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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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Oakland announces 2013-14 radio broadcasts, Mario Impemba's departure

Oakland formally announced 16 radio broadcasts on WDFN-AM (1130) for the 2013-14 season as well as Mario Impemba's departure from the broadcast team.
The Oakland press release says Impemba has scheduling conflicts with his obligations to the Detroit Tigers and Fox Sports Detroit. Impemba tweet Golden Grizzlies fan Matt Dudek Tuesday saying "My plate became too full."
Neal Ruhl will move over to take play by play duties in Impemba's absence. He joined the voice of the Tigers on Oakland radio in 2009-10. 
Impemba, an Emmy Award winner, spent the past seven seasons on the Grizzlies' broadcast team. He can still be heard on the latest installment of Oakland's "All Access" program on Fox Sports Detroit. 
As for the games themselves, each of Oakland's road games can be heard on WDFN (and IheartRadio) as in season's past, with the exception of the Nov. 26 tip at Western Michigan. 
The Broncos host Northern Illinois in a football game the same night, precluding the station from carrying the Oakland-Western Michigan men's basketball game. 
Ruhl, who also serves as Oakland's social media and broadcast coordinator, said Oakland is in discussion with WDFN to broadcast the game as a web stream. 
Although it's not technically a road game, WDFN will carry Oakland's matchup with Michigan State Dec. 14 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. 
Additionally, Ruhl said a weekly coach's show on WDFN  featuring Oakland coach Greg Kampe is still a possible addition to the Golden Grizzlies' broadcast package.

Tommie McCune impresses in Oakland debut

It's been a long time coming, but sophomore Tommie McCune finally made his Oakland debut after sitting out for a season (and being kicked off the team and later reinstated), scoring a game-high 22 points and pulling down seven rebounds in Oakland's exhibition win over Tiffin Tuesday at the O'rena.
Oakland coach Greg Kampe stressed patience in evaluating McCune, who played just 58 minutes over 13 games before transferring from West Virginia:
“I don’t think we can think anything of Tommie,” Kampe told The Oakland Post. “It’s his first game. He hasn’t played in two years. He’s a top-100 recruit. We’ve never had that before.”
McCune also made a memorable 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to extend the Golden Grizzlies' lead at the break. Watch the clip below of the Horizon League Network broadcast:

And check out his reaction via HLN screengrab:

McCune told The Oakland Post: "I probably just got lucky. I actually thought (Travis) Bader was going to shoot it, but he passed it and I just put it up."

PHOTO GALLERY: Oakland beats Tiffin

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Infamous quotes by Oakland men's basketball coach Greg Kampe

If I missed your favorite Kampe-ism, be sure to leave it in the comments section.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Oakland fans experiencing 'The Weems Effect'

Photo courtesy of @BrandonWeems10

Oakland coach Greg Kampe cited a "vibrant" personality and an established recruiting network as the primary reasons for hiring new assistant Brandon Weems.
The first full dose of "The Weems Effect" didn't come in the form of a recruit, however. Friend and former high school teammate LeBron James put the Grizz Gang on notice in what is likely the most high-profile Twitter shoutout directed at Oakland University in ... ever.

Kampe downplayed the relationship in a live chat with The Oakland Press last week when a fan wondered if James could be expected at the O'rena this season:
"Obviously Brandon and LeBron are very close. Brandon is a young, vibrant and outgoing person who we believe will be a great recruiter for us. I have no idea if his friends will come to our games or not, but we expect great things from Brandon as an assistant coach."
Later that day, with James' Miami Heat in town, Weems announced he was on his way to The Palace to see his friend.
The Heat doesn't visit Auburn Hills again until Dec. 8. 
Weems is making roughly $50,000 on a one-year deal with Kampe's staff, but it's difficult to put a price tag on the exposure that comes with having your program mentioned by an NBA superstar.

Oakland coach Greg Kampe discusses end of series with Michigan

In the Horizon League Network video below (beginning at the 9:05 mark), Oakland coach Greg Kampe answers a fan question about the possible resumption of the series with Michigan. The teams used to meet each season, but Michigan coach John Beilein made the decision to put the series on hiatus following the 2011-12 season.
Kampe attributed Beilein's decision to a change in the coach's scheduling philosophy, adding he can't blame Beilein.
The schools have met eight times with Michigan owning a 7-1 lead in the all-time series. Oakland did steal a 97-90 win at the O'rena Nov. 17, 2000.

Kampe also noted Oakland's new contract to play Michigan State, which begins this season with a game at The Palace Dec. 14, is a six-year deal.
Later in the video, Kampe discusses the uniqueness of the O'rena and its low ceilings as well as the circumstances that have led him to stay at Oakland for 30 years.

Video from Horizon League Media Day

Greg Kampe photo gallery

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Media Day

Monday, October 14, 2013

Oakland continues promoting rivalry with University of Detroit

A week ago, Oakland's athletics department poked at the school's budding rivalry with new Horizon League mate University of Detroit in advance of their men's soccer meeting by referring to UDM as "that school down the road."
Days later, Oakland men's basketball coach Greg Kampe took it a step further, removing an attendee of Oakland practice for wearing a UDM shirt.

Kampe further addressed the subject later in the day during a live chat with The Oakland Press.
"A young man was sitting there watching practice wearing a shirt that I did not want in our building," Kampe said. "I told him he is welcome at any practice he ever wants to come to, but he can't wear that shirt, so he needed to leave. He handled it well, but I'm sure I'm not one of his biggest fans now. We've always had an open practice policy, but maybe I have to add a dress code to that."
Naturally, you won't see any Oakland athletes wearing UDM shirts, or of any of school for that matter, as the practice was long ago banned by Kampe, then-interim athletic director in 2006.
Sure, there was animosity between the programs in the past, but Oakland hasn't quite lived up to its end of the bargain of the rivalry in men's hoops. Detroit owns an 11-1 all-time record against the Golden Grizzlies, although the teams haven't met since 2003. 
The teams' forced re-unification begins Jan. 11 at Detroit and the Titans return to the O'rena, a previous sticking point for Kampe in scheduling a rematch, for a Valentine's Day (Feb. 14) showdown on ESPN.
As the game was announced in mid-July, Kampe was urging Grizz Gang members to pack the stands, reducing the number of available tickets for visiting fans. He even offered to pay for busses to ship fans to Detroit for the first meeting.
As the days and minutes tick down to the first meeting in a decade, there will likely be more trash talk to come. From both sides.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Live chat with Oakland coach Greg Kampe Oct. 10 at 3 p.m.

Join Oakland University men's basketball coach Greg Kampe at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, as he takes questions from fans about the team's move to the Horizon League, the Golden Grizzlies' daunting non-league schedule (which features: North Carolina, UCLA, Gonzaga, Cal and Indiana), Travis Bader's push to break the NCAA 3-point record and more! 
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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Oakland practice photo gallery: Oct. 1, 2013