Incoming recruits making early impressions

In a season when his two frontcourt starters are seniors, Oakland University men’s basketball coach Greg Kampe may have landed a pair of future replacements with plenty of potential.

Corey Petros, from Utica Eisenhower High School (Shelby Township, Mich.), and Kyle Sikora, of Florida Christian School (Olympia Heights, Fla.), both signed national letters of intent to play for Oakland in the 2010-11 season.

“(Keith) Benson and (Will) Hudson are going to be seniors and Ilija (Milutinovic) is going to be a junior, so this was a very important recruiting class to replenish our bigs,” Kampe said. “We feel we got two (recruits) that are going to be really good players.”

Petros, a 6-10 forward, committed to OU in the early signing period, while Sikora, a 7-foot center, signed in April.

Kampe believes that both recruits could be redshirted, but not due to a lack of talent or potential.

“The two bigs, you can see the potential dripping from their body. Neither one is ready, but you can see that both of them have a chance to be great players, and I’m excited about that,” Kampe said.

“Petros knows that he is going to have a chance to step in and start a year from now. I think he knows that redshirting is a good thing for him and he has a chance to be a four-year starter… (Sikora has) untapped potential because he’s only been playing for a few years now. He played at a small high school … so we think that competition will make him grow and get better.”

Replenishing frontcourt depth was key for Kampe and his coaching staff, but the two players are not the only student-athletes headed to Oakland in the fall.

Ryan Bass, out of Dunbar High School (Dayton, Ohio), is a 5-10 point guard and has already impressed his coach with his athletic ability.

“I’ve never had a guy that little that’s as athletic as he is,” said Kampe. “I mean, he can jump like (Drew) Maynard, he can really fly. He’s different from any kid I’ve ever had.”

Bass will not be redshirted, as the point guard position is a bit more fluid since the departure of OU’s winningest player, Johnathon Jones.

Bass’ potential for defensive prominence will also give him plenty of opportunities to crack the rotation once the Golden Grizzlies begin play this season.

“We’re not sure who will be the point guard, so there will be competition for that position,” Kampe said. “(Bass) will get some chances early, but it depends on how he develops. It’ll also be determined by how well Larry Wright and Reggie Hamilton can play the point.”

All of his team’s hard work and success over the past few seasons has helped Oakland become a desired destination for recruits both in- and out-of-state.

“It’s changing because of the success we’ve had. People in Ohio and Florida know who we are now because we’ve been in the (NCAA) Tournament a few times now,” said Kampe.

“Our name versus five or six years ago, someone who isn’t from Michigan now knows where Oakland (University) is. They don’t think we’re from California. That’s really opening the doors for out-of-state