Oakland mauls GVSU, meets with media prior to season

The+Oakland+mens+basketball+teams+season+is+over+after+a+75-63+loss+to+Wright+State+in+the+Horizon+League+tournament+quarterfinals.

Maggie Willard

The Oakland men’s basketball team’s season is over after a 75-63 loss to Wright State in the Horizon League tournament quarterfinals.

Brock Heilig, Sports Editor

The Oakland men’s basketball team defeated Grand Valley State 92-76 in an exhibition game on Thursday, Oct. 20. 

The Golden Grizzlies were led by fifth-year guard Jalen Moore, who scored 32 points in 25 minutes to help Oakland to the victory. Missouri State transfer Keaton Hervey was the team’s second-leading scorer with 14 points. 

All 15 of the players on the roster saw the floor in a game that wasn’t very close from the beginning. 

Oakland outscored Grand Valley State 55-30 in the first half, and the team just coasted to victory in the second half.

Following the beatdown of Grand Valley State, Oakland held its media day on Friday, Oct. 21 as it prepared to get its season started. 

Head coach Greg Kampe kicked things off with his thoughts on what he learned from the team in its exhibition win over GVSU.

“I felt really comfortable we can go eight, nine, 10 deep and keep the same level of intensity,” said Kampe, “and if that holds true through the year, that’s really going to help us.”

“Every kid you recruit wants to play fast, but it’s not easy to play fast — it’s taxing,” Kampe continued. “I thought last night we showed we can. The fact that we can play at that pace, that we can substitute, get out, take a quick second, get back in and keep that intensity, that was really good from my standpoint.”

Junior forward Trey Townsend also gave his thoughts on the pace at which Oakland is looking to play this season.

“I had never played at this pace, since my first year here was the slow down, 60 possessions a game style basketball, and it is a very difficult thing playing at that pace,” Townsend said. “I think we had 84 or 82 possessions or something like that yesterday, and it is very physically taxing, but having someone like Jalen [Moore] being able to fly up the floor with you — it makes you want to run the floor every time, because you know you’re going to get rewarded or help someone else get rewarded. It’s just a fun style of play, and I’ve enjoyed it so far.”

Senior guard Blake Lampman also discussed the team’s pace.

“We’re going to play fast, and we’re going to score a lot of points,” Lampman said. “When we play like this, it’s very fun to score a lot of points.”

Kampe went on to outline which bench players need to step up to ensure that Oakland can, in fact, go eight, nine or 10 deep, and two names came to mind. He credited them for their desire to get better.

“We live in a world where nobody wants to improve and get better now, they all want to run away if they don’t get the minutes,” Kampe said. “So [it’s] fortunate that a couple guys stuck around when things didn’t go well last year and they worked their tails off this summer, and obviously it looked pretty good [last night].”

“Chris Conway and Will Shepherd are two guys that we need, and I think they made great strides yesterday,” Kampe added. “When they were in there, the team production didn’t drop off.”

Despite all the high praise, it wasn’t all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows for Kampe.

“We’ve got a gaping problem in rebounding,” Kampe said, “and how we develop and figure that out, if we do — this team could be as good as any team I’ve ever coached.”

The season won’t officially start for a while, and Oakland has some time to figure things out in terms of rebounding, which is something that Osei Price agrees the team needs to work on.

“Rebounding is a big thing this team needs to work on, too, so I need to excel at rebounding,” Price said. 

Although Kampe said that this team could be one of the best he’s ever coached, questions still arose about how much longer the 66-year-old, who is entering his 39th season, would stick around.

“If I have a team like this, I’ll be here until I can’t walk anymore,” Kampe said. “I enjoy coming here every day.”