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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, February 21, 2014

Oakland freshmen Jalen Hayes, Artis Cleveland progressing in red-shirt seasons

Late in Wednesday's edition of "The Greg Kampe Show" on WDFN-AM (1130), Oakland coach Greg Kampe offered a quick update on freshmen Jalen Hayes and Artis Cleveland, who are both sitting out this season for different reasons. 
Hayes, a former Lansing Sexton standout, played just 13 minutes in three games following a bout with mono which sidelined him leading up to the season. The illness caused the 6-foot-7, 200-pound Hayes to lose too much weight to be competitive, Kampe said previously.
“He has a chance to be the top defensive player in the Horizon League from what I’ve seen in practice, Kampe said. "Will he be able to take that over into games? I don’t know, but he’s long and athletic and he can guard at the point and at center." 
Hayes' offensive potential also gives Kampe reason to look forward to next season. 
“He can score the ball by the basket," Kampe said. "He’s an inconsistent shooter, but if he was playing for us this year, he would’ve played a lot of minutes. Hayes will seek a medical red-shirt following the season.
A transfer from Mississippi Valley State, Cleveland has been busy putting muscle onto his 6-10, 215-pound frame.
“He’s long, but he’s not physically strong enough to compete in the Horizon League at this point, but he’s going to be before it’s done," Kampe said. 
The Detroit native is sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules, but Cleveland could fill a big void in the post for the Golden Grizzlies.
"He’s a guy who can protect the rim for us," Kampe said. "If you take a look at our team the last couple years, our biggest weakness is we don’t protect the rim. We had a great one in Keith Benson and we got used to having him, but we haven’t had that in the last couple years. We’re trying to get that done in recruiting and we may be very close. Art is somebody we think can be that, (too).” 
Oakland is also without senior guard Ryan Bass, who is suffering an undisclosed injury and has not been cleared to return to action. Kampe said Bass' future with the team will be re-evaluated this summer.
Freshman guard Nick Daniels broke his foot weeks before the season began and senior forward Raphael Carter opted for season-ending surgery for a hip injury.
If all these aforementioned players suit up next season, it's going to be a crowded Golden Grizzlies bench.

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