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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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Greg Kampe would be sorry to see Oral Roberts leave Summit League

The Summit League held its annual conference call with coaches Tuesday. Greg Kampe was asked about the possibility of long-time rival Oral Roberts leaving the Summit League for the Southland Conference (as transcribed by Mike Brown of the Tulsa World):
"That’s life. I don’t want ORU to leave because I have all the respect for Mike Carter and Scott Sutton and what they do. They’re a tremendous asset to our league. We’ve had tremendous games with them. We’ve had championship games that have gone down to buzzer-beaters that have been highlighted by ESPN that have brought great notoriety to our league. I think our fan base wants to beat Oral Roberts and I think Oral Roberts’ fan base wants to beat Oakland." 
Former Mid-Con rival Valparaiso left for the Horizon League in 2007.
"It takes a while to build those rivalries, so to lose that, I think in the short term would not be good, but when Valpo left, a lot of people wondered what would happen and the league is bigger and stronger than it’s ever been. If Oral Roberts leaves, I’ll cheer for them every time they don’t play one of our league teams, but our league’s gonna grow and get bigger and better."
Valparaiso is on Oakland's schedule for the second year in a row, as the Grizzlies travel to Indiana Dec. 17.  
Golden Eagles coach Scott Sutton is keeping his team in check after the smattering of preseason polls unanimously picked his team to win the conference title. 
"We haven’t done anything yet. ... All we’ve done is get beat by Oakland about five or six straight times the past two years, so they’d better be hungry. Obviously, on paper, we have a chance to be very good because of the experience we have coming back, but we haven’t been to the NCAA tournament (since 2008) and believe me, I remind them of that if not daily, almost every other day. So I think they’re very grounded and very hungry."
Fans are going to have to wait several weeks to see if the Golden Eagles can back the hype. Oakland and Oral Roberts meet for the first time this season Jan. 3 at the O'rena.

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