Kampe blames poor coaching for 84-67 loss to Valparaiso

Kristen Davis

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Kay Felder missed a floater with about nine minutes to play in Oakland’s Friday night game against league-favorite Valparaiso that put him at 6-for-24 from the field on the night and prompted head coach Greg Kampe to furiously condemn his star point guard.

“It’s not working. Shoot your shots,” Kampe echoed from the bench to Felder, who finished the night with 20 points and six assists. “You’re not gonna win. We’re gonna win.”  

Oakland (9-7, 1-2) was unable to hold off the Crusaders (12-3, 2-0), though, and suffered an 84-67 loss in front of a record-setting, white-out crowd of 4,110 fans in a game that aired nationally on ESPN2.  

But despite Kampe’s apparent dissatisfaction with Felder and the rest of his team during the game, he placed blame on himself for the loss after the final buzzer sounded.

“I think we were a very poorly coached team tonight and I personally will take the blame for the way we played,” Kampe said. “Why we felt the urgency to fire shots and not run offense, I have no idea. I have to step back and say obviously we weren’t prepared for the moment. Well whose fault is that? It’s got to be the coach’s fault.”

Oakland shot 24-for-70 from the field, which included an 8-for-25 effort from the three-point line. The Golden Grizzlies also grabbed just 31 rebounds compared to Valpo’s 49 and gave up 32 points in the paint while only recording 18 of their own.

“The fact that they were able to get so many offensive rebounds, that killed us, especially in the second half. We just weren’t boxing out everybody and they were just crashing the glass really hard,” redshirt sophomore Jalen Hayes said. Hayes finished with 13 points, six rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

Kampe offered high praise for the way Valpo played too.

“The thing that makes them great is they make big plays,” Kampe said. “The moment is never too big for them. Their players make plays.”

Tevonn Walker led the way for Valpo, finishing with 24 points, which included six three-pointers, and seven rebounds. Following his efforts was Alec Peters, who finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Vashil Hernandez led the way for the Crusaders on the boards with 12 rebounds and added nine points and Darien Walker contributed eight points and seven boards.

For Oakland, Felder led the team in scoring, although he converted just eight of his 28 field goals. Max Hooper connected on four three-pointers for 12 points and Sherron Dorsey-Walker added 11 points and four boards.  

“I don’t care if he shoots 28 shots, but they got to be 28 good shots,” Kampe said about Felder’s efforts from the floor. “And again, while I’m saying whose fault is it, that’s my fault.”

He added that defensively, he was unable to “get his five men to do what [he] wanted,” which is why he decided to run a smaller line-up with Hayes at center, which he said was “probably stupid on [his] part.”

“What we were trying to accomplish, we didn’t get done, and that’s why I’m mad at me,” Kampe said. “We failed tonight, we failed miserably. We had three days to prepare and we did not. It’s very difficult to have a game plan centered on something and if you don’t do it, what is left?”

Oakland returns to the blacktop on Sunday when it faces University of Illinois-Chicago (2-10, 0-2) at 3 p.m. to play its final of four straight home games.