Detroit – Antoine Davis’ surprising decision to transfer from Detroit Mercy, where he was coached by his father for four years, was made, at least in part, because of the opportunities that could potentially be presented to him by the name, l image and likeness (NIL), Mike Davis told The News.
Mike Davis said there’s a good chance Antoine Davis will earn well into the six figures from a NIL deal at a higher-profile school than Detroit Mercy, where there are currently no sponsorship deals for juniors. players.
Since Antoine Davis made his announcement on Thursday, he has heard directly from no less than 17 schools, and indirectly, through his father, from several more. Among the schools known to have already made contact: Alabama, Auburn, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Hofstra, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, Memphis, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and South Carolina. Antoine has not yet planned any official visits.
“If I wasn’t his coach, I would tell him to do exactly what he did,” Mike Davis told The News on Saturday. “You have a chance of winning half a million to a million dollars in NIL, and you put that money in the bank and you don’t spend it… let it sit for 10 years, that’s pretty impressive.
“It’s hard to turn that down.”
Antoine Davis, 23, played four seasons for the Titans and became the program’s all-time leading scorer last season. With a fifth season offered by the COVID-19 pandemic, he will have a chance to challenge for the NCAA Division I all-time record.
He was part of the Horizon League first team for four years and was co-league player of the year last season.
For several weeks, Mike Davis believed Antoine would return to Detroit Mercy for his final season, and that was Antoine’s thought too – until recently. There was the DRAW factor, but also the desire to test his game at the highest level, as well as a chance to play in an exciting environment that just isn’t part of the equation at Calihan Hall.
Antoine Davis’ decision surprised the world of college hoopsand, yes, that includes his own father.
“You know, it all came out of nowhere, to be honest with you,” Mike Davis said. “I’m a bit at a loss for words, to be honest with you.”
Antoine Davis, Mike said, “is both happy and sad.”
“I guess it’s about 60-40,” said Mike Davis, leaning forward sadly.
Coincidentally, on the day Antoine Davis was announced, the Davis family went to an anniversary dinner. It wasn’t bothersome, Mike said, other than Antoine’s cell phone ringing every moment.
Mike Davis’ phone also rang, with inquiries from interested coaches across the country.
“Probably 25 to 30,” Mike Davis said. “I don’t know how they get your number, but they get it.”
Antoine Davis’ departure leaves a major void at Detroit Mercy, where he averages between 26.1 and 23.9 points each year as one of the best 3-point shooters in the nation. There are several notable returns, including forward Madut Akec, who averaged 12.7 points (second behind Davis on the team) and seven rebounds, guards Kevin McAdoo and DJ Harvey, and swingman Noah Waterman.
But it will take new signings, ideally transfers, to replace all that scoring for the Titans, who were 26-26 the last two seasons after being 19-43 in Davis’ first two seasons – having been hired late and having got off to a slow start on the recruiting track for Year 1, and struggled to recruit for Year 2 with the program on probation for academic issues that preceded the entire staff and roster.
Davis has three years left on his contract, so there’s still time to bring Detroit Mercy to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. In Davis’ three previous stops, he has each appeared in the NCAA Tournament, with nine of 18 appearances seasons. . He still plans to bring the Titans there, even if it will be bittersweet.
“He wanted to go to the NCAA Tournament so badly. He had a great career here,” said Mike Davis. “It was a big shock. I’m his dad and I’m his coach, so it’s just a fine line. … He had told me he didn’t want to play for anyone but me. . .. But when the NIL thing appeared and popped up, he was like, ‘Wow.’
“You know, it’s just crazy.”
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