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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."

LIVE BLOG: Oakland's Travis Bader goes for all-time 3-point record

Monday, January 27, 2014

POSTGAME VIDEO: Oakland coach Greg Kampe after win over UIC

VIDEO: Duke Mondy buzzer-beater vs. UIC

Duke Mondy's game-winning 3-pointer quickly climbed up the charts, even making it to No. 4 on ESPN's Top 10 Plays on "SportsCenter."



PHOTOS: Oakland beats UIC on Homecoming

Saturday, January 25, 2014

PREGAME NOTES: Illinois-Chicago at Oakland

Oakland (7-14, 2-4 Horizon) returns home for the first time since being embarassed by Milwaukee Jan. 8. The Golden Grizzlies face off against an Illinois-Chicago (5-15, 0-6) still searching for its first win of the conference season. The Homecoming game tips off at 2:05 p.m. and can be seen on Horizon League Network here or ESPN3.

- Oakland, which has never lost to UIC (4-0 all-time record, 1-0) in Division I meetings) and is favored by 10 points over the Flames, who have never played in the O'rena.

- The teams have not met since Nov. 16, 2003, a 79-66 Oakland victory in Cincinnati as part of the Dell BCA Classic. Mike Helms led the Grizzlies with a game-high 27 points, while Rawle Marshall added 25 points.

- Saturday is Oakland's first home with its band and student section seated underneath the north basket. The band was moved in accordance with Horizon League standards and the student section was moved days later.

- Oakland director of athletics Tracy Huth announced Friday he will be stepping down Jan. 31. Men's basketball coach Greg Kampe will not serve as interim AD as he has in the past. 

- The Golden Grizzlies have shown themselves to a second-half team this season, having trailed at halftime of each conference game. They've scored more points in the second half in 15 of 21 games overall this season. Conversely, the Flames have shown first-half dominance, leading four of their last seven at the break. In the other three games, they trailed by a combined 11 points. 

- Oakland's Corey Petros, Kahlil Felder and Travis Bader are first, second and third in the Horizon League in rebounds (8.7 rpg), assists (5.2 apg) and scoring (19.1 ppg.), respectively.

- Purdue transfer Kelsey Barlow leads UIC in scoring (15.1 ppg.) and assists (3.9 apg.).

- Oakland's Joey Abury is expected to return to the bench after starting the team's three previous games. Tommie McCune is expected to return to the starting lineup.

- After making two 3s at Green Bay Wednesday, Travis Bader sits just 13 triples from a new NCAA record.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

PREGAME NOTES: Oakland at Green Bay

After nearly a week off, Oakland (7-13, 2-3 Horizon) returns to the court to finish off a three-game road trip at conference leader and preseason favorite Green Bay (15-3, 5-0) at 8 p.m. The game can be seen on Horizon League Network and heard on WDFN-AM (1130), where "The Greg Kampe Show" will air immediately after the game broadcast.

- The Phoenix, ranked fifth in the latest mid-major poll, are favored by 11 points tonight, via Glantz-Culver.

- Green Bay, with an RPI of 41, is the next-closest Horizon League team to Oakland in terms of non-conference strength of schedule, according to ESPN, which has the Golden Grizzlies eighth and the Phoenix No. 66.

- "They have an unbelievable will to win," Kampe said of Green Bay in an Oakland athletics video. "They've got size and athleticism, they press and they pound the boards. There's a reason they're 15-3. They're really good."

- Things were much different the last time these teams met in the 2009-10, when Oakland made the first of two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances after emerging nearly unscathed from Summit League play. The Golden Grizzlies blew out the Phoenix, 76-52, at the O'rena Dec. 13, 2009. They have won three of the programs' four meetings in Oakland's Division I era, however the all-time series is knotted at 3-3.

- Tommie McCune played 28 minutes off the bench against Cleveland State, the most playing time he had received since a mid-December visit to Indiana. He scored a team-high 23 points and recorded eight rebounds.

- It's no secret Oakland is not shooting well this season. In fact, the Golden Grizzlies are just 39.5 percent from the floor in league play, while allowing opponents to shoot 52 percent and they've recorded 10 or fewer first-half field goals on nine occasions this season. Cleveland State shot a season-high 60 percent last week, in a game Oakland actually led by eight points with 7:49 to play. The Vikings closed the game on a 13-3 run over the final 3:02.

- Oakland's Travis Bader is just 15 3-pointers away from a new NCAA career record, but he's shooting just 29 percent (14 of 48) from long range — just 28 percent (16 of 57) overall, in Horizon League play.

- Green Bay has won 10 straight games, including five consecutive road games, and is off to its best start since 1995-96, when it won 23 consecutive games. During the streak, the Phoenix are averaging 18.2 points per game more than their opponents.  

- Oakland has lost 14 of its last 15 games away from the O'rena, starting the season 1-8 on the road, with its only win coming at Detroit in league play. 

- Sports Illustrated's "One And One" blog ranked Duke Mondy vs. Keifer Sykes as one to watch this week. Sykes has been tabbed conference player of the week five times this season. Sykes and Green Bay center Alec Brown have combined to take 8 of the Horizon League's 11 player of the week awards this season.
"The 6-foot-5 Mondy and the 5-foot-11 Sykes may or may not be matched up against each other intermittently, but the former is one of the nation’s most provocative defenders and the latter one of its most efficient scorers."
The post also notes nearly six percent of opponent's possessions result in steal by Mondy, who averages 3.4 picks per game. He's still second in the nation in that category, which he led last season at 3.0 steals per game.
Ironically, Mondy is coming off his first game of the season without recording a steal in a loss at Cleveland State, where he also recorded just one assist, a season low. Mondy has a steal in 56 of his last 58 games and has a career-high seven steals in consecutive games this season. 

- Sykes was lauded for his dunking ability in last weekend's win at Illinois-Chicago. The play tied the game and was later No. 4 on "SportsCenter's" "Top 10 Plays."

- The Oakland Post dedicated a feature story in this week's issue to "Pioneer Pete," the parody Twitter account run by an anonymous user.

- The Phoenix, like the Grizzlies, are reportedly struggling with low attendance, but are still drawing better than crowds at the O'rena.

- Kampe got a new hat to cope with the latest round of arctic cold. Also, he's not a fan of the NCAA's graduate transfer policy.

- Episode 2 of Oakland's third season of "Oakland Basketball All Access" airs Friday at 5:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Oakland coach Greg Kampe unhappy with NCAA's graduate transfer rule

During last week's episode of "The Greg Kampe Show" on WDFN-AM (1130), the show's namesake and longtime Oakland coach Greg Kampe brought up a subject he and guest Tim McCormick agreed is an impediment on college basketball coaches and their programs — the NCAA's graduate transfer rule.
The NCAA currently permits student-athletes who have completed their undergraduate work to transfer schools — along with their remaining athletic eligibility, while retaining immediate eligibility for athletic competition.
Kampe stressed the time and money that is invested into student-athletes could all be for not if that player decides to take their talents to another program for their final season of eligibility. Kampe, though, has never lost a player to graduate transfer since the rule was put into place.
"It almost makes you not want to graduate your kids," Kampe said on the show. "Isn't that the opposite of what you want?"
After sharing his disdain for the waiver, Kampe admitted, if the right player came along, he would not rule out the possibility of ever accepting a graduate transfer at Oakland.
Kampe has a recent history of accepting transfer players from mid- and high majors: Larry Wright (St. John's); Reggie Hamilton (UMKC); Laval Lucas-Perry (Michigan); Duke Mondy (Providence); Ralph Hill (Dayton) and shortly thereafter, Tommie McCune (West Virginia).
Each of the aforementioned players sat out for one season during the typical probationary period for Division I transfers. 
Hamilton would have even been eligible as a graduate transfer himself to leave Oakland after a 2011 NCAA tournament appearance with possibly the best Division I Oakland team in program history.
Most recently, sharpshooter Travis Bader was eligible for a graduate transfer each of the past two offseasons after graduating in just three years, two of which coming after his red-shirt freshman season on the court.
Kampe has joked in the time since, saying "Where else is Bader going to get a green light to shoot 300 3s?"
Following suit, Bader has expressed his loyalty and gratitude to Oakland, the only Division I program to offer him a scholarship.
The next Oakland player likely to be eligible for a no-sit transfer would be senior Ryan Bass, who is back at the Rochester-area school, but not playing this season due to an undisclosed injury.
"I'm just trying to get Bass his degree," Kampe said via email. "Then, I'll worry about the next step."
Some other notable Oakland players who have been eligible for graduate transfer also include Keith Benson and Erik Kangas.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

PREGAME NOTES: Oakland at Cleveland State

After an emotional win over rival Detroit Saturday, Oakland (7-12, 2-2 Horizon) visits Cleveland State (10-8, 2-2) Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The peculiar weeknight start time is due to a doubleheader, as the Vikings' women's basketball team tips off against Milwaukee at 7:30 p.m. The game can be seen on Horizon League Network and heard on WDFN-AM (1130).
Oakland coach Greg Kampe previews Thursday's game below:



- Glantz-Culver has Cleveland State as a seven-point favorite, as well as other oddsmakers. The Vikings are 7-1 at home this season, while Oakland has just one road win, Saturday at Calihan Hall, its first victory away from home in 13 tries.

- Although Oakland is 4-2 in its last six games, it is still looking for its first winning streak of the season in Division I play against a Cleveland State team it has never beaten. The Vikings lead the all-time series, 3-0. The teams haven't met since Nov. 15, 2008, a 58-55 Vikings victory.

- In its last two victories, Oakland has rallied from double-digit second-half deficits. The Golden Grizzlies trailed by 15 with 12:44 to play against Valparaiso and trailed by 12 with 8:23 remaining at Detroit. "Getting ourselves behind is not a good thing,” Kampe said.
Oakland scored a season-high 52 second-half points at Detroit and has outscored opponents in all but six games this season, averaging eight more points in the final period than the first half of its games. (Oakland also did not commit a turnover in Saturday's second half after 11 giveaways before the half.)

- Kampe said earlier this week Joey Asbury would likely make his second straight start in place of Tommie McCune, who was subbed out of the starting five for matchup reasons against Detroit's Evan Bruinsma, Kampe said. McCune had started all 18 previous games. Asbury scored three points in 21 minutes in his first career start Saturday.

- Oakland's Travis Bader still resides in third place on the all-time 3-point list with 442, just 16 shy of setting the new record. He's averaging 4.5 per game, putting him on pace to break the mark Jan. 31 at the O'rena against Youngstown State, a game scheduled to be broadcast on ESPNU. He continues to pace the nation in 3-point shooting, with 85 makes.

- Meanwhile, Duke Mondy has relinquished his NCAA lead in steals, slipping to second place at 3.67 per game. Virginia Commonwealth's Briante Weber leads the nation with 4.0 steals per game.

- The Vikings could be missing a good amount of offense Thursday, as coach Gary Waters said in an interview with WTAM-AM (1100) forward Anton Grady (10.3 ppg) and guard Sebastian Douglas (8.4 ppg) may miss Thursday's game. Grady missed all but six games last season with a knee injury. The sophomore, a preseason all-Horizon second-team pick, has started all 18 games this season.
"These concussions are driving me crazy," Waters said. "These concussions are not being caused by getting hit in the head. ... If you get hit in the side of your face or your chin and it shakes your brain, you could be out."
Also, Waters declined an unofficial offer to coach the Cleveland Browns.

- Kampe and Travis Bader appeared on WXYZ-7's "Sunday Sports Update" with David Solano.
Of Saturday's showdown with the Titans: "That's just Round 1. We want all of them to be like that," Kampe said. 

- USA Today ran a nice feature on Bader, who talks about turning down an offer to walk-on at Michigan State: "I didn't want people to think the reason I was on the team was because my dad was with the basketball staff, so I didn't want it to come down to that. And really, I just wanted to play and I saw the best opportunity at Oakland." The story discusses Bader's incredible shooting practice and the logistics at play because Oakland lacks a practice facility.

- The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer distinguished between Bader and preseason Horizon League player of the year Kendrick Perry of Youngstown State: "The difference between the two guards is Perry attacks from all over the court. Bader is almost exclusively a sniper. Of his 110 field goals made this season, 85 have come from behind the 3-point line. He is a 41 percent 3-point shooter."

- Much was made of Detroit coach Ray McCallum's red suit worn during Saturday's game. Kampe compared it to the attire worn by "Anchorman" character Ron Burgundy when the subject was brought up on Wednesday's episode of "The Greg Kampe Show" on WDFN. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

PHOTOS: Oakland falls to Milwaukee


PREGAME NOTES: Oakland at Detroit

The big day is finally here, as Oakland (6-12, 1-2 Horizon) travels to Calihan Hall in Detroit to take on the Titans (8-9, 1-1) for the first time in 10 years tonight at 7 p.m.
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.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Oakland’s Ryan Bass expected to miss remainder of 2013-14 season

Ryan Bass (left) takes in an Oakland game at The Palace with Andre Drummond (right).

The absence of senior Ryan Bass has many Oakland fans wondering when the acrobatic guard will return to the Golden Grizzlies lineup.
The program announced in early October Bass had left for personal reasons. They’ve said very little else in the time since the Oct. 1 announcement.
“Ryan Bass has left the men's basketball team due to reasons unrelated to his athletic participation or academic performance. Given university policy and federal student privacy laws, Oakland Athletics is not able to provide any further details at this time.”
Bass has tweeted support for his teammates at times, even making an appearance at The Palace of Auburn Hills with friend and Detroit Pistons forward Andre Drummond to watch Oakland play Michigan State Dec. 14. Bass was unsure after the game when he would return.
Teammate Travis Bader said the team appreciated Bass' support and wished the best for Bass. 
Bass has also used his Instagram account to show his skills have not diminished in his time away from the team. 

Friday, Bass left some fans wondering he might return for this weekend’s much-anticipated rematch with Detroit, tweeting: “This is great feeling to be back in #GrizzNation.”
Oakland coach Greg Kampe said earlier this week Bass will not be returning to the team this season, though Bass has gotten “personal challenges back in order.”  
Kampe said Bass’ future will be re-evaluated this summer after Bass graduates.
Bass, who played as a true freshman in 2010-11, would then have one year of eligibility remaining — at Oakland or elsewhere. 
Because of the NCAA's graduate transfer rule, Bass would be eligible to transfer to another program and play immediately without being subjected to the NCAA's one-year probationary period applied to undergraduate transfers. 
Oakland has not lost a player to the rule since its inception. 

UPDATE: Oakland officially announced Friday afternoon Bass will not return this season, saying he is suffering fron an undisclosed injury. 
"Ryan is back in school and we are very happy for that," Kampe said via press release. "As far as basketball goes, Ryan is injured. He is not cleared to play nor will he be this year. Getting himself healthy is his number one goal. Ryan does not want to disclose his injury and I hope everyone will respect that. His leave from school dealt solely with his heath issue. He will graduate this summer."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

PREGAME NOTES: Oakland vs. Milwaukee

Oakland (6-11, 1-1) hopes to build off a come-from-behind win over Valparaiso when it hosts Milwaukee (11-5, 1-1) Wednesday night at the O'rena.
Oakland coach Greg Kampe didn't overlook how much the win over Valparaiso was for his program.
"An 0-2 start would have been disastrous," he said. "It's a big week for us." Wednesday's game, which will not be affected by a water main break at the adjacent Recreation Center which was reported Wednesday morning, tips off at 7:05 p.m. and can be seen on the Horizon League Network.
Kampe previews the game in the video below:



MORE NOTES
- The Golden Grizzlies are seven-point favorites vs. the Panthers, who lead the all-time series, 6-1, though Oakland is 1-1 vs. Milwaukee in its Division I era. The schools haven't met since Dec. 2, 2006 at the O'rena, a 76-70 Oakland victory.

- Oakland has won three of its last four games and is averaging 81.5 points per game in that span, while shooting 49.5 percent.

- The Golden Grizzlies are 6-1 this season at the O'rena, while the Panthers have four road wins this season. 

- Oakland was selected fourth in the Horizon League preseason poll, while Milwaukee was picked ninth.

- The Panthers are coming off their best non-conference campaign in program history, 10-4, surpassing their win total for the entire 2012-13. However, Milwaukee suffered a 77-49 loss to Cleveland State after a conference-opening win over Youngstown State. 

- The Golden Grizzlies have been outrebounded in all but four games this season, but are outrebounding opponents by more than five boards per game at the O'rena. (Two of those games have been against non-Division I competition.)

- Oakland is 6-1 this season when it attempts more free throws than its opponents. It is averaging 28 attempts per game in its six wins, but just 18 attempts in its 11 losses.

- Travis Bader is in the home stretch of his chase for J.J. Redick's career 3-point mark. Bader needs just 20 more 3s to reset the record. He is averaging 4.8 triples per game. If he maintains that average, he could break the record Jan. 22 at Green Bay.

- Oakland coach Greg Kampe will host his weekly radio show at the O'rena following tonight's game at 10 p.m. on WDFN-AM (1130).

- The next game on tap for the Golden Grizzlies is their much anticipated matchup with Detroit, the programs' first in 10 years, at Calihan Hall. The Titans return the trip to the O'rena Feb. 14. 

- The second installment of the acclaimed "Oakland Basketball All-Access" series will air Jan. 24 at 5:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit. The final episodes will air Feb. 21 and March 21 (tentatively).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Greg Kampe postgame video vs. Valparaiso

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tommie McCune has another highlight-reel dunk vs. Valparaiso



Oakland's Tommie McCune had himself another highlight-reel moment Saturday against Valparaiso. With the Golden Grizzlies surging, McCune's one-handed putback slam off Travis Bader's missed 3-pointer put them within four points with 15:52 remaining in the game.
The momentum was short-lived, however, as the Crusaders embarked on an 11-0 run to take a 15-point lead with 12:44 to play. The Golden Grizzlies recovered, though, taking a 75-70 victory.
McCune finished with eight points and five rebounds in just 15 minutes of play. 
 The rim-rocker was snubbed by "SportsCenter's" Top 10, however, unlike one of McCune's previous works, which was included in a highlights package by Fox Sports 1. 

POSTGAME VIDEO: Oakland-Valpo

PHOTOS: Oakland beats Valparaiso

Saturday, January 4, 2014

PREGAME NOTES: Oakland vs. Valparaiso

Oakland (5-11) hosts its first home game in Horizon League against familiar foe Valparaiso (9-7) looking to rebound from a double-digit loss at Wright State in the Golden Grizzlies' conference debut Thursday. The game tips off at 6 p.m. can be seen on Horizon League Network, here.

- Oakland has won five of the past six games in the all-time series and is favored by two points Saturday. The Golden Grizzlies and Crusaders have met 22 times, with Valparaiso winning the first 16 meetings. Oakland's first win came in the 2005-06 season at the O'rena.

- Oakland's last loss to the Crusaders came at the O'rena in December 2010, 103-102. 

- Oakland was picked fourth in the Horizon League preseason poll, while Valparaiso, the two-time defending conference regular-season champion, was picked sixth.The Crusaders are coming off a program-best 26 wins last season.

- Oakland upended Valparaiso, 70-68, in the teams' last meeting, last season at the O'rena. Duke Mondy, Ryan Bass and Travis Bader each had 16 points for Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies finished the game on an 11-0 run, reclaiming the lead on a layup by Mondy with 20 seconds to play, making it the fourth consecutive game in the series to be decided on the game's final possession.

- The team's have met in non-conference play each of the past three seasons and the games have been decided by a total of five points.

- Saturday is the 200th game in the O'rena, where Oakland is 146-53 (.734) all-time. The Golden Grizzlies are 5-1 on their home court this season.They've lost 13 straight on the road.

- Travis Bader needs just 25 more 3s to set a new NCAA record. He's currently fourth on the all-time list with 433, two triples away from third place. Bader is shooting 60 percent from 3-point range (28 of 47) over the past four games. He leads the Horizon League in scoring with 21.6 points per game.

- Corey Petros is averaging 21 points per game over the last three games and is shooting 66 percent from the floor. He leads the Horizon League with five double-doubles this season and is second in the conference 8.3 rebounds per game.

- Duke Mondy again leads the nation in steals. Get some insight into his approach and his relationship with coach Greg Kampe in this feature story by Noah Trister of The Associated Press. 

- Greg Kampe talked about the early years in the series with the Times of Northwest Indiana. 

Oakland vs. Valparaiso live chat

Thursday, January 2, 2014

PREGAME NOTES: Oakland at Wright State

Oakland (5-10) begins its long-awaited debut season in the Horizon League tonight at Wright State (8-7) looking for its first road win of the season after a six-game December homestand. The game can be heard on WDFN at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Horizon League Network, here.

- Wright State is favored by five points in Thursday's matchup. Oakland trails the all-time series, 4-2, and is 1-2 in its Division I era. Wright State rallied from 14 down in the second half to defeat Oakland in the teams' last meeting in November 2010.

- The Raiders were picked to finish second in the Horizon League preseason poll, while Oakland was chosen fourth. Most preseason publications had the Golden Grizzlies in a similar position.

- The Golden Grizzlies are 11-11 against Horizon League teams in their Division I era.

- Wright State has a seven-game home winning streak this season, while Oakland has lost eight straight away from the O'rena.

- Oakland's Travis Bader needs just 29 triples to set a new NCAA career record. He's getting attention from Raiders coach Billy Donlon.
"He’s really good, there is a reason why he’ll probably become the top 3-point maker," Donlon told the Wright State Guardian. "They put you in peril with what they do with him.”
Bader is averaging eight 3s per game over his last three contests and needs just six Thursday to move into third place all-time.  

- Thursday's game should be a battle of a potentially explosive offense against a tight defense. The Golden Grizzlies have an adjusted offensive efficiency of 110.5 while Wright State is holding teams to 98.5.

- Oakland's best defender, Duke Mondy, could miss his second consecutive game with a sprained MCL suffered in a Dec. 22 win against Robert Morris. He could miss 1-4 weeks and Oakland coach Greg Kampe said in an Oakland athletics video Mondy will play sparingly, if at all, Thursday.