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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.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Grizzlies receive first second-place nod

College basketball blog Rush the Court is giving the Summit League to ... Oral Roberts in its season published Saturday. The site goes as far as to say "This might be one of the most talented ORU teams in the last ten years, and it’s their championship to lose."
The graduation of Derick Nelson and Johnathon Jones seems to have played a part in the RTC evaluation:

“(the Golden Eagles) are healthy and much deeper from a stellar recruiting class. In addition, IUPUI and Oakland, their two main rivals, have taken a step back — losing their best players to graduation.”

Apparently, the author hasn’t heard too much about Oakland center Keith Benson. However, Benson was chosen for the all-league team and later acknowledged as a potential first-round NBA pick.
RTC also says if the Golden Eagles’ key players hadn’t sustained injuries, they would have won the league last season, also.

“The Golden Eagles could have captured this conference championship last year had they been healthy. Just a recap of last season: ORU lost their first and second string point guards to season-ending ACL tears; they lost their backup center to an ACL tear; their shooting guard quit the team; their best shooter, Warren Niles, played with a broken hand all season; their sixth man, Kyron Stokes, needed ankle surgery and played through the pain; they had to add two walk-ons just to dress a full roster; they had only seven scholarship players available, and only five who were fully healthy—yet they still won 20 games and upset #12 New Mexico, Missouri (with the game-winner below), and Stanford.”

RTC's predicted order of finish AND records
1. Oral Roberts (15-3)
2. Oakland (14-4)
3. IUPUI (14-4)
4. South Dakota State (10-8)
5. North Dakota State (9-9)
6. IPFW (8-10)
7. UMKC (7-11)
8. Western Illinois (6-12)
9. Southern Utah (4-14)
10. Centenary (2-16)


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