Travis Bader-Nate Wolters matchup as good as advertised
The entertaining subplot to Oakland’s last close victory, last Saturday over South Dakota State at the O’rena, featured two of the Summit League’s best players and nation’s best scorers in Travis Bader and Nate Wolters. Four NBA scouts were expected to attend to see Wolters, an NBA hopeful receiving much critical acclaim in his senior season, and Bader, the nation’s leading 3-point shooter. Fans were even speculating how many points the duo, which both wear No. 3, would combine to score.
The game was even on TV to boot, and didn’t disappoint viewers, as Bader’s 31 points were only bested by Wolters’ 36-point outing.
“It was a TV game and it was good for the league and both universities,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. “They’re great players and they showed they were great players. It was tremendous basketball. A lot of people have emailed me to tell me how much fun it was to watch and see points being scored in college basketball.”
At one point, Wolters, who had two days earlier topped Bader’s Division I-best 47-point game with a 53-pointer of his own, split two Oakland defenders, going around the back to get the lay-in and the foul.
“Back in my day, those were things you did in warmups, but you never thought about trying in the game,” Kampe said. “That was very impressive. It just shows how confident he is and he plays with an aura of how good he is. And he is.
“He’s very unassuming. He shakes and he walks and he very rarely changes expression. I saw him grimace a little bit when Bader made one of his 3s like ‘Are we going to stop this guy.’ He wanted to get mad and show emotion, but he didn’t. That’s probably the only time we’ve played them and saw any expression from him.”
Saturday’s showdown could be the last time Kampe and the Golden Grizzlies see Wolters, in person anyway, barring a showdown in the Summit League tournament, where they met in the 2011 semifinals.
“Hopefully we get to see him one more time and then he’ll be a memory,” Kampe said. “A bad one.”