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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, February 18, 2012

Darth Bader uses the force for good

  • Everything went Travis Bader’s way soon after he entered Wednesday’s game, as he went 6 for 6 from the floor in the first half. One such basket came as his floater managed to roll off the top of the backboard and down into the cylinder with 6:11 to play before the break. The ball only goes out of bounds if it hits the shot clock or basket brace and Bader’s shot hit neither.
    “I’ve never seen someone make a shot like that across the top of the backboard,” said Golden Grizzlies coach Greg Kampe, in his 28th year at Oakland.
  • Senior Night could’ve ended a bit differently for Reggie Hamilton, as his personal foul sent Southern Utah’s Damon Heuir to the free-throw line for three shots with three seconds left in regulation, where he tied the game and sent it into overtime.
    “The kid made a great play. He jumped into me, got the call and he made three shots. It was a good play on his behalf,” Hamilton said.
    Hamilton nearly broke the tie on his last-second 3 that rimmed out. He personally outscored the Thunderbirds in overtime, 4-3, as did Bader, as Oakland took the 76-68 win.
  • Bader had another 20+-point outing and seems to have found his shot after being pushed into a reserve role where he still plays more than 30 minutes per game. When asked “Do you care if you ever start again?” Bader responded: “Truthfully. No.”
  • Bader has shown off his athleticism as well as range this season, at times throwing down fast-break dunks. But he’s also chased down opponents to prevent them from doing the same, a la the Pistons’ Tayshaun Prince on Reggie Miller in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals. Bader’s latest defensive gem came with 15 minutes to play Wednesday.
    “At practice, I try to get those chase-down blocks and maybe go for a dunk or two,” he said. “I don’t always show it during the games because I’m sticking out around the perimeter. People underestimate my athleticism.”
  • Senior Laval Lucas-Perry used his final year of eligibility to play at Oakland for just this season. When asked if he would play all four years for the Golden Grizzlies, he quickly said with little hesitation: "You know, I would."

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