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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.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

PREGAME NOTES: Oakland at Valparaiso

If their previous meetings are any indicator, this afternoon's Oakland-Valparaiso meeting will come down to the final few possessions. The Golden Grizzlies (9-16, 4-6 Horizon) picked up their first conference win Jan. 4 vs. the Crusaders (14-11, 6-4), when they began their streak of double-digit, second-half comebacks, coming back to win by five points after trailing for nearly 30 minutes, and by 15 in the second half. Oakland could use the win, having lost two straight after getting its second consecutive one-point win at home against Youngstown State Jan. 31. Today's game tips off at 2:35 p.m. from the ARC and can be seen on Horizon League Network and heard on WDFN-AM (1130)

- Despite losing six of the last seven meetings to Oakland, the Crusaders are a 7.5-point favorite this afternoon from Bovada LV.

- Oakland is still looking for its second road victory of the season. It is 1-10 on the road and 8-3 at home this season.

- Lloyd Neely is expected to make his second consecutive start today at Valparaiso.

- Of the Crusaders' last-second loss Friday to Detroit, Oakland coach Greg Kampe said in Oakland athletics video: "that just made our job a lot harder." The veteran coach also admitted his Golden Grizzlies are lacking three key elements to success in their new conference home. "You've got to have depth. You've got to have size. And you've got to make shots. And those are three things we haven't done. Our depth was depleted with injuries and we're not a very big team." He did go on to say the team's future recruiting efforts could remedy that deficit.

- Travis Bader continued his media rounds Friday, appearing on ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and The Game 730-AM. He told ESPN radio taking a red-shirt season in 2009-10 was "the best thing that could've happened to me." Of the record-breaking 3 at Milwaukee, he admitted it wasn't the best-looking attempt he's ever made, but it did go in, after all. "There was a lot of relief when that shot went in." He's made 14 more 3s since, including 10 against Cleveland State Thursday.
On "The Drive With Jack" Ebling, Bader called his choice to attend Oakland "the best decision of my life." Later in the interview, Bader said he would wait until the end of the season to focus on his professional prospects.

- Bader has 471 career 3-pointers with at least seven more games in his collegiate career. Will he make it to 500? One fan makes his estimate. Bader is now the second active NCAA scoring leader with 2,172 points, behind only Creighton's Doug McDermott, who has 2,741 points.

- Oakland had a 20-game conference home court winning streak in the month of February snapped against Cleveland State last week. That stretch dated back to 2008. The Golden Grizzlies also continued their dubious streak of halftime deficits, failing to lead at the break of a conference game for the 10th time this season.

- Horizon League opponents have shot 50 percent or better in eight of 10 conference games this season, with the Vikings shooting 60 percent against the Golden Grizzlies for the second time this season Thursday.

- Oakland has the week off following today's game, returning to the O'rena Feb. 14 to host rival Detroit for the Titans' first visit to the campus in more than a decade. Oakland coach Greg Kampe said the Titans' refusal to return a visit to the Rochester-area campus was one of the sticking points keeping the programs from renewing their series after their final non-conference meeting in 2003. The game will be nationally televised by ESPNU as well as WDFN-AM (1130). Limited tickets are still available.

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