#93 Detroit: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #93
Conference Rank: #2 Horizon League
2009-10: 20-14, 9-9
2009-10 postseason: none
Coach: Ray McCallum (27-37 at Detroit, 197-186 overall)
Detroit lost a lot of talent from a 20 win team, but Coach Ray McCallum is in his third year at the program and has the Titans moving in the right direction. Just as importantly, Coach McCallum is bringing in his type of players, which happens to include his highly touted son of the same name. The younger McCallum should be starting at the point from day one.
Key Losses: C Eugene Blue, F Xavier Keeling, F Thomas Kennedy, G Woody Payne, G Eulis Stephens
McCallum is not the only newcomer who will make a huge impact on this team. LaMarcus Lowe, a transfer from Western Michigan, is a superb shot blocker and rebounder. If his offense ever comes around, Lowe will be a dynamic player. However, Lowe can block shots and hit the glass while junior college transfer Nick Minnerath does the scoring under the basket. Evan Bruinsma will add even more depth, which the Titans desperately need, to the frontcourt. Depth in the backcourt is an issue as well. Jason Calliste, who missed last season while sorting out academic issues, could end up starting at the shooting guard spot. He is a great shooter and will use his speed to get past most opposing defenders if they guard him too closely beyond the arc.
Calliste will have to battle with Donavan Foster for a starting job. Foster, a 5-10 guard, is not as prolific of a shooter as Calliste, but he has been around for a couple years and that experience will be very valuable whether he starts or comes in off the bench. Foster has shown the ability to score when he wants to, but the team has not needed him to do so. That may be the case again this year and having Foster available off the bench to fill in at the either backcourt spot is a nice option to have. The scorer on the team is Chase Simon. Last season the former Chippewa of Central Michigan averaged 14.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Simon can do a little bit of everything, but one thing he did do a lot of was shoot the long ball. Many times he forced those shots since he was really the only long range threat on the team. That will not be the case this year.
The frontcourt may lack depth, but they have a superstar in Eli Holman. The 6-10, 255 pound senior averaged 11.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks last season. Having him paired up with Lowe in the frontcourt will strike fear into any opponent, whether in the Horizon League or not. It is that size and defensive skill in the frontcourt that should spur the Titans into a dominating force in the conference. The frontcourt, and Holman, may miss the toughness and scoring ability of Thomas Kennedy, but Lowe and Minnerath should fill in perfectly fine. John Hoskins is the only other returning frontcourt player. The 6-10 Warren, Michigan product did not play much as a freshman, but he should be ready to fill in ten minutes per game if needed.
Who to Watch:
It is the younger McCallum who will be the key to this team. UDM has shooters, interior scorers and a whole lot of defensive skills all over the place, but somebody has to get them the ball. The freshman will almost certainly struggle at times; however, he is a great talent who can create shots for his teammates and do a ton of scoring on his own. As long as he can handle running the team as a freshman, Detroit will make it back to the postseason.
The bigger problem may be overall team depth. This group may be lucky to go eight deep. That is about how deep they went last year and everything worked out fine. The big guys have at least three capable bodies to rotate and the guards have a little more depth and are used to playing over 30 minutes per game. As long as that lack of depth does not wear down the Titans in the middle of conference play, they should only be looking up at Butler in the conference standings.
Projected Post-season Tournament: CBI/CIT
Projected Starting Five:
Ray McCallum, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Jason Calliste, Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season
Chase Simon, Senior, Guard, 14.0 ppg
LaMarcus Lowe, Junior, Forward, DNP last season
Eli Holman, Senior, Center, 11.8 ppg
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