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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.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oakland says goodbye to two more players

After a promising start to his Oakland career, Blake Cushingberry was sidelined first by a knee injury and then beset by academic issues in his return campaign last season. His time at Oakland is officially over, having been released from the team when his winter semester grades weren't up to par.
"We paid for him to go to school in the winter," Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. "And he didn't get it done.
"That close to graduation is an absolute shame."
Additionally, Oakland recently learned it would be without Viktoras Merkevicius, a 6-foot-9 center from Lithuania via California prep school. Merkevicius is now the second 2012 commit to not meet NCAA clearinghouse academic standards and will now attend a two-year junior college.
In May, it was learned Michael Lewis from Slidell, La., had failed to meet those standards, leaving Detroit Crockett's Lloyd Neely the only Golden Grizzlies recruit to make it to campus for next season.
"We knew Mike wasn't going to make it, but we were devastated by this," Kampe said.
Seven-footer Kyle Sikora also transferred to Stetson in the Daytona Beach, Fla., area to be closer to home.
Dayton transfer Ralph Hill and West Virginia transfer and Saginaw native Tommie McCune both chose Oakland within days of each other this summer. Both will be forced to sit out the 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Red-shirt freshman Korab Imami, who stands 6-foot-11, will be available to Kampe this season. 

Numbers game
Also announced in the Grizzlies' summer media guide, freshman Mitch Baenziger (Clarkston) will get Cushingberry's No. 22, while McCune will wear Reggie Hamilton's No. 23. Also, Providence transfer Duke Mondy, who will play this season after sitting out 2011-12, will wear No. 10. Neely will have No. 12 and Hill keeps No. 50, which he wore with the Flyers.


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