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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, January 31, 2014

PREGAME NOTES: Youngstown State at Oakland

Oakland (8-14, 3-4 Horizon) looks to climb back to .500 in conference play, as they host Youngstown State (13-9, 4-3) Friday night at the O'rena.The game tips off at 7:04 p.m. and can be seen on Horizon League Network and ESPN3. Follow my live blog here.

- The Golden Grizzlies are three-point favorites, per Glantz-Culver. Oakland is again looking for its first winning streak in Division I play. They are 7-2 this season at the O'rena, but they've trailed at halftime of every conference game, also at the final media timeout, which occurs with less than four minutes to play.  The Golden Grizzlies have come back from double-digit second-half deficits in each of their three conference wins.

- Joey Asbury will be starting in place of Tommie McCune for the fourth time this season. The Golden Grizzlies are 1-2 in Asbury's starts.

- Oakland is shooting just 41 percent in Horizon League play, eighth in the conference.

- The Golden Grizzlies are going for their 700th victory in program history. 250 of those have come at the Division I level.

- The Golden Grizzlies and Penguins last met in the opening round of last season's CollegeInsider.com Tournament in Youngstown, Ohio. Fittingly, Travis Bader set the school's single-season record for 3s with five triples in the 99-87 Oakland loss.

- Friday marks Travis Bader's first realistic chance at breaking J.J. Redick's all-time 3-point record, as he begins the game just eight triples from a new mark. There was a healthy amount of press for Bader this week, including an AP feature and an MLive spotlight.
In the MLive feature, Bader notes he grew up a North Carolina fan; It only takes him two hours to make 1,000 shots in each practice session; He also says he's doing his best not to get caught up in the record chase: “You can get caught up in that stuff but I’ve tried to do my best to not get caught up."
Greg Kampe has an excellent quote as well about calling Bader the best 3-point shooter of all-time:
“How do you quantify the greatest ever?” Kampe said. “That was the greatest cheeseburger I ever ate, that was the greatest movie I ever saw … We say that stuff all of the time because we can’t quantify it." 
In the Associated Press piece, a comparison is drawn between Bader and Redick, who was the beneficiary of Duke's NCAA tournament runs, whereas Bader has only played in one NCAA tournament game.
"Bader has played only 126 games, but he's already attempted 1,127 shots from beyond the arc — one more than Redick. Their percentages from 3-point range (.406 for Redick and .399 for Bader) are almost even." 
Kampe mentions the impact on future Oakland recruiting classes and acknowledged the strain the chase has had on his star pupil.
"There's no question it's weighing on him," Kampe said. "It's been a struggle, and we kind of thought that might happen."

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