With three of their top four scorers from last season, including the prolific Travis Bader, returning for the 2013-14 season the Oakland Golden Grizzlies are expected to hit the ground running in their first season as a member of the Horizon League. Unfortunately for head coach Greg Kampe he’ll be without the services of one of his newcomers for at least the next eight weeks, as the school announced that freshman guard Nick Daniels is out with a broken foot.
According to the school Daniels, an all-state selection as a senior at John Glenn HS in Westland, Mich., suffered the injury during practice on Sunday.
With Daniels going down the Golden Grizzlies have now lost three players during the preseason. Senior forward Raphael Carter will miss the entire 2013-14 season due to his being diagnosed with a femoral acetabular impingement, and senior guard Ryan Bass left the program earlier this week. But Oakland should be alright thanks to the return of their leading scorer (Bader- 22.1 ppg), rebounder (Corey Petros- 8.2 rpg) and assist man (Duke Mondy- 5.1 apg) from last season’s 16-17 squad.
The key for Oakland in its Horizon League debut: defense. Last season opponents shot 49.3% from the field overall, and in Summit League play teams shot better than 50% against the Golden Grizzlies. But because of their ability on the offensive end of the floor Oakland managed to win ten league games.
The worst Horizon League team in regards to field goal percentage defense last season was Milwaukee, with opponents shooting 46.2% against the Panthers. If Oakland can properly address those issues they’ve got the offensive firepower to make an impact in their debut season, and that was the case even before their recent personnel losses.