Detroit — Is Big Blue coming to The D?
It seems like a pie-in-the-sky idea, but it actually might not be that far-fetched, as Detroit Mercy men's basketball coach Mike Davis spilled the beans during Titans media day Wednesday.
With Kentucky coach John Calipari's son, Brad, one of the newest members of the Detroit Mercy basketball team, Davis said there have been serious discussions about Kentucky playing in Detroit next season. The game would either be at Little Caesars Arena — Olympia Entertainment CEO Tom Wilson told The News recently that it had interest in hosting a Detroit Mercy game against a "big" opponent — or Calihan Hall.
At LCA, it'd almost certainly be part of a college doubleheder, perhaps the other game featuring Michigan and a marquee opponent, or maybe Oakland. The other game wouldn't be Oakland-Michigan State; they play in East Lansing next year.
Davis' preference, of course, is for the game to be played on campus, though he acknowledged that probably would require some sprucing up to Calihan Hall, including some locker-room upgrades. Calihan Hall also is scheduled for a court replacement in the coming year.
"His dad owed me a game here next year," Davis said of Brad Calipari, a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility remaining. "We'd like to pack our gym, have our fans buy up all the seats before Big Blue does.
"We want to play them here. What better deal than to play against your son? I know Coach would be nervous coming in playing against his son."
Brad Calipari is a 6-foot, 179-pound guard who played in 27 games with Kentucky, but wanted to move elsewhere where he'd have a chance to play. He gives Detroit Mercy another 3-point threat, along with the team's star and coach's son, Antoine Davis.
Asked about the possibility of Kentucky coming to Detroit, Calipari just smiled, shrugged and said, "You'd have to ask my dad."
"That'd be cool to play against them," Brad Calipari said.
Davis, a good friend of Calipari's, clearly has had discussions with Calipari, as well as Detroit Mercy athletic director Robert Vowels about the idea.
Davis said he puts the odds of Kentucky coming to Detroit at "99.9." percent
It's unusual for Detroit Mercy to get marquee opponents at home, but it has its fair share on the road this year, including N.C. State and Clemson to open the season, as well as Notre Dame and Gonzaga in December. The Titans will get on the court for a game Wednesday when it plays Michigan in a secret scrimmage that's not much of a secret.
Davis is entering his season season as head coach, and already has a roster that features all players that he recruited. The Titans were 11-20 last season and are expected to finish in the bottom half of the Horizon League again this season. They also are ineligible for NCAA postseason play, because of academic issues that don't involve any current coach or player on the roster.