Detroit Mercy Titans 2019-20 Season Preview

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Detroit Mercy has a schedule and a roster, and they are doing things the Mike Davis way.

Detroit Mercy starts on the road at NC State, Clemson and Wyoming before they play in an exempt event in Las Vegas versus UC-Irvine and Lousiana-Lafayette. Then it is off to Kent State and Ohio for two away contests in the Buckeye State before the Titans come home to face EMU.

The red, white, and blue head down to Notre Dame for a clash of Catholics before exams and home games with Northeastern and SIU-Edwardsville. Detroit Mercy takes a Christmas break and plays the school up north in the HS gym before heading out to Spokane to see the Zags.

This is a schedule with a lot of Mike Davis flavor; the Titans travel to five major opponents; an upset is not out of the question; in fact, they have a shot against Clemson and Wyoming.

Clearly, this team starts and ends with Antoine Davis. The coach’s kid and three point record holder is back for his sophomore campaign. He’s looking to build off a year where he averaged 26.1 points per game, but on many nights was the only real scoring threat. Also gone is a four-year starter and backcourt partner Josh McFolley. That being said, this year he’s got a better supporting cast, or at least Detroit Mercy would hope so.

Newcomers

The first newcomer is Justin Miller, a 6-6 senior forward transfer from Louisiana-Lafayette. He averaged 9.1 points and 5.4 rebounds for them in 97 games, including a 22 point outburst vs. Kansas. Miller projects as a three or four in the make Davis offense, and I would not be surprised if he starts early on in the year. Rumors are he is immediately eligible but, because of how hard it is to get info out of the vault that is Calihan Hall, we will have to wait until November 10th to find out.

Next is a Grad Transfer from The University of Kentucky with a familiar name. And a famous dad. Brad Calipari joins the Titans after two years as a walk-on for his dad; He’s a three-point shooting guard with not a ton of D1 experience. Despite being on the roster at Kentucky, only two D1 programs were willing to offer him a roster spot: Detroit Mercy and Hampton. This all being said, I have a reason for cautious optimism. Let’s start with the bad: he made three three-pointers at Kentucky in 73 mins of playing time. That being said, Calipari went on summer trips with Global Sports Academy and posted these stats.

2016-17: Averaged 14.3 points, 6.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds a game in four games during an international basketball trip with Global Sports Academy in Croatia.

2017-18: Averaged 13.2 points and 7.0 assists a game in four games during an international basketball trip with Global Sports Academy in Europe in June.

No one knows what the level of competition on these trips is, and we don’t have stats or film to go off of for Calipari. If you go back, it’s even hard to track who offered him a scholarship out of High school, and the only two schools willing to take a shot at him as a transfer were Detroit Mercy and Hampton. Neither school is an active basketball program right now. I am in buy low sell high on Calipari; if he can be a 10ppg a game guy for the Titans and be help for Davis, wonderful. That being said, until I see he can play, I’ll air on the side of he’s probably another player who only Detroit fans know of in ten years.

Next is another familiar name Dwyane Rose, Jr. He’s the nephew of piston guard Derrick Rose. He played at juco Southern Illinois College last season and averaged 7.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. The previous year he played at Toledo and averaged 3.4 minutes per game, I don’t expect him to come to Detroit Mercy and start. But he’s a big guard at 6-4, and he has proven he can do some rebounding, look for him to be a piece to the puzzle of the bench.

B.J Maxwell is the next newcomer. He joins the Titans as a transfer from Abilene Christian. He was dismissed last year for a violation of team rules, and rumors on the internet have claimed it was for possession of Marijuana. Maxwell averaged 9.2 points per game last year and started 19 of there 24 games. I don’t expect him to be a starter, but he’s going to be helpful with two years of D1 experience. Maxwell redshirted his freshman year, so he is a grad transfer with one year left.

Alonde LeGrand is a sophomore that comes to Detroit Mercy from Fairfield by way of State Fair Community College. He’s a big guard at 6-7 that is projected as a three for the Titans. Not a ton to go off of for LeGrand. He averaged 4.3 points last year at State Fair CC along with 2.7 assists and 2.7 rebounds. He’s definitely got the physical attributes to be useful in the Horizon League and the key will be if he can put up stats in games.

Our next new Titan is Sam Hoffman, a 6-5 Forward from Belgium. Last year, Hoffman put up impressive numbers for Belgium’s under-18 national team. In 22 mins per game, he was good for 10 points and four rebounds, in addition to an assist. He’s been highly regarded by the coaching staff, and I would look at him to make the most immediate impact this season.

The final new titan and the only freshman is Jamail Pink, a 6’1 guard out of Houston. He was an early signee for the titans, he’s a relative unknown on the internet, but he looks to be a lot like former titan Matt Grant based on the film I’ve watched.

We may also have more new Titans on the way, the rumor (in my opinion are a myth until they are on campus) is that we have two international big men coming that will be eligible for the second semester. So keep an eye out for unidentified tall people walking around campus.

Outlook

Until the NCAA rules on whether or not the postseason ban will be lifted, and if you’re wondering why that happened in the first place, look on the Internet. You will find why it’s not my place to suggest why kids took a gap year before enrolling in school.

Until I know if were playoff eligible or not, I don’t know what to make of this year. I think it’s about enjoying the growth of the players from game to game and knowing we’re in a better place than two years ago. At the same time, I think it’s important to realize that having a star son of a coach on your team isn’t an effective recruiting strategy. Until we get kids who are star-level players in our league to come to Detroit Mercy on there own, the Tians are living on borrowed time.

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