Ugh. Not again – Detroit Mercy gets swept in the Metro Series

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If you took the time to watch the two games this past weekend, you probably shared the feeling of getting punched in the gut Saturday and an overwhelming sense of dread on Sunday saying to yourself, “it’s happening again,” with me.

Oakland has Detroit Mercy’s number. Greg Kampe outcoached Mike Davis; he’s out coached every Titans coach he’s faced off with. Beating Detroit Mercy is all he cares about, and to his credit, he keeps doing it. The two games the Golden Grizzlies play versus the Titans every year are the two biggest games of the season. He’s now 14-2 vs. Detroit Mercy.

It also came out postgame Sunday via Tony Paul of the Detroit News that the Titans did not want to play Oakland because of the close contact OU had with an official who did the UIC-Oakland games the previous weekend and came down with COVID.

Detroit Mercy looked lost at points down the stretch on Saturday, and it was 100% because they had more significant concerns. Why the games were played, I don’t know; ask the Horizon League.

Everything in 2020 is weird; the rules don’t make any sense.

Davis has done everything to protect his team, and props go to him because a lot of college basketball coaches don’t seem to care if their team gets it or not. I got a lot of messages from people saying the COVID issue was just an excuse; I understand it may look like that, but honestly, you can’t protest before the game and forfeit; that’s a worse look.

The Titans looked better than they have in a long time all weekend. It’s no longer the Antoine Davis show; the supporting cast is as good as I’ve seen in 11 years of watching Detroit Mercy basketball. Saturday afternoon Bul Koul had another career-best day. 28 points and 4 rebounds 6-12 from three-point land. He was the bright spot in a dark afternoon.

For the Golden Grizzlies, Micah Parrish had 18 points and 8 rebounds, including the game winning basket in overtime. Parrish was recruited by Detroit and OU and opted to attend Oakland.

Detroit Mercy was outrebounded 48-39 by a smaller OU team and turned the ball over 19 times to hand the game to the Grizzlies down the stretch. Sunday was Noah Waterman’s welcome to Detroit party, scoring 19 points and 3 rebounds. Kuol had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Davis had 18 points and 3 assists and made key shots to keep Detroit in the game late in the second half.

But Oakland was red hot from behind the three-point arch Sunday, and that was the difference. Jalen Moore led OU with 23 points 3-4 from downtown, Zion Young had 19 points 4-9 from three, and Rashad Williams had 18 points 5-13 from downtown. For the afternoon as a team, Oakland was 14-31 from three, just under 50%, but down the stretch, late in the second half, they could not miss.

The good news for the Titans is they probably play the Grizz two more times this year; at least that is the plan. Detroit Mercy has tremendous upside. They need it to come together and get wins

All the losses, the pain of not having a good team since 2013 can be forgiven with a trip to the dance, because in mid-major basketball, that is the measuring stick.

Don’t be shocked if Detroit only plays UIC once this weekend. The rumor is due to Horizon League testing protocols; they may only get one game in this weekend. A UIC team that may not be at full strength is an excellent opportunity for the Titans to get back to winning.

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