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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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oakland transfer Duke Mondy continues to impress, this time in game action

Oakland coach Greg Kampe has been doting on Duke Mondy nearly as long as the Providence transfer has been on the Golden Grizzlies’ bench. After the point guard’s first game in Oakland black and gold gray, it didn’t stop.
Mondy made a cross-court pass from outside the arc, hitting forward Drew Valentine in stride for the easy lay-in. The crowd went “Ooh.” And so did Kampe.
“He reminds me a lot of (former Michigan guard) Darius Morris,” Kampe said of the 6-foot-4 Mondy. “With that kind of size, he can deliver that kind of pass.” ‘
Backcourt mate Travis Bader noted Mondy’s ability to see the court in explaining his own numbers.
The veteran coach did have one critique for his new point guard, whom he has compared to Oakland great Johnathon Jones, who once led the NCAA in assists.
“He’s got to understand with his size, this isn’t the Big East, where he would shoot those wraparound jumpers. He doesn’t have to do that here.
“At 206 pounds, you don’t need those up-and-unders. He probably would have shot six more free throws if he had been strong with the ball instead of trying to flip ‘em in.”
Mondy was 6 of 8 from the free-throw line, scoring 13 points and dishing seven assists in Tuesday’s win over Davenport.
Mondy admitted to being rusty after sitting out for a season, and his confusion with one play led to him being stripped of the ball at midcourt as he had his head turned toward Kampe away from the basket.
“He’s going to be fine,” Kampe said. “Duke is a very smart basketball player. He’s really got a feeling and an understanding of the game. He’s very easy to coach. I just wish he had six years instead of two.
“Duke is just scratching the surface. By the end of January, he’s going to know our stuff and run it and not have to look over at the bench and ask questions.”
How did Oakland’s other newbees do:  
Raphael Carter: The junior college transfer had four points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes.
“He played extremely well tonight,” Kampe said. “He played his role and what it’s going to be. He’ll probably get somewhere between 18 and 22 minutes. He really played hard.
“He’s long and athletic and went out and guarded their big very well out on the perimeter. He’s going to make some exciting plays. As we get to know him better, we’re going to start throwing alley-oops to him like the ones we used to run to (Keith) Benson. He’ll really excite the crowd. He’s really going to really be an important player for us.”
Tuesday, Carter had two dunks that got crowd up, one coming on a putback attempt.
Lloyd Neely: The reigning Mr. PSL from Detroit Crockett had six points and three rebounds in 14 minutes.
“For a freshman, he wasn’t bad,” Kampe said. “He’s got a big body, he’s just got to learn how to use it. He’s got to learn how to play hard every day. He didn’t do that in his high school career. He was so gifted and so much better than everybody. We’ve had a lot of players like him. You can just see the talent oozing out of him.
“He’s got a big butt and it’s hard to find guys athletic as he is that have that. You saw him use that a few times tonight where he just bounced people to the ground. And there he is with a smile on his face.
“He’s got a great future, but his freshman year is going to be hot and cold. “
Korab Imami: He didn’t enter the game until Kampe began emptying the bench, playing just seven minutes, collecting two points and two rebounds.
“He played pretty well for his seven or eight minutes," Kampe said. "Better than he’s played in practice and he probably took a step forward tonight.”
Not new, but ….
Kampe continues to call Dante Williams the team’s X-factor: “If he gives us what he gave us tonight, We’re going to be a really good basketball team. We had a defensive possession where he guarded a wing, switched off to front in the post and two passes later, I don’t know how he got there, but he was guarding their point guard. All in the same possession. He’s got length and athleticism and he looked more comfortable with the ball.”
Williams contributed five points and two rebounds in 15 minutes.
“It was a good indication of how he’s going to play for us and he’s going to be a very important player for us.”
(Bait and) uniform switch
It used to be that Oakland reserved its gray uniforms for big games. But the Golden Grizzlies donned their alternates for Tuesday’s exhibition opener. Kampe said the team will be wearing the gray get-up more often this season. 
Watch video highlights of Tuesday's win here 

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