Detroit Mercy, Oakland hoops rosters remain in flux amid transfer frenzy
One thing we're starting to learn in this new era of the hyper-drive transfer portal: The college basketball offseason is never really over.
Rosters continue to be shuffled all across the country, and especially locally, from the Power Five to the mid-majors. Detroit Mercy and Oakland have proven no exception.
Both Detroit Mercy and Oakland men's basketball teams figured to be among favorites for the Horizon League championship in 2022. That's if their rosters remained intact from 2021. But roster stability just isn't a thing these days.
Detroit Mercy recently got word that one of its top players from last season, 6-foot-7 swingman Bul Kuol, is passing up his final season of collegiate eligibility to play professionally in his native Australia.
Kuol played one season at Detroit Mercy and was a major reason for the Titans' second-half resurgence. He averaged 15.6 points, second on the team to Antoine Davis (who's returning for a fourth season), and 4.8 rebounds, third on the team.
Kuol is the third Detroit Mercy player to officially leave the program this offseason, joining senior guard Dwayne Rose Jr. and junior swingman Chris Brandon entering the transfer portal. (Brandon is staying in the Horizon League, with Northern Kentucky.) The Titans are expected to lose at least a couple more players — possibly as many as three — as they continue to browse hard in the transfer portal, both at the Power Five and mid-major level (there were rumblings about possibly landing Michigan State's Joshua Langford, a friend of the Davis family, but he opted to end his basketball career rather than play at another college or try his hand professionally).
The Titans have picked up two transfers, including 6-6 guard D.J. Harvey from Vanderbilt — head coach Mike Davis hopes he can replace Kuol — and, more recently, guard Kevin McAdoo, a Pontiac native who comes from Bradley, but previously played two seasons at Eastern Michigan. Because this is McAdoo's second transfer, it's not clear if he'll be immediately eligible. Despite the new NCAA transfer rule, allowing a one-time transfer from DI to DI without having to sit out a year, players who transferred before the new rule aren't automatically given a clean slate.
The Titans finished 12-10 after starting 1-7 and won a Horizon League tournament game, before being eliminated on a buzzer-beater. Detroit Mercy was offered a spot in the CBI postseason tournament, but several players declined to play, so the school passed.
Oakland, meanwhile, finished 12-18, after starting 0-9. It lost to Cleveland State in the Horizon League tournament final, then lost a handful of players to the transfer portal — most notably junior guard and Detroit native Rashad Williams and junior forward Daniel Oladapo. Both have transferred, Williams (13.6 points, second on the team) to Saint Louis, and Oladapo (12.9 points, second; 8.8 rebounds, first) to Pittsburgh.
The Golden Grizzlies did pick up a big player from the transfer portal, 6-7 wing Jamal Cain, a Pontiac native who played four years at Marquette. The Golden Grizzlies and head coach Greg Kampe are in the mix for a couple bigs, as well, one from a Power Five school and one elite JUCO player.
Oakland, of course, had great success from a JUCO transfer last year, with point guard Jalen Moore, who ended up earning first-team all-league honors and will be back next season, barring another surprise transfer.
In other transfer news, Eastern Michigan 6-8, 215-pound senior forward Ty Groce has a new home: The former Ypsilanti Lincoln standout has committed to Butler, and won't be sticking with new coach Stan Heath.
Additionally, Western Michigan has lost its latest player, and one of its best players, to enter the portal, in senior forward Greg Lee. He transferred from Cal State Bakersfield and played just the one season in Kalamazoo, averaging 13.0 points (second on the team), 7.2 rebounds (first) and 2.4 assists.
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