A look at basketball’s 2016 non-conference schedule

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November 11 brings Bowling Green to the O’rena for the first of eight non-conference home games and seventeen regular season home games in total, the most in modern Oakland men’s basketball history, according to a news release from GoldenGrizzlies.com.

It’s a change that seems to be prompted by athletic director Jeff Konya, who arrived in 2014.

“This is his first year he could get his footprint on the schedule,” head coach Greg Kampe said in the GrizzVision interview with Neal Ruhl.

He listened to the people, Kampe said. And the people wanted more home games.

“We actually put some money into it and bought some games,” Kampe said, the first time in Oakland Division I history that they didn’t get bought themselves, except for the running agreement with Michigan State. “Now you better come and sell the place out so we can continue to do this.”

The schedule

Dec. 20, the O’rena brings in Northeastern for the first time. The next day, it’s off to East Lansing for the Michigan State game on Dec. 21.

To cap the non-con season, Georgia visits the O’rena on Dec. 23, and the Golden Grizzlies will test their 4-2 home record against Power Five schools. The Bulldogs will be the first Power Five team in the O’rena since the 2011 89-81 victory against Tennessee.

Back in town is former Summit League opponent Southern Utah (Dec. 3) and former Summit League rival Oral Roberts (Dec. 1) for the first time since 2012.

Thanksgiving weekend has the Golden Grizzlies jetting off to Anchorage, Alaska for the Great Alaska Shootout on Nov. 23-26. Every year since its incarnation in 1978 (according to the 2014 official program), the eight-team tournament has hosted a March Madness-bound team.

The season kicks off with four home games: Bowling Green (Nov. 11), Western Michigan (Nov. 14), followed by Goshen (Nov. 18) and Chicago State (Nov. 19).

The Golden Grizzlies play at Robert Morris on Dec. 10.

Kampe said he thinks Oakland will be up top in the preseason polls. May two, maybe one. Nothing less than three.