Oakland and Detroit bring bad blood to realignment talks

1 Comment

News that Butler will join the A-10 brought headlines around the country. The Horizon League’s search for a new member is somewhat less compelling to many on the national scene, but there’s plenty of drama going on.

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies, currently of the Summit League, would like to take Butler’s place. Paul Kampe (no relation to Oakland coach Greg Kampe, as he always notes) of the Oakland Press has been following the saga, and has dug up some interesting facts about the history between the Golden Grizzlies and current Horizon members the Detroit Titans.

According to a May 10 article in the Press, the Horizon League contacted Oakland about joining as far back as 2002. At that time, Coach Kampe told reporters, Detroit blocked the move. To his credit, Brad Kinsman, Detroit’s AD at the time, admitted his part in the earlier brouhaha.

“The feeling back then was that it didn’t make sense to share this market with another school in the same conference,” Kinsman told a reporter. “Times have changed, coaches have changed, but I don’t know what the thinking is now.”

Oakland U. is, in fact, just 30 miles north of the Detroit Mercy campus. Then again, these days, a league like the Horizon needs as many strong programs as it can possibly get, andbasic cohesiveness in the service of continued existence may trump petty concerns about markets and sharing. Heck, with so many natural geographical rivalries being blown up by realignment, it might be kind of nice to get a new one nailed down. The perceived slight from 2002 could propel a nice amount of in-conference anomie if and when the Horizon does snap up the Golden Griz.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
AP Photo
1 Comment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
AP Photo
Leave a comment

Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.