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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, January 4, 2012

Rotation in line for a kick in the Bass

Oakland has now lost five in a row for the first time since the season it miraculously won the Summit League (former Mid-Con) in 2004-05 as a seven seed and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time. Coach Greg Kampe sounded like he was ready for a change, but didn’t exactly spell it out. The only thing we know is backup guard Ryan Bass will be getting more minutes.
“You lose five in a row and obviously you need to make some changes,” Kampe said. “There will be some changes when we play in two days. Ryan Bass is a spark plug and he was really playing well when he got injured and he was moving into some major minutes. When you miss six games, it’s hard to get back into your flow. … He was pretty good in the second half and he brings some defensive pressure to the table and he also brings quickness with the basketball. You’ll see him have a chance to get more minutes now.”
The Grizzlies were 2-3 without Bass, with one of those wins coming against Rochester College.
Bass had six points in 16 minutes after going scoreless against South Dakota State following his nine-point return at North Dakota State.
Kampe repeatedly notes Bass was showing positive signs of his ability to score as well as his attentive defensive efforts during Bass’ five-game absence. Bass was 3 of 7 shooting and had a career-high five assists Tuesday.
Only eight teams qualify for the league’s postseason tournament in early March. Kampe didn’t have time to think about that following Tuesday’s loss to long-time rival Oral Roberts.
“Have we even qualified for the conference tournament?,” he responded when asked (by me) about playing from a low seed in March. “ I’m just going to worry about Western Illinois and trying to figure this out.”
It’s not likely Oakland slips past eight, where it currently resides at 2-3, past UMKC (1-4) and newcomer South Dakota (0-5).
The Leathernecks visit at 7 p.m. Thursday.  

The Good: Reggie Hamilton had his first turnover-free game of the season and Oakland also coughed up the rock a season-low seven times as well. They forced 18 Oral Roberts turnovers for 18 points as well. Eight of Hamilton’s game-high 28 points came in the final 1:25, well after the game had been decided. Kampe denounced the final minutes as “pickup ball” and “garbage.”… Freshman Corey Petros had 10 points, reaching double figures for the ninth time this season and second consecutive game after four games without doing so. … Travis Bader broke an 0-for-9 slump from 3-point range, going 3 for 6 from long range.
The Bad and the Ugly: The Grizzlies scored a season- first-half low 26 points Tuesday led by Hamilton’s ineffective 1-of-7 shooting. They were just 39 percent from the floor in the half as a team. … The Golden Eagles became the latest team to scorch the nets on Oakland, shooting a season-best 69 percent from 3-point range. … Petros was the only Grizzlies player to miss a free throw, going 0 for 6. The rest of the team was 11 for 11, led by Hamilton’s 6-for-6 effort. … Oakland’s bench was outscored, 24-8, with all but two of those points coming from Bass.

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