Oakland, Detroit Mercy to play weekend series at Calihan; rivals could meet four times this season
Christmas is coming early for the area's two college basketball rivals.
The Oakland and Detroit Mercy men's teams will square off twice this weekend, at 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, at Calihan Hall in Detroit.
The Horizon League added the games after Oakland lost a weekend series because Northern Kentucky has a COVID-19 outbreak, and Detroit Mercy previously lost its weekend series because of similar issues at IUPUI.
For now, there are no changes to future schedules, so there's a chance the rivals could actually play four times this season. Their original series remains on the schedule for Jan. 22-23 at the O'Rena in Rochester.
Oakland enters the game 0-9, but with some close losses to some powerful opponents, including Michigan, Michigan State and Oklahoma State. It lost its opening Horizon League series at UIC, though both games were competitive. The Golden Grizzlies are led by the excellent backcourt of JUCO transfer Jalen Moore and Rashad Williams.
Detroit Mercy is 1-5, but also with a close loss to Michigan State. Led by junior Antoine Davis, among the nation's leading scorers the past two years, the Titans lost their opening league series at home to Wright State.
Oakland was picked to finish sixth in the league, and Detroit Mercy ninth. Coaches around the league and region now expect better finishes from both.
The Horizon League, in setting up its league schedule this season, opted for the unique setup of weekend back-to-backs at a single site, with the same referees, for health and safety reasons. Still, several league programs already have been shut down. Oakland paused for nearly three weeks before the season because of a major outbreak, while Detroit Mercy missed its opening tournament at Kentucky because of a positive test.