observers will note that Antoine Davis has actually had five seasons (due to COVID) to break the 3,667 points “Pistol Pete” scored in three seasons — with no 3-point line. What observers fail to note or mention is that Maravich isn’t the top scorer in NCAA history. That honor is held by Travis Grant, who played his college ball at HBCU Kentucky State around the same time Maravich played in a lilly-white SEC. Grant scored 4,045 points and led his team to three NAIA titles (teams could compete in both NCAA and NAIA Tournaments at the time).

Davis’ scoring acumen is truly historic and to be celebrated. But there is some irony to the fact that it could have happened at an HBCU. But we’ve still got Travis Grant.

Antoine Davis and the HBCU ties to college basketball’s scoring legacy
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