Men’s basketball set for special season

After a long offseason, the Oakland University men’s basketball season is set to kick off on Monday, Nov. 7 against Defiance College at the O’Rena. Head coach Greg Kampe is set to begin his 39th season with the Golden Grizzlies, which is the second longest tenure of any head coach in the NCAA.

The Golden Grizzlies made a plethora of additions over the offseason. The team added some major talent from the transfer portal, including Lorne Bowman [Wisconsin], Rocket Watts [Mississippi State] and Keaton Hervey [Missouri State].

Bowman, a Pontiac, Michigan native, was a highly-rated recruit coming out of high school. The 6-foot-1 guard was the 94th-ranked prospect coming out of high school, according to ESPN.

The Pontiac native spent one season in the Big Ten with the University of Wisconsin, where he saw the floor in 22 games and averaged three points per game. Bowman was a reserve for the Badgers, but the second-year player will play a key role in helping Oakland to success this season.

Rocket Watts, much like Bowman, has played among some of the best players in the country. The 6-foot-2 guard spent two seasons at Michigan State before he transferred to Mississippi State.

Watts spent one season with the Bulldogs before he came to Oakland. The transfer will now look to reboot his career in a talented backcourt that he will share with Jalen Moore.

Hervey is a much more experienced player, and although he hasn’t played in a conference like the Big Ten, the graduate student has a lot of college basketball experience under his belt. This is the fourth school that the 6-foot-4 forward has played at. Prior to Oakland, Hervey made stops at Incarnate Word, New Mexico State Junior College and Missouri State.

Hevery averaged eight points per game in his first season with Incarnate Word back in 2017-18. He then redshirted in his second season with the team. 

After one season with New Mexico State Junior College, Hervey hit the transfer portal once again, landing at Missouri State. After a fairly efficient first season with the Bears, Hervey’s production dropped significantly in his second year with the team, and he hit the portal again. Now, Hervey will begin his final year of college basketball at Oakland. 

The transfers will play a key role in the team’s success, but there are also a few familiar faces that will lead the team once again. 

Moore will be the driving force behind Kampe’s team this season. The 5-foot-11 point guard was the team’s second-leading scorer last season, behind only Jamal Cain. 

Now that Cain is a member of the Miami Heat, Moore will be expected to lead the team in scoring this season. Not only that, but the senior finished last season with the second most assists per game in the country.

In the frontcourt will be 6-foot-6 forward Trey Townsend. This will be Townsend’s third year at Oakland, after playing a vital role in each of his first two seasons. The junior averaged better than eight points per game in each of his first two seasons, and he will be looking to give that number a bump this season.

Townsend has started in 61 of a possible 62 games throughout his first two seasons. He has been the definition of consistency in his first two seasons with Oakland. 

The season will begin on Monday, Nov. 7 against Defiance College. Later in November, Oakland will head to the Bahamas to compete in the 2022 Nassau Championship.