Freshman phenom Antoine Davis lights up Calihan Hall


Pouring in a sizzling 124 points in his first four games as a Titan, Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis went from an unknown 6-foot-1, 150-pound, lightly recruited freshman to the second overall point scorer in NCAA Division I basketball.

Now at 640 points and averaging 26.7 points per game, Davis has found himself in the national spotlight with media attention from ESPN, Sports Illustrated and others.

Leading  the entire NCAA in 3-pointers with 108, he’s drawing a bright light on Calihan Hall.

His ambitious start has put him within reach of making history as he approaches the Division I single-season record of 162 3-pointers, set by current NBA superstar Steph Curry.

“That means the freshman has to average a little more than 7 made 3s for the rest of the regular season and this record’s in the bag,” said ESPN’s John Gasaway.

Davis’ success is no coincidence. On a smaller scale, it came well before high school records and the big stage of Division I basketball.

In 2014 his father, Mike Davis, moved the family to Houston in pursuit of a new coaching job at Texas Southern.

Antoine Davis’ training began when he was in seventh grade, when he was home-schooled by his mother, Tamilya Davis.

Though home-schooling took away his opportunity for nationwide publicity, it allowed him an incredible amount of time in the gym.

 “We may be at almost a million shots, of just work,” said coach Davis, who was hired last summer to rebuild the Titans. “That may be hard to believe but an off day for him is 500 to 1,000 shots.”

John Lucas, long-time NBA coach, ran a development program in Houston, where Antoine Davis was able to prepare for his next step by training alongside NBA pros like Austin Rivers and Andre Iguodala.

As a senior with the Homeschool Christian Youth Association in Houston, Davis led his team with 23 points per game, helping him rank 28th in the region and 20th in the state of Texas.

But that pales beside what he has accomplished on Dick Vitale Court on the McNichols Campus.

How has he made the adjustment from coach’s son to NCAA freshman standout?

The Varsity News caught up with Davis for a quick interview on Monday.

How did it feel going from being home-schooled all through high school to coming to a Division I university?

It was a little bit different. Being home-schooled I didn’t have the opportunity to be around a whole bunch of people like I am now. But when my dad was coaching at Texas Southern, their campus was the same size as (Detroit Mercy), so I used to put in my headphones and walk up and down the campus to get used to it.

Is it hard to not let the hype of ESPN, Sports Illustrated and other nationwide media get into your head?

No, because I have never been someone to let things like that affect the way I act, even though sometimes it can become a little distracting. It is nothing I can’t deal with.

What do you see in your future? Do you see yourself at Detroit Mercy all four years? Or is the NBA your main goal?

Um, it all depends on how it goes. I’m not really certain yet, and I am just worried about what is going on now.

What’s it like playing in front of a smaller fan base when potentially you could be playing somewhere big, like Duke?

I love it. I am used to playing in front of small crowds… In AAU we played in the back of the gym with just our parents watching. But that’s the thing, (Detroit Mercy) may be small, but the crowd brings a culture that makes us feel loved and hyped up.

How does it feel bringing hope back to Titans basketball in regard to all the older generations who haven’t had this excitement in years?

It’s a good feeling having people older than me – parents and stuff like that – looking up to me. Not because my ego needs it, but because it feels like I am doing good by the university.

What’s your favorite part about being on the basketball team?

My favorite part is hanging out with my teammates… Only meeting them in August, I feel like we are brothers for life now.