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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 16, 2012

Matchup confusion caused by logistical miscalculation

If you were at the O’rena Wednesday or read The Oakland Press Thursday, you probably thought Oakland was playing Toledo Saturday at the O’rena. The Grizzlies instead will be hosting MAC East runner-up Buffalo, which was announced Thursday morning and accounted for in the online edition of Wednesday’s game story and blogs.
“I got a phone call at midnight and they asked if we’d be willing to play Buffalo because they couldn’t host and Toledo could,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. “So now, they’re sending Robert Morris to Toledo and Buffalo to us.”
Oakland, which is 18-15, would likely had a more favorable matchup with Toledo.
“I said ‘Yeah, I’m OK with that, until I realized Buffalo was one of the better teams in the MAC,” Kampe joked. “We’re just so happy to be in it and playing at home, I didn’t care.”

The long-time coach also wasn’t concerned with the fact the Bulls are allowing just 67 points per game. He pointed to the contrasting styles of play in the MAC and Summit League for an explanation, feeling confident if the Grizzlies get near Wednesday’s point total, they have a good chance to advance to the third round of the College Insider Tournament.
“If we can get to 85 points, we can win,” Kampe said.
Defensively, Oakland was forced to swtich to a zone defense to counteract Bowling Green’s pick-and-roll offense. That’s a luxary they won’t have Saturday.
“They have a (Travis) Bader-type shooter,” Kampe said of Bulls guard Zach Filzen, who led the MAC in 3-pointers made with three per game. (For comparison, Bader averages 3.4 treys per game, third in the nation.)  “It’s going to be tough to play zone.”
Freshman Corey Petros will be tasked with guarding MAC player of the year Mitchell Watt as Kyle Sikora is expected to play sparingly after spraining his ankle before Wednesday’s game.
“We’re just going to play. I don’t think we’re going to do anything special,” Kampe said. “We’ll double if we have to.”

Planting the seed
According to a Buffalo hoops blog, the Grizzlies are the No. 17 team in the 32-team CIT field, while the Bulls are second. Weber State from the Big Sky conference was the No. 1 overall team and Robert Morris was third.


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