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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.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Grizzlies adjust to tournament ball; Utah State coach not happy with Sunday game

Oakland has now played three games, six halves, with the special CollegeInsider.com Tournament ball. Despite early concerns, the Golden Grizzlies have only had one poor shooting performance -- the second half of Tuesday’s game against Rice, when Oakland was just 7 of 26 and an incredible 0 for 7 from 3-point range.
“We’ve shot it very well except for one half,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. “There’s no complaints from me. Players are always looking for excuses and something to complain about.”
Guard Reggie Hamilton, who set a tournament record with 39 points in the Grizzlies’ opener against Bowling Green, still isn’t a fan of the new ball, but admitted it hasn’t slowed his game.
“It has a slippery feel,” Hamilton said. “When the ball gets wet, it’s super slippery.”
And speaking of Oakland’s quarterfinal being played Tuesday rather than Wednesday as the other three were, Kampe explained Oakland had the option of playing either night, but chose Tuesday in order for Oakland University President Gary Russi to attend.

New vocabulary
The Utah State broadcasting team became incensed after swearing could be heard originating from the Loyola Marymount bench in Wednesday’s semifinal. The duo may have to walk out on the job after they hear Kampe’s brand of coaching.
“I don’t change,” Kampe said about coaching in the conservative state of Utah. “I would prefer they lock me out of Utah so we don’t ever have to go back. If this is the last game Oakland ever plays in Utah, I’d be pleased.”
Southern Utah, located in Cedar City, which is by far the longest road trip Oakland takes each season, is dropping off the Grizzlies’ conference schedule after this season, so it’s quite possible Kampe won’t have to go back. Although, it’s unclear if the Grizzlies’ meeting with Utah Valley early this season was part of a home-and-home contract.
Sunday’s game with the Aggies was supposed to be played Saturday, but is being delayed because of the Western Athletic Conference gymnastics championships being held in the 10,000-seat Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Saturday.
Utah State coach Stew Morrill pleaded with fans to attend Sunday’s game.
“Obviously in this valley you would rather not play on Sunday, but you do what they tell you,” he told the Herald Journal of Logan, Utah. “You can’t play Saturday, but you can play Sunday and have a home game, you take it and run. We are a state school. Hopefully those that don’t like it will forgive us. Go to church and come to the game.”
Could religious observation dilute the home-court advantage that has helped propel the Aggies to wins in 99 of their last 105 home games?

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