PREGAME NOTES: Oakland at Detroit
The natural rivals have been forced to put their differences aside by Oakland's acceptance into the Horizon League and fans have trumped up the game in the days and hours leading up to the reunification.
(Greg Kampe went into great detail about the deterioration of the programs' relationship on "Grizz Talk" three years ago, but has since looked toward the future of a blossoming rivalry with OU's neighbor to the south.)
There is no shortage of coverage of tonight's game, as it will be broadcast by Horizon League Network (and simulcast on WADL-38) as well as Oakland radio on WDFN-AM (1130) and a live web stream of Detroit's broadcast from 97.1 FM.
- Detroit is a 2.5-point favorite in tonight's game, per Bovada LV.
- Oakland is 1-11 all-time against Detroit and 1-2 in its Division I era, winning the series' only meeting at the O'rena, by 26 points, in 2001. Detroit won the rematch, the last game in the series, 76-60, Dec. 3, 2003.
- Oakland has lost nine straight road games and 13 consecutive outside the O'rena.The Titans have a four-game winning streak and a 6-2 record this season at Calihan Hall where it is outscoring its opponents by 19.3 points per game. The Titans average 82.1 points per game at home, while only allowing 62.9 point per game.
- Oakland's Travis Bader is now just 20 3s from setting a new NCAA career record. He's averaging 4.5 triples per game and is on pace to set the mark Jan. 31 at the O'rena against Youngstown State. The game is scheduled to air on ESPN3.
- Known for its 3-point shooting prowess, Oakland was held to 3-of-25 3-point shooting Wednesday, at home, against Milwaukee. The mark was the Golden Grizzlies' worst since a matchup with then-No. 5 Syracuse, Dec. 22, 2009. Oakland's Travis Bader, who leads the nation in 3-point shooting, averaging nearly five per game, was 0 for 8 and did not register a field goal for the first time in three years.
- As one might guess, Oakland's field goal percentage against Milwaukee (32.1 percent) was its worst at the O'rena since 2007.
- The Golden Grizzlies have been outrebunded in 14 of 18 games this season.
- The Golden Grizzlies (picked to finish fourth in the conference) and Titans (eighth) have very similar RPIs. Oakland is 182, while Detroit is at 198. The Golden Grizzlies' strength of schedule is seventh in the nation, according to CBSsports.com.
- Oakland announced Friday guard Ryan Bass will not return this season as he recovers from an undisclosed injury. The Golden Grizzlies have been without four players this season, two of which saw significant time last season in Bass and forward Raphael Carter, who underwent season-ending surgery last month for a lingering hip injury. The team announced Carter would miss the season shortly before Bass' departure.
- Near the end of Wednesday's radio show on WDFN, Kampe talked about the mystique of Calihan Hall.
- My colleague Pat Caputo says everybody wins when Oakland and Detroit meet.