I knew three minutes into Friday night’s game, the scoring record was going to be broken.
17 points in the first seven minutes of the contest.
Six straight made field goals.
Antoine Davis was shooting the lights out. This is not going to be a game recap though. Because everyone who follows Detroit Mercy basketball knows how the game went. They know the Titans blew out Milwaukee on ESPN2 and it was a total team game. That Noah Waterman looked healthy for the first time this season. I watched it with 500 other people. Maybe. I get there’s a pandemic. But don’t tell me you can’t socially distance in a 9,000-seat arena that does not often get 1,000 people in it.
In the last month, I have taken two people who have never attended a Detroit Mercy basketball game to their first game at Calihan Hall. They each loved it. They thought the sightlines were great. The history of the place was cool. They each fully understand why I love the place so much. But if other people don’t fall in love with the place will anyone be there to see Davis’ record get broken?
I don’t think I have missed 12 home games in the last 10 years. I was even lucky enough to get in last year when it was only media and a few guests allowed. I don’t know anyone who was in school at the same time as me who remotely cares about this team. I get a few friends a year that want to go to the Oakland game or like a one-off Friday night game. It comes up in conversation how’s the team going to be this year or how are they doing, but that’s about it.
My girlfriend leaned over to me at halftime and exclaimed, “Everyone in attendance at this game is over 50.” That describes the fan base to a T. We all know how things work when you don’t add to fans. If something doesn’t happen, the Titan fan will become extinct.
I am 10 years out of my freshmen year of college when we went to the NCAA tournament. I think Detroit Mercy has a decent shot this year, although Cleveland State, Oakland, and Wright State are all decent teams and will have something to say about that.
I was not surprised when I sat down last Friday and there were not 1,000 people. There are lots of factors as to why that is. The pandemic makes it tough for a handful of different reasons. But it’s not just the pandemic. In fact, I would wager attendance is better now than in 2019.
Antoine Davis is by far the best player that has played for Detroit Mercy in the last 10 years. Often, he pulls a rabbit out of his hat and sinks shots that don’t normally go in. He’s been good for 20 points per game his entire college career. It does not help that two of those years there’s been a pandemic going on, but people are missing out on seeing one of the better mid-major basketball players of the last 10 years. He is worth the price of admission, Id argue Detroit Mercy, Oakland, and EMU basketball are the best value in sports in Metro Detroit.
A lot of Titan fans want to put an asterisk on his career if he does not get the Titans to the NCAA tournament. I don’t think that’s fair. He is one guy. He routinely gets double and triple-teamed and still finds ways to score. His freshmen year he had no supporting cast and was just a freshman. His sophomore year the team was ineligible for the postseason based on a decision players who the current coaching staff did not bring in made. Last year’s team was good, not great.
This year’s team looks better. Are they better than CSU and Oakland? I don’t think so. Can they win a conference tournament? Maybe. Regardless if he makes the postseason or not this spring, even if he takes a 5th year, He is still the leading scorer in Detroit Titan history, until another superstar comes along and takes the crown.