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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.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is sixth-man role the Wright fit?

In attempt to ease senior shooting guard Larry Wright back from a lingering ankle injury, Oakland coach Greg Kampe has been bringing guard Larry Wright off the bench. Nothing changed in the Grizzlies’ record-breaking win at North Dakota State except Wright’s production.

In 24 minutes off the pine Saturday, Wright scored 20 points, including 4-of-4 shooting from 3-point range in one of his highest-scoring games of the season.

“I came back a little slow at South Dakota (State), but that happens when you have an injury,” Wright said. “You lose your rhythm and everything. (Coach) Kampe was on me to keep shooting and get my rhythm back.

“I was looking to be aggressive, that’s when I play my best. I wasn’t trying to pass it off, I was trying to force the issue and it worked out for me.”

Wright has started 16 games this season. He sat out Jan. 6 at IUPUI and played sparingly in his first game back vs. Western Illinois. Freshman Travis Bader assumed Wright’s position in the starting lineup Dec. 30 at Oral Roberts, where Wright played just three minutes. Kampe likes the way Bader helps the team get going from the tip.

“We’ve really been coming out in games strong,” Kampe said. “Larry’s a senior. He’s meant a lot to the program and it’s basically up to him (whether he starts).”

Kampe said he owes it to start Wright if the senior so desires, but added “if it doesn’t work out, if it changes the way we’ve been playing, we’ll make the changes,” Kampe said.

Kampe said he and Wright met Monday about Wright’s role with the team.

“He just looked at me and he hasn’t told me yet,” Kampe said Tuesday.

Based on Saturday’s play, it looks like playing off the bench might be an ideal spot for Wright, who has shown glimpses of just how sweet his shooting touch can be in the past two seasons. He seems receptive to the change.

“It wouldn’t bother me,” Wright said. “We have Travis Bader playing good. Reggie (Hamilton) has been very good at the point. Everybody is playing well right now.”

Early indications point to Wright coming off the bench again Thursday against Oral Roberts.

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