Detroit Mercy scoring king Antoine Davis won't transfer, after all, after landing NIL deal

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — Antoine Davis has his home. It's just not a new home.

Davis, the all-time leading scorer in Detroit Mercy basketball history, announced Monday that he will finish his college career where he started it, at Calihan Hall, after stunningly announcing in mid-April he was planning to transfer away from the program that is coached by his father, Mike.

Davis made four official visits in the last month, to Maryland, BYU, Georgetown and Kansas State, before deciding in the end to stick with Detroit.

Antoine Davis

Several dozen schools reached out with interest after he announced his plans to explore a transfer.

"Great day, a great day," said his father, Detroit Mercy head coach Mike Davis, who like Antoine will be entering his fifth season with the Titans. "We talked today, but he didn't tell me before.

"He kept everything really quiet."

And, no, Mike Davis said, he didn't try to talk Antoine into staying.

"I didn't say one word to him about it," Mike Davis said.

This past season, Davis was third in the nation in scoring at 23.9 points per game, and he was co-Horizon League player of the year with Oakland's Jamal Cain. Davis has made first-team All-Horizon League all four seasons, and has been top four in the nation in scoring all four seasons (26.1, third; 24.3, fourth; and 24.0, third). He ranks 22nd all-time in NCAA scoring, with 2,734 points, and he will take an outside shot at Pete Maravich's record of 3,667 this season, a fifth season allotted by the NCAA's COVID regulations.

A more likely landing spot for Antoine Davis is at No. 2 all-time; now, that's Freeman Williams with 3,249.

Davis came to Detroit Mercy when his father got the head-coaching job four years ago. He had previously decided to attend Texas Southern, Mike's previous stop.

"I mean, I feel like I did my time here," Antoine Davis told The News last month, on his original decision to pursue a transfer. "I feel like I've done so much for this university, you know? Just felt like it was time to explore some options."

Antoine Davis wasn't immediately available for comment Monday.

Mike Davis had previously told The News that Antoine's decision to explore a transfer was largely because of an opportunity to earn a sizeable Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deal at a larger school.

Turns out, Antoine Davis got to do both — stay at Detroit Mercy, while landing the sponsorship deal. Antoine has signed with a glow-basketball company overseas. The balls will contain his original designs, and he will get a percentage of sales. The deal could be worth six figures; he will share the profits with his teammates.

Meanwhile, Antoine's continued presence with the Titans figures to be huge, of course. Detroit Mercy returns key players Madut Akec and Kevin McAdoo, and Mike Davis said he already had heard from several key recruits Monday.

"I've had some recruits call me already that want to come now that he's coming back," Mike Davis said.

Two other key players, Noah Waterman and DJ Harvey, have entered the transfer portal.

Mike Davis, in three previous stops, never has gone through a fifth season without making the NCAA Tournament. Detroit Mercy last made the NCAAs since 2012. The Titans were 14-16 last season.

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Twitter: @tonypaul1984