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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, December 27, 2013

Oakland vs. Defiance College pregame notes

Oakland concludes its six-game homestand with a tip against Division III Defiance College Friday at the O'rena. The game, against Oakland coach Greg Kampe's hometown school, tips off at 7 p.m. and can be seen on Horizon League Network, here.

- Regardless of Friday's outcome, Oakland (4-10) will finish the Division I portion of its non-conference schedule 3-10. Friday is Defiance's first regular-season game against a Division I opponent since a 2006 loss at Oakland, though the Yellow Jackets are 3-7 all-time against current Horizon League members.
"I'm a Defiance guy," Kampe told the Defiance, Ohio Crescent-News. "I've always had soft spot in my heart for Defiance College. ... I follow Defiance and cheer for them very hard. This is a chance for his kids to get into a Division I arena. I know what that is when you're coaching a team that's not Division I to play in a Division I arena."

- Kampe confirmed Friday guard Duke Mondy could miss as many as four weeks after injuring his knee in a collision against Robert Morris. The nation's leader in steals per game (4.2) did not return to the game after suffering a sprained MCL. Kampe is hopeful the senior, who leads the Horizon League in assists (5.2 apg.) will miss just one week of action.
"He's a very good player, one of our best players," Kampe told the Crescent-News. "It's been tough to lose five scholarship players in one year, it's never happened to me before. That's been difficult."

Kampe said Friday Clarkston native Mitch Baenziger will get the start in Mondy's absence. Baenziger has started twice this season and has five double-digit scoring games. He is fifth in the Horizon League in 3-point shooting percentage at 47 percent. 

- Oakland has won all five meetings with Defiance (7-0). The Golden Grizzlies beat the Yellow Jackets in an exhibition last season, 90-77. Defiance has tied a program record for best start to a season in the past 40 years.

- The Yellow Jackets are led by Detroit native Bernard Edwards (Warren Cousino), who has scored in double figures each of the past three games. He had 18 points in the Jackets' win over Transylvania, their last game played, Dec. 14. 

- Per KenPom.com, Oakland is playing at its slowest rate in five years, with an adjusted tempo of 68.1 possessions per game.

- The Golden Grizzlies, who hit the century mark for the first time this season in a 100-94 win over Robert Morris Sunday, are averaging 85.6 points per game at the O'rena this season. The Jackets are allowing just 60.3 points per game thus far this season.

- Known for their high-scoring offense, Sunday's 100-point total was the first time in two years Oakland had been in triple digits since a victory over South Dakota Dec. 1, 2011. The Golden Grizzlies marked a season high 29 assists on 33 field goals, while shooting a season-high 57 percent in Sunday's victory.

- After being outrebounded in its first 10 Division I games of the season, Oakland has won the battle of the boards in each of the past three games with wins over Illinois State and Robert Morris and a loss to Eastern Michigan.

- Oakland's Travis Bader, the reining Horizon League Player of the Week, made 17 3-pointers last weekend in back-to-back games against Eastern Michigan and Robert Morris. Ten 3s in a game is the third-most in league history. (Bader had 21 triples for the week including Oakland's win over Illinois State.)

- Bader needs just 33 points, the same total he scored last week against Eastern Michigan, to become the fourth Oakland player to reach 2,000 points. He is second among active players with 1,967 points and needs just 35 more 3s to set a new NCAA record.

- Oakland freshman point guard Kahlil Felder earned his second Horizon League Freshman of the Week honor this week. He had five or more assists in all three games for the week. Through his first 14 career games, Felder is averaging 4.7 assists per game, third in the conference.

- The Golden Grizzlies kick off their inaugural season in the Horizon League in their next outing, Jan. 2 at Wright State.Oakland is 22-47 all-time against Horizon opponents, 11-11 in the Division I era, after going 1-1 vs. the conference in 2012-13. They beat last year’s regular-season and conference tournament champion Valparaiso, 70-68, at the O’rena. The last four meetings in that series have come down to the final possession. The Crusaders visit the O'rena Jan. 4.

- Episode 2 of "Oakland Basketball All-Access" airs Jan. 3 at 12:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit. If you missed the first episode of the Emmy-nominated series, watch it here.

- Just two weeks away from their first meeting in 10 years, Oakland (14) and Detroit (19) lead the Horizon League in non-conference strength of schedule by RPIratings.com. The conference ranks eighth nationally.

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