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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bader has backup plan in place, agrees to deal with ASVEL out of France

Travis Bader is pursuing his dream to play in the NBA, but if things don’t work out this summer, he has his backup plan in place.
ASVEL, a LNB Pro A basketball team in France, announced this morning it has reached a deal with Bader.
Bader’s agent, Andrew Morrison, confirmed the agreement but indicated that Bader can opt out of the deal should he be offered a contract in the NBA.
Bader is currently playing in the Orlando Summer League with the Philadelphia 76ers and he will play for the Golden State Warriors in the Las Vegas Summer League later in the month.
ASVEL is partially owned by San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who played for the team in 2011 during the NBA lockout. Parker holds the title of president for the team. The club has won 17 French Championships in its history, the last coming in 2009. The 17 titles is the most of any team in the league.
The LNBA Pro A league has featured a number of NBA talents over the years including Parker, Bruce Bowen, Boris Diaw and Udonis Haslem.
You can find out more on ASVEL at its team website.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Additional quotes from new Oakland AD Jeff Konya

Here some additional quotes and comments from Jeff Konya and Betty Youngblood from Monday's press conference. For the main article on the hiring, click here.

Jeff Konya
On how his previous work as an AD will help at Oakland
“When I was a senior associate athletic director I thought I knew the job. Once you sit in the chair and experience the calamity and the totality of everything you face… you can wake up one day and think you are going to do one thing and then you quickly have to pivot and think on your toes and be real receptive, almost like triage response.”
On how Oakland is viewed nationally
“I think (Oakland) is like a 12-year-old that is too big for its body. When it figures it out, watch out. That is really what I believe in terms of the potential and the opportunities here. I think the recent move to the Horizon League is a real eye-opener. It is such a well-regarded conference from a national perspective and I think that relationship is only going to prov
e to be very, very beneficial to the athletic department.”
On Oakland’s partnership with the Horizon League
“We experienced at Bakersfield, with joining the Western Athletic Conference, that the first year is kind of a learning curve. Every conference has its own nuisances and style of play, but now that that evolution has taken place, I believe for all the teams that finish in the top third of the conference, that puts you in a good position to make the postseason.”
On balancing all the OU sports
“I do think you need to maximize your potential in the revenue sports, but at the same time you need to have a relevant experience for your student athletes that are participating in the Olympic sports or individual sports. We want to have them have experiences that makes them proud to wear the university logo and proud to represent Oakland University and the Horizon League.”
On his early challenges with the position
“There is a lot of strategic planning. I think there is a lot of opportunity, with some of the infrastructure, to really move the needle. Development, marketing, those kind of things. I think also to work with the coaches and staff and be more collaborative and engage with them on a daily basis. I think that is going to be really beneficial to getting that family atmosphere.”
On if he will look into adding more sports
“I haven’t really gotten into it, but I know that in the region there are some sports that may make sense for Oakland University. I am open to any sport offerings. I think the more sports and more student athlete experiences you can offer as an institution only enhances your image and your long-term growth as a university.”

Betty Youngblood
On what stood about most about Konya
“I think the fact that he has been able to make things happen. He is a terrific fundraiser, terrific supporter of student and coaches and the entire university community. He really understands the inner relationships between academics and athletics. He has done a great job in the past and we know he will do a great job at OU.”
On Konya taking the job without OU having a president in place
“Jeff has had a lot of success. Any president would be delighted to have him.”
On the quality of candidates for the job
“We had extremely strong candidates. The committee interviewed close to a dozen candidates in what we call ‘airport interviews’ and then they narrowed the field to three finalists. I know that narrowing was challenging for them because we had many, many strong candidates.”
On how Oakland’s partnership with the Horizon League strengthened the opening
“All the candidates were very pleased with that kind of move. They know it is important to the university. We are delighted to be part of the Horizon League. Jeff has a great understanding of numerous leagues across the country and has followed the Horizon League very, very carefully.”

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Bader to play in NBA summer leagues for two teams

Travis Bader has made the decision to compete in the NBA summer leagues for two different teams. He will play for Philadelphia during the summer league in Orlando and for Golden State in the Las Vegas league.

For more on this, read my story from TheOaklandPress.com

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Travis Bader goes undrafted, fielding free agent offers

Oakland’s Travis Bader went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft Thursday night, making him a free agent.
The 6-5 guard out of Okemos now has the ability to sign with any team he chooses in hopes of making the roster come the start of the season.
“I won’t be hugely disappointed if he isn’t drafted because I know he is going to sign with somebody. If he doesn’t get drafted, he can pick and choose where he goes and find what fits best for him,” Oakland men’s basketball coach Greg Kampe said prior to the draft.
Bader finished his career at Oakland with a new NCAA record in 3-point field goals made (504) and 3-point field goal attempts (1,246). He averaged 17.2 points per game in his career and averaged over 20 points per game his last two seasons with the Grizzlies.
In his senior year, Bader averaged 20.6 points per contest and set single-season records at Oakland for 3-pointers made (147) and free throw percentage (94.3). He was a First-Team All-Horizon League selection.
“The NBA is full of great, great players and specialists. He’s a specialist. Everybody needs a shooter,” Kampe said.
Bader just recently won the Horizon League’s Cecil N. Coleman Award, which is the league’s highest individual honor. The award is given to one male and one female athlete in the Horizon League that best exemplifies the dignity and high purpose of the league and its membership. The individuals demonstrate outstanding achievement in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities.
Bader has been busy since his career at Oakland ended, working out with Don MacLean in Los Angeles to prepare for a career in the NBA. Bader trained with the likes of Gary Harris, James Young, Glenn Robinson III and T.J. Warren, who were all selected on Thursday.
Prior to the NBA Draft, Bader had workouts with more than 10 teams and he and his agent are fielding offers from teams around the league before he makes a decision on where he will report to camp.
Bader is seeking to become the third player in Oakland’s history to play in an NBA game, joining Keith Benson and Rawle Marshall.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A closer look at the three candidates for Oakland's AD position

I just posted a story that was done along with Paul Kampe on the latest news in the Oakland search for a new director of athletics. The search appears to be down to three candidates. Below is a list of the candidates and a link to their current bio at their respective universities.

Steve Watson: Director of intercollegiate athletics at St. Bonaventure

Jeff Konya: Director of athletics at Cal State Bakersfield

Mark Shook: Associate athletics director/special assistant to the athletics director at Bowling Green

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

More predraft news and notes on Travis Bader

The NBA Draft is on the horizon, with it being held this Thursday.
As the NBA Draft approaches, Oakland’s Travis Bader is a name that continues to grow buzz as a second-round selection. Here are some links to stories on Bader and teams that could take him on Thursday.




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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Travis Bader Interview

Oakland's Travis Bader sat down for a short interview following his workout with the Golden State Warriors. Bade indicates that he is heading to Chicago for a workout next. The interview is below, courtesy of audioBoo. If you missed my story on Travis' road to the NBA Draft, you can read it here.


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