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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.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Looking at Oakland departures in the last season

Ilija Milutinovic is the second player to defect from back-to-back Summit League championship teams. Transfers can be a routine offseason happening with successful teams, and Oakland is no exception.
"You recruit good players and they want to play," Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. "We average about one (transfer) per year."
Here some of the names that have left the program in the past two offseasons:
  • Ilija Milutinovic - Wealth of experience behind Keith Benson and Will Hudson, but personal issues led hm back to Serbia.
  • Ledrick Eackles - Star power couldn't shine bright enough after ankle injury set him back mightily in sophomore season after becoming impactful freshman.
  • Drew Maynard- Never met potential. Freakish athleticism wowed the crowd, but off-the-court issues led to the sidelines his junior season.
  • Jay Thames- Played more sparingly than Milutinovic. Didn't see chance for playing time, transferred to community college.
To be honest, the potential loss of Keith Benson to the NBA draft last season would have had infinitely more of an impact, but fate stepped in on that one. Now, Benson is a potential first-round pick Kampe.
Did I miss anyone? I've only been on the beat for the past two years. Which departures, prior to the past two years, do you think had the most impact on the program?


Blogger Dave Pemberton said...

Tim Williams leaving after the 2007-08 season hurt. Derick Nelson got hurt the following year and Oakland fell in the Summit League title game. With Williams on the roster, Oakland might have won another tournament title. Of course he left due to off the court issues. Williams had a solid two years at South Alabama, averaging 15.8 points as a junior and 12.8 as a senior.

June 17, 2011 at 3:14 PM 

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