After scoring 2,734 career points in four years, Antoine Davis had the option to leave Detroit Mercy and land at countless Power Five conference teams. Instead, the 6-foot-1 flashy point guard decided to stay at school and play for his long-time head coach, his father, Mike Davis.
“It’s been the world to me. A lot of parents and a lot of coaches don’t have the opportunity to coach someone that they worked with for years before they get to college,” Mike Davis said on coaching his son.
Detroit Mercy head coach Mike Davis has had a long coaching career, being a head coach since 2000 across four teams, including Indiana. But, nothing compares to coaching his son.
“We’ve developed such a good relationship over time and have gotten closer together. Our relationship has grown so much,” Antoine Davis said of his father Mike. “We’re always together and talking about basketball.”
Detroit Mercy’s basketball program not only has Antoine and Mike, but also Mike Davis Jr., the oldest son in the family.
“It’s history within itself,” Mike Davis said. “But to wake up every morning, coming in to work with your oldest son in the car and then coaching your younger son on the floor and working with him, it’s a great blessing for us to be together.”
With his older brother and father at Detroit Mercy, Antoine Davis didn’t feel like it would be right if he left for a different school. It is – and has been – more than a basketball decision for him.
“I really thought about going somewhere else to finish my career in the Power Five level, I wanted to play at a high stage and go on to play with big-time schools,” Antoine Davis said. “Ultimately, I changed my mind from doing it because it just wouldn’t have felt right playing somewhere else after being here for years. I just really wanted to end my career here.”
It’s not just a big move for the point guard. It’s a big move for the program as a whole.
“I was excited because with a player of his ability, you’re definitely going to be excited [of a return] and losing that would definitely hurt your program,” Mike Davis said. “The one thing that he wanted to do was he wanted to finish his career here.”
Antoine Davis wanted to finish where he started, as he is now the all-time leading scorer in Detroit Mercy history and is only 180 assists away from becoming the all-time leader in that category as well.
While the career totals continue to grow for Antoine, his father believes his leadership as an individual has grown the most.
“He’s gotten better from a leadership standpoint,” Mike Davis said of his youngest son, Antoine. “His skill set has always been good.”
In each of Antoine Davis’ seasons, he has averaged at least 23.9 points per game. His assist totals cannot go unnoticed, as he’s averaged at least four assists per game in each of the last three seasons.
“In the offseason for me, I just always shoot 2,000 to 3,000 shots every day. It’s just doing that and other little drills,” Antoine Davis said on his improvement over the years.
It should be an improved year for Detroit Mercy, as they have six newcomers entering the 2022-23 season.
T.J. Moss, a transfer from McNeese who played at South Carolina and Damezi Anderson, a Loyola Chicago transfer, will be key additions for the Titans.
“My main focus has always been to win in the conference tournament and get to the NCAA Tournament,” Antoine Davis said. “These fans and this university deserve something happy to see. I’ve been here for five years and with everything that I’ve accomplished, this will be like icing on the cake.”