Detroit Mercy Titans 2021-22 Season Preview

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Preseason Player of the Year Davis and a mix of returning players and transfers will be key to the Titans’ chances

Are you ready for year 4 of Antoine Davis? I am. Despite his individual scoring prowess, the soon-to-be leading scorer in Detroit Titans history has yet to make the NCAA tournament, they have not made the Horizon League championship game since we went dancing in 2012. The 2021-22 Titans are looking to pick up where they left off last year, they finished the season 11-3 before falling to NKU at the buzzer. They return three of the top six players from last year’s team. AD, Noah Waterman, and Matt Johnson.

Newcomers

The Titans added DJ Harvey. The 6-6 guard gives the Titans another three-level scorer. He spent his first two years at Notre Dame and last year and Vanderbilt. At top 100 recruit out of high school. Harvey could be poised for a breakout final year as a Titan. He showed at Notre Dame he had the potential to be a very good college basketball player, if he’s consistent I think he can replace the offensive and defensive output Bul Kuol gave Detroit last year. Last year’s slump may not have been Harvey and more Jerry Stackhouse the former Piston has been a bad college basketball coach; when Harvey was given starter minutes, he looked like an above-average college basketball player. He also shows flashes of talent when at ND.  I think it’s not out of the realm of possibility he scores over 10 points per contest and helps the Titans on the defensive side of the floor.

If that name Kevin McAdoo sounds familiar to Titan fans, it is because his father, also Kevin, is the Titan’s all-time assist leader. The younger Kevin played His prep ball at West Bloomfield before playing two years at Eastern and last year at Bradley. He averaged 6 points 1 assist and one rebound a game for the Braves last season. I don’t think he’s going to be a star In Detroit but I think he will give them a veteran ball-handler off the bench that will be able to take the ball up the court, so AD does not have to. I am hopeful he’s a solid rotation player.

Jeramy Shaw is the third guard to join the Titans this season. He was a juco second-team All-American last season at North Central Missouri College where he averaged 16.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists, shooting 55.9-percent from the field, 34.6-percent from three and 72.4-percent from the line. Early reports from summer practice stated he was a little behind and needed to adjust to the D1 game, if and when he gets adjusted he could be another weapon for the Titans rotation.

Jordan Phillips comes to the Titans from UT Arlington. He started his college career at Arkansas and was a top 200 player out of High School. After playing limited minutes as a freshman in Fayetteville, he moved on to UTA. In his time in Arlington, he 6.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 47 games, shooting 34.0-percent from the floor, 33.0-percent from behind the arc, and 76.0-percent at the free-throw line. His stats are not great but from watching his film he does the little things right and is strong and adds length to the lineup. Another solid rotation guy for the Titans.

Prince Oduro joins Detroit from USF after previous stops at Mississippi State and Siena. He has not really been super relevant statistically since his first year of college basketball at Siena where he was good for 9.1 points and 5.1 rebounds shooting 48.4-percent from the field with 21 blocks. If you have been able to catch any of the film he or Detroit Mercy have put on Twitter. He is built like a brick house. He’s a big strong guy, think a taller Jaleel Hogan(Oduro is 6’8 and long) with the same skill set. Sure his last three years of high major basketball have not gone well, but he’s put up numbers at the mid-major level at minimum he will be hard to boss around in the panted area of the floor.

Madut Akec followed his USF teammate Oduro to the Motor City. Akec did not play a lot for the Bulls but his film looks promising. He is not an inside guy per se but he can rebound and cause matchup problems. He also shoots the three like Bul Kuol and could end up being a steal for Mike Davis and company. Akec is 6-7 and skinny but not super lean expect him in the rotation.

Mohamed Sylla is a 6-11 Center who comes from Florida Southwestern JUCO. He’s a relative unknown but from what my sources have said he could be a contributor next season.

Bryon Ottrix is a freshmen point guard from Ohio. He was an early Titan commit who was not going to end up in Detroit then this summer decided to join the Titans. From what I understand, he is a fast ball-handler who is a developmental guy this year.

Lineup

This might sound crazy but 25ppg and when Antoine Davis‘ shot is not falling using his abilities to get his teammate’s open looks, we saw a lot of this down the titans 11-3 run. I would not be surprised if he averages more and leads the nation in scoring. But how AD and Dad Mike Davis utilize the supporting cast will determine how far the Titans go.

Noah Waterman showed flashes of potential stardom last year. He is an excellent three-point shooter and causes match-up issues on the wings with his size. For Detroit to be successful this year he needs to be more consistent scoring and better defensively without getting into foul trouble if he can be a 15 point a night guy. The Titans have a shot at the big dance.

Matt Johnson is back after flirting with the transfer portal. He won horizon 6th player of the year and shot really well from the floor and the three-point line. If he can shoot as well or better than last year, he can easily average 10 points per contest. If he can shoot the same percentage as last season, I would not be surprised to see him with horizon league honors again.

Buay Koka is back. He was a mid-year transfer from Tulane. The skinny 7 footer can play defense and rebound well. Look for him to play a similar role to what he played  last year with more minuets
 
Kyle Legreair is back for his sophomore campaign. He only appeared at the end of two games last year after suffering an injury early in the season. Expect him to play more this season but I don’t expect him to be in the rotation.
 
Fan Favorite Willy Isiani is back for his fourth year in Detroit. He played in every game for the Titans last year and I expect him to be good for a big three and solid defense every contest.

Outlook

The Titans will be improved on defense this year as Donnie Marsh has rejoined Mike Davis in Detroit. The long time Davis assistant has been with him everywhere he’s won.  Marsh is well known as a good defensive coach and I would expect him to have the Titans playing better this season.

This could be the best supporting cast that Mike Davis has provided AD. (I Know I said that last year) I think this is a boom or bust roster. Detroit either finishes in the top three of the Horizon League and goes to the NCAA Tournament or this team under achieves and they don’t compete with the other teams in the top of the HL and we don’t see AD take the Titans to the dance.

Miss anything from Preview Week? Check it all out below:

Predictions
Preseason All-League Teams Preseason Individual Awards 
If we had an All-Newcomer Team…
Women’s Preseason PollWomen’s Preseason All-League Teams
How’d we do? #HLWBB Preseason Poll

Podcasts
Comparing notes with Justin Kinner

Team Previews
Cleveland State • Wright State • Milwaukee • Detroit Mercy 
Northern Kentucky • OaklandPurdue Fort WayneYoungstown State
UICRobert Morris • Green Bay • IUPUI
Green Bay (WBB)Cleveland State (WBB)

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