Detroit — In a surprising development, Kameron Chatman will hire an agent and remain in the NBA Draft, skipping his final season of eligibility at Detroit Mercy.
A university spokesman confirmed the decision to The News this week.
Chatman was believed to just be testing the waters when he originally declared for the draft, but with the uncertainty surrounding the Detroit Mercy program — it still doesn't have a basketball coach, more than two months after firing Bacari Alexander — Chatman is the latest departure.
Two other key contributors on the 2017-18 team have decided to transfer. Sharp-shooting guard Corey Allen (Ypsilanti), who just completed his sophomore season, will continue his career at Georgia State and reunite with former Detroit Mercy coach Ray McCallum Sr., who is an assistant coach there. Guard Josh McFolley (Detroit Western), who just finished his junior year, also has decided to transfer, but he hasn't yet announced his next stop.
Detroit Mercy also is saying goodbye to forward Roschon Prince, guard DeShawndre Black, forward Jaleel Hogan and swingman Isaiah Jones, who have exhausted their eligibility.
The Titans are coming off back-to-back eight-win seasons, leading to the firing of Alexander after just two years on the job. Alexander was suspended for seven games last season following a reported verbal altercation with a player at practice.
Chatman, who turns 22 on Friday, played one season at Detroit Mercy, averaging 17.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists this past season, during which he also suffered a concussion.
He sat out the previous year after transferring from Michigan, where Alexander had been an assistant coach. Chatman is best remembered for being the unlikely hero in a 2016 Big Ten tournament win over top-seeded Indiana, against whom he hit the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. Derrick Walton Jr. thought he had passed the ball to Aubrey Dawkins in the corner, but Dawkins actually was on the bench. Chatman, surprised as anyone to have the ball, con sidered passing back to Walton, but there was no time. He fired, and he made it.
Chatman isn't on any mock drafts, but could be an undrafted free-agent candidate, or could carve out of a nice, lucrative career overseas.
Chatman's father, Canaan, remains on staff at Detroit Mercy, but his status is uncertain, given the search for a new head coach.
Jermaine Jackson Sr. is officially the interim head coach, as he was when Alexander was suspended. It's unclear how his status will affect the future playing career of his son, guard Jermaine Jackson Jr., who just finished a successful freshman season at Detroit Mercy.
The NBA Draft is June 21. The deadline to withdraw is Wednesday.
Brother Rice alum celebrates lacrosse title
Jason Alessi, a graduate of Birmingham Brother Rice, had quite a day Monday, as his Yale lacrosse team stunned Duke, 13-11, to win the Division I championship.
And Alessi actually scored what would be the winning goal during the final at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
That was the sixth goal of the season for Alessi, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound midfielder, who played in 52 games during his four-year career at Yale. His best season was 2016-17, when he scored 17 goals to go with eight assists.
Alessi also played football and basketball at Brother Rice, which he led to three lacrosse state championships. He comes from quite the athletic family. His brother played golf at Michigan State, his mom played golf at Michigan State, and his dad played baseball at Michigan.
The championship was the first for Yale.
End of the road
Kyle Mueller turned pro Monday, a day after his storied collegiate golf career came to an end. The Michigan star never got going at the NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Okla., after his opening-round was delayed by lightning for several hours Friday. He finished with a 79, 73 and 77, and didn't advance to Monday's final round.
"It is not the way I wanted to finish my college career, but these past four years with my coaches and teammates have been the best four years of my life," said Mueller. "I am excited to start a new chapter of my life while still representing the Block M, just in a slightly different way. I will always be a Michigan man and am forever grateful for everything Michigan has done for me."
Mueller, 22, won't get much of a break. He has U.S. Open sectional qualifying coming up (then hopefully the U.S. Open), followed by a string of PGA Tour and Web.com Monday qualifiers.
"The impact he made on our program was unbelievable, and I have a feeling he has a long career in golf in front of him," Michigan coach Chris Whitten said.
Mueller played in 50 straight events at Michigan, finishing in the top five 16 times. He holds a bundle of program records, including career scoring average (71.71).
Eyes on the prize
The Major League Baseball Draft is Monday.
Locally among the juniors, Michigan outfielder Jonathan Engelmann and left-hander William Tribucher are almost certain to get selected, with infielder Ako Thomas and right-hander Troy Miller possible later-round picks. Michigan senior right-handers Jayce Vancena and Alec Rennard also could go in the late rounds.
Michigan had a program-record 11 players, plus several recruits, selected last year. The damage won't be nearly as bad this year.
For Michigan State, junior right-hander Riley McCauley is on a lot of radars. Lots of scouts liked junior infielder Marty Bechina, too, but a tough season might've hurt his stock.