State hoops: Antoine Davis passes up NBA 'dream,' will stay four years at Detroit Mercy

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — Every offseason, Antoine Davis has given the NBA serious consideration.

He did it again, and came to the same conclusion again: Davis announced Thursday he will return for his senior season at Detroit Mercy, putting on hold is lifelong dream of playing in the NBA.

Davis has two other dreams, earning a college degree and playing in the NCAA Tournament. He's on track to graduate in the spring of 2022, and the Titans have put together a roster many suspect will be among the most dangerous in the Horizon League in 2021-22.

Antoine Davis

"Playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) has always a dream of mine," Davis wrote on Twitter in a four-paragraph post. "The countless hours that I spend in the gym working on all aspects of my game is my way of ensuring that I am prepared to perform the day that I am able to realize this goal.

"I look forward to receiving my bachelor's degree in the spring of 2022 and competing for an opportunity to represent my university and the Horizon League in March Madness with my teammates."

Davis, a point guard and the son of Titans head coach Mike Davis, has scored 2,040 points at Detroit Mercy, third in school history, and has 316 made 3-pointers, second in school and league history. He's a three-time first-team, all-Horizon League performer. He was the league's freshman of the year in 2018-19, when he broke Steph Curry's freshman 3-point record.

Of the 11 highest-scoring games in Detroit Mercy history, Davis owns four of them, including a 46-point effort against Robert Morris in March to give the Titans a Horizon League tournament win. He averaged 24 points during a season in which he started out ice cold, making just five of his first 48 3-point attempts.

Detroit Mercy fell in the tournament quarterfinals on a buzzer-beating shot by Northern Kentucky, finishing 12-10 on the season — but the Titans won 11 of their last 14 games.

With Davis, swingmen Noah Waterman and Bul Kuol, and guards Matt Johnson and Marquell Fraser back, plus the addition of Vanderbilt small forward transfer D.J. Harvey — with the potential for another Power Five addition or two — the Titans should be picked to finish near the top, if not on top, of the league for 2021-22. Detroit Mercy hasn't made the NCAA Tournament since 2012, and hasn't won the regular-season Horizon League title since 1999.

Detroit Mercy has lost swingman Chris Brandon and guard Dwayne Rose Jr. to the transfer portal.

Slam dunks

►Eastern Michigan guard Drew Lowder, a Jackson native and Ann Arbor Pioneer alum, entered the transfer portal Thursday, and guard Noah Morgan entered the portal Wednesday — the first two Eagles to declare intentions to transfer since Stan Heath was named the program's head coach. Lowder averaged 8.5 points this past season, and Morgan averaged 8.6. This will be Lowder's second transfer, after arriving from Holy Cross, and Morgan's third, after previously playing at Fairleigh Dickinson and Northwest Florida State.

Forward Ty Groce (Ypsilanti Lincoln) already was in the portal before Heath was named the replacement for Rob Murphy. Point guard Bryce McBride was in the portal, but pulled out after Heath was named coach.

►Michigan State women's basketball has added Purdue guard/forward Tamara Farquhar, who averaged 6.5 points and 6.1 rebounds last season. The Spartans, this offseason, have lost guard Janai Crooms and forward Kendall Bostic to the transfer portal.

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Twitter: @tonypaul1984