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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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Slow your role: Oakland takes a different approach

After getting blown out by North Dakota State Wednesday, Oakland coach Greg Kampe made the critical decision to slow the team's offense in an effort to control the game's tempo. The result was a much closer game, trailing by just two at half, albeit a loss to the surging Jackrabbits at South Dakota State. The loss was Oakland's fourth straight, something it hasn't done since 2006-07.
The decision to walk the ball up the court Friday came because the uptempo pace the Grizzlies have become known for had failed them on the defensive end.
"We didn't believe we could come in here and run with them," Kampe said in postgame video from the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls. "We're a very young team and we learned if we play fast, we don't control the ball and we play sloppy. We made a decision tonight, if we're going to compete for a championship, we're going to have to control the tempo and take care of the basketball.
"Maybe in a year or two, these guys can go back to playing the pace they like to play. ... If we had done that tonight, they would have beaten us 120-80."
Other positives to take from the game: Oakland outrebounded the Jackrabbits, 29-27, and had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio (+1) for just the fifth time this season. The Grizzlies also shot 49 percent from the floor.  Corey Petros reached double figures scoring with 12 points for the first time in five games. Drew Valentine got his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
More woe: Travis Bader failed to connect on a 3-point shot for the second straight game. Reggie Hamilton and Drew Valentine played all 40 minutes, while fellow starters Laval Lucas-Perry and Bader were forced to play 37 minutes apiece. The Grizzlies bench contributed just two points in 19 minutes to the cause, as Corey Petros was forced to sit because of foul trouble. Petros scored eight points early, but picked up his third foul with seven minutes remaining before halftime. Ryan Bass played just six minutes in second game back after sitting out six games due to concussion symptoms.

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