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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 2, 2012

Travis Bader transitions back to starting lineup, tries to differentiate from Erik Kangas

Travis Bader can dunk, too. The Oakland Press photo
Oakland sharp-shooter Travis Bader earned honorable mention all-conference honors Thursday and likely should have been a second-teamer, but that debate is for another entry.
Bader didn’t skip a beat after being reinserted into the starting lineup for the final two games of the regular season after playing 12 games off the bench following a cold start to the season shooting. Oakland coach Greg Kampe waited for Bader to catch fire and sent him ablaze back into the starting five.
“When I was coming off the bench, I got to watch the flow of the game and could see how it started and what I needed to do when I came in,” Bader said. “It’s still the same. I’m still going out there with great energy and enthusiasm knowing if I have an open shot I’m going to take it and play great defense.
“It’s nice being out there with the guys.”
Bader was still routinely playing 35 minutes or more per game from the bench. His return to the starting lineup should make it easier for Kampe to give him a rest.
“It’s nice to have someone come off the bench and score for you, but what was happening was, he was going into the game at the 17-minute mark and never coming out again,” Kampe said. “That’s not good.”
Bader is just the second Oakland player to reach 100 3s in a season (104) after former Oakland sharpshooter Erik Kangas. So, it’s natural Bader is being compared to the former Oakland sniper. But Bader has been getting that since his freshman campaign. Bader spent his red-shirt season in 2009-10 watching film of the recently-departed Kangas.
“It’s great for people to compare me to him,” Bader said. “But I’m my own person and my own player.”
Bader could further set himself apart with a change in style, which he’s planning for the offseason.
“I’d like to work on (becoming a slasher), maybe in the offseason to become more of an overall player instead of just a shooter,” Bader said. “If people saw me as a total player, they (would have) to defend me differently.”
Bader certainly has the athleticism to make the adjustment, as seen in his dunks and layup-saving blocks. But as long as he keeps making 3s in buckets, the Kangas comparisons are probably unshakable.

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