Thursday, November 10, 2016

MBB Preview: The Opener

So, the men's basketball season gets underway....with a tough one...BG goes to the northern Detroit suburbs to battle the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies.  No secret that the Grizzlies are a strong program coached by BG Grad Greg Kampe, whose sister was the girl's gym coach when I was in junior high school and we were all terrified of her.   (Also, a teammate of Kampe's at BG---DAN HIPSHER--is an assistant at Oakland now.)

Anyway, Oakland leads the all-time series with BG 4-3 and has won the last 4 by 24, 10, 10, and 17 points.  Since 2005 they have made 3 NCAA appearances, and you know how the Falcons compare on that front.  Kampe has been at Oakland for 33 years...only Boeheim and Krzyzewski have longer tenures.

Last year, they were 13/5 and 21/11 and made the Vegas 16, where they were runners-up.  They had a kenpom of 79.

This year, they are picked to finish 2nd in the Horizon by both their own media and the Blue Ribbon yearbook.  They lost two starters from last year's team, including Kay Felder, a 3rd team All-American who went pro and plays for the Cavaliers now.  They beat Grand Valley 98-68 in their exhibition.

The Griz had signed Stevie Clark, a transfer from Arkansas Baptist with a lot of talent and a lot of issues.    Kampe told Pat Caputo that Clark is "in the mix," but they have moved Sherron Dorsey-Walker to PG.  He is a transfer from Iowa State.  FWIW, Clark had 20 points and 7 assists in the exhibition while Dorsey-Walker went 14 point, 10 rebound and 6 assists.

They also lost a 6'9" postman and the conference's 6th man of the year.

They feature Jalen Hayes, who is 6'7" and sported 13.1 ppg and 8.6 rpg last year.  He is a junior and one of the top two players in the Horizon.

The Griz are long...there also is Martez Walker, a 6'6" player who scored 10.5 last year.  He's a Texas transfer who had 23 in the win over Grand Valley.  They also have a 6'11" Brad Brechting, who will be seeing his first real playing time this year.

They were very up tempo last year, playing at the nation's 10th fastest pace and with the 24th most efficient offense.  Kampe told Blue Ribbon that this year's test will be whether they can defend, because they won't be able to just outscore people.  Having said that, he also said that their system finds people who score "18-23" per game, which in today's game is pretty big.

So, it will be interesting to see.  On their home floor, known as The Blacktop, they have won 72% of their games since 1998.

No comments :