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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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What constitutes a bad loss for Oakland?

At this point, a loss outside of the NCAA tournament will be considered a bad loss for Oakland. But to this point, December’s 103-102 shootout loss to Valparaiso was the worst. It was a product of a maddening schedule, but there were three losses Oakland coach Greg Kampe was unhappy with when he spoke about it earlier this month on “Grizz Talk.”

“It just fit in there. Scheduling cost us that game,” Kampe said of the loss in the final of the Lou Henson Tournament. “We lost by one (to Valpo). We lost by two or three at Wright State.”

The Grizzlies played 11 games in the month of December, one of which was the Rochester College blowout. The heart of the non-conference schedule, Oakland played four ranked teams, beating one – Then-No. 7 Tennessee, Dec. 14.

Oakland had a late 11-point lead dissolve in a three-point loss at Wright State the first week of the season. That came on the heels of a productive showing at then-No.14 Purdue.
The Grizzlies (22-9) suffered six of their losses t his season to BCS schools, five from the Big Ten alone. Yet there’s one, at Michigan Dec. 18 that really sticks out.

“I would have never scheduled the Michigan game,” Kampe said. “If I sit back now and look at it, it was a real error on my part to play at Purdue, Illinois, Michigan State, Tennessee and Michigan all in a row like that and put Michigan at the back of that. Your in-state games are the important games. You make a name for yourself. You fight, scratch and battle for your program to become something. The kids want to win those games. We recruit against (them), so you want to win those games. We lost by one to MSU, but Michigan beat us pretty good four days after just beating Tennessee. … We played, played played and we didn't play very well at Michigan. (The U-M loss) is my fault, but those other games, I'm disappointed we didn't win.”
“I never thought we'd go undefeated in the league, no one ever has in the 30-year history of the league. With the travel in our league, I don't see that happening.”

A recent report by Bleacher Report cited two bad losses for Oakland. One at IUPUI and the other at home to Valparaiso. The site called the Grizzlies’ wins at Tennessee and home against the Jaguars as the good wins for the group, ranked No. 6 in the most recent mid-major poll.

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