Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 2021-22 previews for all 7 state of Michigan programs

Detroit Mercy Titans guard Antoine Davis (0) dribbles against Oakland Golden Grizzlies during the first half at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019.12282019 Bball Ouudm 12
Detroit Mercy Titans guard Antoine Davis (0) dribbles against Oakland Golden Grizzlies during the first half at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019.12282019 Bball Ouudm 12 /
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Michigan guard Eli Brooks NCAA Basketball
Michigan guard Eli Brooks NCAA Basketball /

There are seven division one NCAA Basketball teams in the state of Michigan. Two of them play and participate in the Horizon League, three programs are members of the Mid-American conference, and the two that most college basketball fans know in Michigan State and Michigan play in the Big Ten. Let’s begin and take a look at the two teams from the Horizon League.

Detroit Mercy

Best Player: Antoine Davis

Key Returning Players: Noah Waterman, Matt Johnson, Buay Koka, and Willy Isiani

Incoming Transfer Players: D.J. Harvey (Vanderbilt), Kevin McAdoo (Bradley), Jordan Phillips (UT-Arlington), and Prince Oduro (South Florida)

Key Loss: Bul Kuol

Head Coach: Mike Davis (4th season)


Best Player: Jalen Moore

Key Returning Players: Micah Parrish, Trey Townsend, Zion Young, and Blake Lampman

Incoming Transfer Player: Jamal Cain (Marquette)

Key Loss: Rashad Williams

Head Coach: Greg Kampe (37th season)

In the Horizon League preseason poll, Detroit Mercy is picked to finish in fifth place, while Oakland is predicted to finish one spot behind at the sixth spot. The Titans Davis was chosen as the Horizon League preseason player of the year and the Golden Grizzlies Moore was selected as one of the five players for the preseason all-league first team. Both Davis and Moore will have quality supporting casts this season.

Oakland played well near the end of the year last season when they reached the Horizon League tournament finals but lost to Cleveland State. The Golden Grizzlies return the vast majority of their team from last season and will miss Williams scoring and outside shooting but Oakland landed a top transfer in Cain who will be able to score a ton of points this season. Kampe and his coaching staff bring back Townsend and Parrish who were both one of the top four starters for the Golden Grizzlies last season and both will play big roles in the potential success for Oakland this season.

The Golden Grizzlies also bring in seven true freshmen led by Osei Price. Oakland has a solid starting five and go eight maybe nine deep on most nights. They have a tough non-conference schedule having to go and play at West Virginia, then Oklahoma State before having a home game against Toledo. Then they go on the road to play No. 14 ranked Alabama before participating in the Gulf Coast Showcase tournament where they open up against Vermont. Oakland then plays two conference games against UIC and IUPUI before playing their last two non-conference games against Bowling Green and Michigan State.

Detroit Mercy will be successful if Davis can get his teammates going early. Davis’s father is the head coach and the father-son duo expects to compete for the Horizon League title this season. The Titans once again bring in a solid group of transfers led by McAdoo whose father was a great player at Detroit Mercy years ago. Harvey and Oduro are two other transfers who should contribute right away but the Titans will have two returning top six players in Waterman and Johnson and Koka, and Isiani provides depth on the Detroit Mercy’s frontcourt.

The Titans open up on the road with two winnable games against Wyoming in their season opener and at Toledo in their second game of the season. Then Detroit Mercy has two difficult games beginning with a road contest at Mississippi State and then a match-up against ACC opponent Louisville. The next two games are on the road as they travel to the east coast to face Hofstra and Northeastern.

The Titans then open up Horizon League conference play on the road against IUPUI and UIC. Detroit Mercy finishes non-conference play against three Mid-American opponents when they travel to play Kent State before their first two home games of the season against Western and Central Michigan.

Both teams have the potential to be a top-three team in the Horizon League conference this season. However, there are very talented teams like Milwaukee and teams like Wright State and Northern Kentucky that are picked to be in the top three this season. Finally, you have Cleveland State that was the Horizon League Tournament champions last season and they were picked to win the conference in the preseason poll.

Both Detroit Mercy and Oakland have great point guards in Davis and Moore as well as established coaches in Kampe and Davis. The Titans and Golden Grizzlies have potential and if they can pull a non-conference upset, it should bode well for conference play and the possibility of making it to the Horizon League championship game in March.