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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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How good could Oakland be when it's hitting shots?

Aside from unprecedented depth, Oakland's ability to shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor was heavily promoted prior to the season. The depth is being tested regularly, as Ryan Bass missed his fourth straight game with concussion symptoms and the team dismissed junior guard Blake Cushinberry last week.
That leaves the shooting to be addressed. Besides clutch defensive stops, the Golden Grizzlies could have helped themselves back into the lead Tuesday by shooting better.
Averaging just 44 percent from the floor entering Tuesday, the Grizzlies shot just 42 percent against the Wildcats, who have been holding visitors to just 38-percent shooting at McKale Center.
“We haven’t shot well all year,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe told WDFN postgame. “When are we going to start making shots?" 
In addition, the Grizzlies slumped just a bit from 3-point range, going 9 of 32 against the Wildcats.
“You’re not going to beat a team shooting 30 percent from the 3," Kampe said. "We got a lot of good looks.” 
Travis Bader broke a 1-for-18, two-game slump from long range, hitting three 3s. The downside: Bader had 14 attempts, nearly half of Oakland's attempts.
The poor shooting led Kampe to suggest: “I wonder how good this team can be if we start making shots.” 
Chances are they would be unstoppable. They shot a season-high 52 percent against Ohio, but hasn't shot better than 44 percent in the four games since.
Never one to hold back, Reggie Hamilton (12 of 21) was the only Oakland player to shoot better than 50 percent Tuesday. He finished with a game-high 31 points, his second-best outing against a "BCS" opponent.  
"We have some great shooters," Hamilton told WDFN after the game. "You have to shoot and whatever happens, happens.” 

Notes: Kampe switched his starting lineup for the third time Tuesday, inserting Laval Lucas-Perry against his former team (he played five games in 2007 before transferring to Michigan) in favor of freshman Dante Williams, who started the previous eight games. Lucas-Perry scored 11 points (seven from the free-throw line) in 29 minutes. He has reached double figures scoring in  nine games this season. The previous lineup was 6-2 with wins over Utah Valley, Tennessee and Valparaiso. Hamilton, Bader, Corey Petros and Drew Valentine have started every game this season.
... Oakland failed in its potentially last chance to defeat a "BCS" team twice in the same season with Tuesday's 85-73 loss to Arizona. It hasn't beaten a "BCS" team other than Oregon or Tennessee since 2003, when the Golden Grizzlies beat Texas A&M at the O'rena.  
... Freshman Corey Petros fouled out scoreless in his second consecutive game. 
“Teams are starting to scheme against Corey and he’s struggling with it," Kampe said. "Part of it is him being a freshman and he’ll learn from it and get better.” Kampe, however, was encouraged with his other freshman center, Kyle Sikora, who scored two points in 11 minutes.  
... Oakland moved up two spots to No. 19 in the latest Mid-Major poll, while conference foe South Dakota State made its first appearance of the season at No. 25. Oral Roberts and North Dakota State are the only other Summit League teams receiving votes.  


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