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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, January 17, 2012

Grizzlies find another European import

Oakland has lined up 6-foot-8 power forward Viktoras Merkevicius from Lithuania, who is currently playing for Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley, Calif., a northern suburb of Los Angeles.
According to assistant coach David Rice, Merkevicius is averaging 12.5 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 25 minutes per game.
"He's become more of a force defensively inside" in the last year at Stoneridge, Rice said. "He's got a really good motor. He doesn't quit. He's very good on the offensive glass and very athletic."



Merkevciuc said the biggest change would be moving to the "four" after playing center this season for Stoneridge.
Oakland coach Greg Kampe doesn't shy away from European players, most recently inking freshman Korab Imami after it was learned the Grizzlies would be losing senior Ilija Milutinovic to a European pro league in the offseason.
"They know what they're doing," said Merkevicius,who also added he's not afraid to take a jump shot, but prefers to drive aggressively to the basket.
Kampe and the players left a good impression in their first meeting with Merkevicius, who made an official visit Jan. 2.
"(Kampe) is very honest and he says what he thinks, and the players are very friendly, he said. "That's why I chose Oakland."

... Reggie Hamilton won his third Summit League Player of the Week award of the season and fifth overall after a 30-point night at IPFW Saturday in Oakland's only game of the week. Hamilton twice split the award with South Dakota State's Nate Wolters earlier this season.

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