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JORGE REYNA: Re-infused Titans will need to prove selves

On October 16, 2019

When the Titans open their season next month, they will have more new faces than old.

Only six players from last year’s 11-20 basketball team are on the 13-man roster.

The two that many will be watching are sophomores Antoine Davis and Marquis Moore.

Davis ended last season averaging 26.1 points and 3.1 rebounds, while attaining a field goal percentage of .400.

He was third in the nation in scoring, and drew national media attention while breaking Steph Curry’s freshman 3-point record.

Davis, the son of head coach Mike Davis, is returning to high expectations.

Moore, on the other hand, will be filling the shoes of players like Josh McFolley, who averaged 13.5 points per game as a senior.

With talented guards like McFolley having graduated, Moore will be given more opportunities to shine.

Moore averaged 3.4 points and 4.2 rebounds last year, and had his baest performance in the Horizon League quarter finals, when he scored a season-high 12 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and recorded 2 steals.

The other returners are Chris Brandon, Jordan Gorman, Willy Isiani and Boe Nguidol.

When it comes to new talent, the Titans will be relying on five transfers and two freshmen.

Justin Miller, senior, is a transfer from Louisiana Lafayette, and this 6’6” forward is going to do some damage.

Over the last three seasons, Miller averaged 9.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists, shooting 44.9 percent.

Dwayne Rose arrived this summer from Southwestern Illinois College. (He is the nephew of current Piston and former MBA MVP Derrick Rose.)

Another well known basketball name, Calipari, will represent the Titans, as well.

Brad Calipari, the son of Kentucky coach John Calipari, will see action at guard. He is a graduate student, and played three years at Kentucky.

Alonde Legrand has arrived after stints at Fairfield University and State Fair Community College, and graduate student B.J. Maxwell will be finishing his collegiate career here after three seasons at Abilene Christian University in Texas.

Two freshmen also are on this refreshed squad: Jamail Pink of Houston, Texas, and Sam Hofman of Belgium.

Pink, the Texas native, averaged 10.2 points, 4.3 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1 steal as a junior at Clear Lake High.

He also played AAU on Team Harden, recording 10.1 points and 4 assists per game.

With the squad ineligible for the post season, due to running afoul of NCAA academic standards, the team will have a lot to prove.

For head coach Davis, this is a rebuild year. His 11-20 record, though not earth shattering, was still three wins better than the team did under coach Bacari Alexander in the two prior seasons.

The trust the players have in each other is undeniable, and the comradery is definitely there.

The goal is to have a winning season and to break a three-year losing-record streak.

Coach Davis was able to get his feet wet and did an impressive job with his staff last season.

With the majority being new, they may have a challenge this time, too.

But the Titans do have upper-class veterans who can work well with the younger players.

You won’t see this squad at Calihan Hall until Dec. 7 when the Titans face Eastern Michigan, but they will be playing some big games, like the MGM Grand Main Event against UC Irvine and Louisiana Lafayette in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For this team, which already had an opportunity stripped away, it’s time to focus on having that winning season.

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