Fatigue hitting Grizzlies
Thursday’s tip against No. 2 Ohio State is Oakland’s fifth game against a ranked team. It was originally planned for January during the bye portion of Oakland’s schedule. Due to a scheduling conflict at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio, the game was moved to late December.
“I didn’t want to do it, but I didn’t want to lose the game — $100,000 and Kito playing against (Jared) Sullinger,” Kampe said. “So I said ‘OK.’ At that time, I didn’t know how dead we’d be. ... This was done in September. I didn’t realize that we could turn out to be at the level we are this early.”
The game vs. the Buckeyes is also Oakland's fifth and final game against the Big Ten this season.
“I haven’t worried about that like I am right now. I’m worried about being tired mentally because of who we play and having to get up and get ready for those types of games," Kampe said.
Following an excruciating 103-102 loss to Valparaiso Tuesday, the Grizzlies are lamenting a porous defense that allowed a 63-percent shooting night from the Crusaders, who are usually in the 45-percent neighborhood.
“If we don’t defend against Ohio State, they might get 150,” Kampe said.
"We came out lackadaisical, but it's fatigue. We've got to find a way to survive the fatigue tomorrow and get our rest we're going to get over the break."
The Grizzlies regroup the day after Christmas before shipping out to Shreveport, La., to face Division III-bound Centenary. Kampe seemed confident his team should be able to recuperate on five-days' rest.
The Crusaders were the latest opponent to put immense pressure on Keith Benson, who was limited to just 23 minutes because of foul trouble in his lowest-scoring game of the season.
“I hope they take the Valpo approach,” Kampe said. “Keith Benson scored five and we had 102. We have to stop the other team. They didn’t win because of their gameplan or their approach. They won because they scored 103 points.
“Their defense on Benson didn’t have anything to do with them winning that game. What they did offensively and how they tore us apart ... it was the defensive side of the ball for Oakland.
"If they wants to gimmick against us, go ahead. I don't care if Kito scores. We're going to score points."
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