College notes: UD Mercy signs pair of recruits

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Detroit Mercy coach Bacari Alexander has two new players, 6-7 forward Tariq Jones (Macomb Dakota/Schoolcraft College) and 6-3 guard Bass Ollie (Kalamazoo Central) in the fold.

Detroit Mercy stayed in-state to wrap up its 2017-18 men's basketball recruiting class.

The Titans on Thursday announced the signings of JUCO transfer Tariq Jones and Bass Ollie, the latter being a preferred walk-on.

Jones attended Macomb Dakota High School, playing under current Detroit Mercy assistant coach Jermaine Jackson, before heading to Schoolcraft Community College, where he was second-team all-conference this past season. The 6-foot-7, 200-pound forward averaged 10.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season with Schoolcraft, in Livonia.

Ollie, a 6-3, 175-pound guard, comes to Detroit Mercy from Kalamazoo Central High School, where he was a three-sport athlete. He averaged a double-double in basketball during senior season.


Jones and Ollie join Dakota stars Jermaine Jackson Jr. and Jack Ballantyne, as well as graduate transfer Roschon Prince from Long Beach State in the recruiting class, the second under head coach Bacari Alexander.

The expectations are an above-.500 season for the Titans, athletic director Robert Vowels recently told The News, after they were 8-23 in Year 1 under Alexander. Kam Chatman, a Michigan transfer, is eligible to play, and there are some promising returnees, too, including Corey Allen, Josh McFolley and Gerald Blackshear Jr., among others.

A mystery, though, remains the status of star forward Jaleel Hogan. He is taking summer classes and working to be on the roster come fall, but that's far from a certainty. Detroit Mercy has yet to post its 2017-18 roster online.

Hogan, shortly after last season, tweeted out that he was transferring from Detroit Mercy, but the post was quickly removed.

The Titans need all the help they can get, with a tough nonconference schedule that includes Virginia Tech, UCLA and Michigan, as well as Western Michigan and Saint Louis.

Western front

Western Michigan men's basketball will play a game at national semifinalist South Carolina on Nov. 13, as a non-bracketed game for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

In the bracketed portion of the tournament, the Broncos (16-16 last season) will open against Tulsa, and then play either Iowa State or Appalachian State.

Illinois State, Boise State and UTEP also are in the field for the tournament, set for Nov. 16-18 at the Coliseo Municipal Tomas Dones in Fajardo.

The Broncos' full nonconference schedule has yet to be released, but it's known they will play games against Oakland and Detroit Mercy.

This and that

■ Former Miami (Ohio) head women's basketball coach Maria Fantanarosa has joined Suzy Merchant's staff at Michigan State, where she'll work with guards and be the recruiting coordinator. Fantanarosa replaces Mark Simons, who has retired.

■ Western Michigan commissioned a study to find out the marketing value of its football team's stellar season in 2016, culminating in the Cotton Bowl, and the findings say the run was worth about $69 million in media exposure.

■ In more Broncos news, the hockey program will induct Chris Brooks (1992-96), Troy Thrun (1983-86) and Russ Kreis (club team, 1960-63) into its Ring of Honor in a ceremony this weekend.