Mike Davis hired by Detroit Mercy; news conference Thursday

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Mike Davis

After an exhaustive search that lasted about two-and-a-half months and including scores of interviews and perceived front-runners, Detroit Mercy on Thursday will introduce veteran Mike Davis as its next men's basketball coach.

Davis will be introduced at an 11 a.m. news conference on campus, the university confirmed Wednesday afternoon. The News first reported the deal was done.

Davis has been talking to Detroit Mercy for at least three weeks, and emerged as the likely pick last week when his old school, Texas Southern, stunningly beat Detroit Mercy to the punch in announcing that Davis was leaving. A deal hadn't yet been signed, and attorneys for Davis and Detroit Mercy huddled up over the weekend and into the early part of this week to finalize the contract.

The exact terms of the contract are not yet clear, though it is known to be a five-year deal. Davis' predecessor, Bacari Alexander, was believed to have had a five-year contract worth $450,000 a year. Davis made less than $300,000 at Texas Southern.

Alexander was fired in late March after a pair of eight-win seasons, a surprisingly rough tenure after all the hoopla that came with his hiring following his successful run as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan.

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Davis, 57, is believed to be bringing most, if not all, of his staff from Texas Southern, as well as his son, a prized sharp-shooting recruit for the 2019 class, Antoine Davis, according to a source close to Davis.

This will be Davis' fourth stop, and he spent six years at each of his previous ones — including his first, as Bobby Knight's replacement at Indiana. He took the Hoosiers to the national championship game in his second year before falling out of favor with the fan base, then spent six years at UAB, and six more at Texas Southern.

In 18 seasons, he's been to nine NCAA Tournaments. He has a record of 352-241.

Detroit Mercy has been to one NCAA Tournament since 1999, and has a depleted roster due to multiple transfers, eligibility exhaustion and junior swingman Kam Chatman leaving for the NBA Draft.

The status of another key player, rising sophomore Jermaine Jackson Jr., will be interesting to keep an eye on. His father, Jermaine Sr., was interim coach during Alexander's seven-game suspension last season, and again briefly after Alexander was fired. Jackson, an assistant coach under Ray McCallum Sr. prior to Alexander, isn't expected to remain on the staff.

Among those joining Davis, the 22nd coach in program history, at Thursday's presser will be university president Dr. Antoine Garibaldi and athletic director Robert Vowels.