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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.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Reggie Hamilton’s big nights aren’t problematic, if Oakland is winning

With another 30-point outing, this time behind seven 3-pointers Saturday against Oral Roberts, Reggie Hamilton improved his scoring average to 23.7 points per game, good enough for second in the country. His premier scoring talent is reminiscent of former Oakland standout Mike Helms, who scored 27 points per game in 2002-03, finishing third in the nation and earning Mid-Con player of the year honors.
“Thirty-four years of stats have shown me that when you have one of the top scorers in the country, you don’t win,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe said on “The Greg Kampe Show” on WXOU last week.
With Helms leading the nation in scoring for much of the season, the Grizzlies were still losing. They were 17-11 in 2002-03 and just 13-17 the following season.
“That’s a scar that never healed,” Kampe said. “I care that Reggie plays well and we win.”
Hamilton is the only Oakland player to reach double figures in each game this season and has scored at least 20 points in 10 of his last 11 games. Although his scoring accounts for 30 percent of Oakland’s overall, Kampe was hesitant to say the Grizzlies’ scoring is imbalanced.
“We have five guys averaging in double figures,” Kampe said. “With (Ryan) Bass’ emergence, that could be six before long. … If you’re averaging 25 on a team that only scores 60, that’s almost half. And that’s not good.
“I like that Reggie’s been able to score that many and not have to take 30 shots to get there.”
Hamilton represents just 28 percent of Oakland’s field goal attempts. He does, though, have more than 100 more attempts than the team’s next most-frequent shooter, Travis Bader, and leads the nation in attempts, according to StatSheet. 
Helms went undrafted in 2004 and has bounced around various professional leagues including the CBA. The Grizzlies made their first NCAA tournament a year later as a sub. 500 team the following season. Hamilton and Oakland's fates remains to be seen. 
More stats on Hamilton:
It’s not just his shooting, which he’s been doing at a 43-percent pace, Hamilton Saturday also became just the Grizzlies’ second player in the program’s Division I era to reach 100 assists in consecutive seasons. Hamilton has reduced the turnovers that plagued him early last season, but has the Summit League’s 25th-best assist-to-turnover ratio. With 79 giveaways, Hamilton has made 27 percent of Oakland’s turnovers. Conversely, he’s fourth in the nation with 54 steals.
While third in attempted free throws, Hamilton leads the nation with 144 free throws made.
When the list of finalists for the Bob Cousy award for point guards was released last month, Hamilton was omitted in favor of familiar names like Detroit’s Ray McCallum and Michigan freshman Trey Burke.

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