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Davis says this year's team is his best Titans squad so far

On November 10, 2021

VN photo by JORGE REYNA JR.

BY JORGE REYNA JR / VN SPORTS EDITOR

Coach Mike Davis expects his 2021-22 men’s basketball team to be the best yet in his short tenure at Detroit Mercy.

Beginning his fourth season as Titans head coach, Davis believes his squad will do much better than the fifth-place finish projected in the Horizon League’s pre-season poll.

Davis pointed out that the Titans have never been forecast to be first while he’s been head coach.

Bold predictions don’t win games, he added, but low expectations may allow his team to surprise critics.

In addition to his returning son, senior Antoine Davis, who was third in the nation in scoring last year, coach Davis will be relying on the talents of Noah Waterman, Matt Johnson and others.

Davis said he is confident this will be his best year as head coach in Detroit.

“We’re trying to build a program,” said Davis. “The first couple years was focused on building a team alone, but now it’s about building a program, and I think we have guys that can help us build one.”

Davis, Athletic Director Robert Vowels and women’s coach Latanya Collins spoke Oct. 27 at the teams’ media day.

Titans players also met for photos and a public workout.

Fans will be invited back into Calihan Hall this year.

But there will be new guidelines for those attending games due to the new Covid-19 variant.

There will be a 12-foot buffer separating fans and players, as well as mask requirements. In addition, no food will be allowed in the stadium’s lower bowl.

Vowels spoke on the programs’ support for their student-athletes. He touched on the NCAA’s new image policy, which allows players to profit from their likeness, and he also talked about programs for athletes’ mental health.

“Mental health is a big point of student-athletes, and the wellness portion of it allows our athletes to be safe due to how much they have on their plate, including classes, personal life and trying to play at the highest level at Division 1,” said Vowels.

At the podium, women’s interim head coach Latanya Collins said she is excited about her program.

Collins succeeds coach AnnMarie Gilbert, who was dismissed this summer after last year’s abbreviated season and the departure of every one of her players amid allegations of mistreatment.

Collins said the culture and environment will be different this year.

She also said that there will be a championship in the team’s future, and the Titans will continue to move forward.

She said the team can’t move forward by focusing on the past.

“I want to be here, and my staff wants to be here,” she said. “Those girls show up every day and want to be here. That is the standard because we don’t have to beg anyone to be part of what we have here.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams begin their seasons in November.

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