By Rick Ryan Staff Writer
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Tim Davis certainly isn't the first person to coach his own son in high school. But he's likely one of only a few coaches whose son is good enough to be bearing down on some of the father's school records.
Marcus Davis, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior guard, has people talking about Calhoun County possibly making its first-ever trip to the boys state basketball tournament. Competing in a remote corner of West Virginia, he may be the best player hardly anyone in the state has heard about.
His best ability may be his versatility. Marcus Davis averages 26.9 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. He's canned 38 3-point goals and shoots 88 percent at the foul line.
"I would call him a different-type player,'' Tim Davis said of his son and the Red Devils' leading scorer.
He's real strong and has good range on his shot. He's really a two [shooting guard], but for us he has to cover the other team's big guy on defense, because we don't have anybody as strong as him who can match up. So he's both inside and outside, and a pretty good all-around player.''
Marcus Davis, who's already signed with Glenville State, scored nine of his 39 points in the second overtime Friday night to lift the Red Devils to their 10th win, an 83-73 victory at Herbert Hoover. That wasn't even his top game as a senior, as he scored 40 previously this season and bagged 42 against Clay County as a sophomore.
Tim Davis takes some good-natured ribbing about his son's exploits, because the coach has been accused of keeping them in check so as not to threaten his own Calhoun County school records.
In the game against Clay, Marcus played only 21/2 quarters before being lifted with the Red Devils up big. Thus, Tim's school mark of 56 points, set in 1979, lived on.
"It wasn't like we were trying to get him the ball every play,'' Tim Davis said. "He had 15 offensive rebounds and was doing things on his own. My wife got on me a little bit for sitting him down, but if he's going to break it, I'd rather it be against a good team when we need him to.''
Marcus Davis is destined to get one of his dad's records, though. He's only 118 points shy of his father's school mark of 1,807 career points. Marcus has also played in 81 varsity games — all starts — which is two shy of his father's career total.
Father and son certainly have the opportunity to discuss strategies after practices and games.
"I coach him from the gym to our house, which is about 7 miles,'' Tim Davis said. "As soon as we're out of the car, it's all over, and we try to be son and father. It's worked out pretty well.''
Marcus Davis realizes there's extra scrutiny in his situation, and he accepts it.
"He is harder on me,'' he said. "It's rough, but he always helps me out, tells me what I do wrong . . . One thing, though. I know the game pretty well.''
Tim Davis is glad he got the chance to coach his son, even if it could mean an occasional delicate situation.
"It's made it nice, because he works hard at it,'' he said. "No matter where you are, if your kid's playing, there's going to be some pressure there. But he's played so good, there was never a question of whose kid he was. He was probably good enough to start for us in seventh, eighth grade. And that made it a little easier for me.
"I've talked to other coaches about whether it's good or not to coach your own kid. Some of them said: 'If anyone's going to mess him up, it might as well be you.' But I'm glad I took the opportunity. It's been a real joy. The other kids on the team know I treat them like they're my sons, too, so there hasn't really been anything touchy.''