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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, November 16, 2012

Oakland coach Greg Kampe shakes up lineup prior to Pitt

Dante Williams will be taking a seat
Three games into the young season, Oakland coach Greg Kampe has made his first alteration to the Grizzlies’ starting lineup, although it’s not entirely unexpected. Kampe made the call to pull transfer Raphael Carter into the starting five in place of sophomore Dante Williams. Carter has played sparingly in the past two games after returning from injury and Kampe is looking to get the junior 15-20 minutes per game.
“The most minutes he has played is seven,” Kampe said. “The only way he’s going to get better is to play some minutes. If I start him and get mad at him and sit him, that should still guarantee him 10 minutes.”
Kampe said Carter is fully recovered from the injury, suffered in practice before the season-opener. Carter played spot minutes at Louisiana and Boise State.
“You don’t bring a guy in as a junior and not play him,” Kampe said. “He was doing a nice job and then he got hurt.”
Kampe hopes Williams can build his confidence and said playing in a reserve capacity could be the best thing for Williams.
“He makes too many mental errors,” Kampe said. “Those always seem to bite us at the wrong time.”
Meanwhile, junior Ryan Bass has been thriving off the bench of late. He had 11 points Tuesday at Boise State in just 10 minutes of action.  
“We’re going to put him in the game and tell him to score,” Kampe said. “He didn’t shoot it very well the first two games, but he was 4 of 5 in this last game.
“That’s what you do with a guy in his position. If he’s making shots, you keep him in. If it’s not going in, you take him out. He’s very comfortable and he likes the idea of going in there and having to go in there score.”
With Carter making his first start, it’s natural to wonder when freshman Lloyd Neely will make the transition. The former Mr. PSL from Detroit Crockett has been held scoreless in each of the past two games, failing to collect a rebound in either game.
“Lloyd’s got a bright, bright future,” Kampe said. “But he’s a freshman. Physically, he’s not quite ready to play the pace we play. The amount of up and down in this game, it’s just so fast. He just has to learn the speed of the game. He’s going to be a really good player and we’re excited to have him here at Oakland.
In other news from the post, junior Joey Asbury has surpassed freshman Korab Imami on the depth chart. Imami did not travel with the team on its first two road games of the season.
“I’m very pleased with (Asbury),” Kampe said. “He’s ahead of Korab, but a lot can happen throughout the course of the year.”

Nothing ‘left’ to wonder about
Oakland cemented a piece of its future with the signings of point guards Kahlil Felder (Detroit Pershing) and Nick Daniels (Westland John Glenn) as well as forward Jalen Hayes (Lansing Sexton).
“This was a huge recruiting year for us,” Kampe said. “And we hit a home run.
“We’re just extremely excited about this class.”
Each player is also left-handed.
“They can defend, they're athletic and they can score,” Kampe said.
Daniels is 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, and is 300 points shy of setting his school's all-time scoring record and is a 3-point threat, according to a program press release.
Felder, 5-foot-9, 165-pounds, averaged 19 points and more than seven assists per game last season.
Hayes, 6-foot-7, 200 pounds is the latest Sexton product from the Golden Grizzlies’ pipeline to Lansing Sexton, which brought Jordan Howenstine, Drew Valentine and assistant coach Saddi Washington to Rochester.
Hayes runs the floor well and is an excellent finisher around the basket, according to the statement, and has led Sexton to back-to-back Class B state championships.
“We needed this class,” Kampe said. “The core of our team is in their junior years. That will allow this team to learn from them as freshmen.” 


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