Oakland Golden Grizzlies

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Oakland lands former Oklahoma State guard Clark

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When point guard Stevie Clark began his career at Oklahoma State in 2013, the Top 100 prospect was expected by many to be an impact player for the Cowboys. Things didn’t go as planned however, as off-court issues ultimately led to Clark’s dismissal from the program before his sophomore season. Add in a lawsuit filed by Clark in which he alleged that he was forced by the school to take psychotropic drugs, and it’s safe to say that his time in Stillwater was anything but smooth.

Clark ultimately landed at Arkansas Baptist College, and on Thursday it was reported by the Detroit Free Press that he’s committed to Oakland University to play for head coach Greg Kampe. Clark joins a program with an immediate need at the point, with All-American Kahlil Felder having entered the NBA Draft and hired an agent as well.

The obvious question regarding Clark is whether or not he’s managed to take care of business off the court, and in an interview with Mark Snyder of the Free Press the Oklahoma native made note of the benefits of getting away from home for college.

Playing in Rochester, far from his home, will serve him well, he said.

“Anywhere away from home is the best thing,” Clark said. “It’s just hard balancing everything being close to home.”

Clark will be one of the options Kampe has to choose from at the point, with incoming freshmen Brailen Neely and Billy Thomas also among the new arrivals, and sophomore Jaevin Cumberland looking to earn more playing time than the 5.6 minutes per contest he averaged as a freshman.

Oakland head coach Greg Kampe’s cancer fundraiser brings in $161,000

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Last month Oakland head coach Greg Kampe announced that he would be hosting a “beat cancer” fundraiser, and the project was different from many that Division I head coaches involved with Coaches vs. Cancer tend to hold. Kampe’s idea was to involve other head coaches with the project by allowing fans to bid on the opportunity to golf with the head coach of their choice at Oakland Hills Country Club May 31 and June 1.

The auction closed Wednesday night, and it’s safe to say that it was a successful one. How successful? When the auction closed Wednesday night $161,000 was the final tally.

Among the coaches participating are Arizona’s Sean Miller, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Michigan’s John Beilein, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and North Carolina’s Roy Williams. Amongst the coaches who joined Kampe in this cause, it was Izzo whose bid wound up being the highest at $19,000.

However dinner and a round on the links with Kampe raised the highest amount of money, with bidding for that opportunity closing at $30,000. According to the Detroit Free Press, Kampe wanted to make a big impact from a financial standpoint. It’s safe to say that he accomplished that goal.

“This isn’t about awareness, this is about getting the money to do something,” Kampe said according to the Free Press. “You’ve got to think big, and I’m thinking big. Did we reach as big as I wanted? No. But what I’ve got to do is make this the best 24 hours in these people’s entertainment lives so they go and talk about it.”

Greg Kampe tweets a photo of Oakland’s new blacktop floor

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The court isn’t quite done yet. The 3-point and out-of-bounds lines (both white) are still covered in tape. The new court design season has officially begun. On Tuesday, Oakland head coach Greg Kampe tweeted a picture of the new floor at the Athletics Center O’rena.

The blacktop look isn’t where Kampe wanted to stop.

“We looked at trying to get the nets colored black (or) grey like chain-link nets, but there’s a rule that the nets have to be white,” Kampe told Rod Beard of the Detroit News. “We have graduation (in three weeks) and it has to be done before graduation, so we’re hoping that within the next 10 days it’s done.”

We’ve seen schools follow other designs over the last few years. George Washington, Memphis and Washington have all gone with the skyline look. Looks like Oakland is following UCF’s lead, which went with the blacktop look in 2013. Last summer, Northern Illinois also went with a mostly blacktop floor.

Texas transfer finds a new spot closer to home

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Former Texas guard Martez Walker has found a new home and will transfer to Oakland, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The news of Walker’s transfer was first reported by Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press.

A sophomore, Walker has a court case pending for misdemeanor domestic-assault charges from a September incident in his Texas dorm room. Walker was suspended indefinitely from team activities at Texas and then arrested again within the same week for trespassing as he violated an order that banned him from entering any on-campus residence halls.

Walker withdrew from Texas on Oct. 9 and has found a second chance playing basketball closer to his native Detroit.

According to Snyder, Walker will walk-on at Oakland for now and his status regarding a scholarship with the program will be re-evaluated by head coach Greg Kampe after the season. Walker will practice with the team but isn’t eligible to play in any games this season.

“I’ve been informed that Martez is here on his own accord, paying his own way,” Oakland associate athletic director Scott MacDonald said to Snyder. “He’s on our roster, not on our competitive roster at this point.”

With Walker joining the roster, this is the second Big 12 transfer that the Golden Grizzlies have received in the last few days. Former Iowa State guard Sherron Dorsey-Walker transferred to Oakland over the weekend. Both Walker and Dorsey-Walker played grassroots ball for the R.E.A.C.H. Legends and attended Detroit Pershing High School.

If Walker can get past his legal problems, and be a scholarship player, Oakland could be getting two very good transfers for next season and Kampe’s high-octane offense could use the former Big 12 guards. With point guard Kahlil Felder — who also attended Pershing — expected to return next season, the Golden Grizzlies could have one of the most talented and deepest backcourts in the Horizon League in 2015-16.

The 6-foot-4 Walker averaged 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game as a freshman at Texas.

Iowa State transfer finds a new destination

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Former Iowa State guard Sherron Dorsey-Walker has found a new home as the redshirt sophomore took to Twitter on Saturday to announce his new destination. The 6-foot-4 guard will play closer to home and become a member of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.

A native of Detroit, Dorsey-Walker should be a good fit playing in head coach Greg Kampe’s uptempo offense, where the guard could see a much larger role.

Dorsey-Walker had problems getting minutes last season as a redshirt freshman on a deep Iowa State team, but with a limited bench early in the 2014-15 season, the sophomore still never found his way on the floor for the Cyclones. Dorsey-Walker scored nine total points and grabbed four rebounds in 39 minutes of action in 2014-15.

Due to NCAA transfer restrictions, Dorsey-Walker will sit until at least the start of next season and could have to wait until the first semester is finished if the waiver process is not involved.

2014-15 Season Preview: Can Green Bay take the next step, represent the Horizon League in the Tournament?

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source: AP
Keifer Sykes (AP Photo)

Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package.

Today, we are rolling out our Horizon League preview.

MORE: 2014-2015 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

The Horizon League drew most of its attention from the college basketball general public in 2013-14 for regular-season champion Green Bay’s early exit from the league’s conference tournament. Considered by many to be the heavy favorite to make the 2014 NCAA Tournament after a 14-2 regular season mark in the conference, the Phoenix ultimately fell short in the semifinals as some analysts used the Green Bay loss — and subsequent NIT appearance — as an opportunity to blast the conference tournament method of NCAA Tournament selection.

While Green Bay was one of the better mid-major teams in the country during the regular season last year, they fell to Milwaukee at home in the tournament. But with four returning starters, the Phoenix are favored to win the league this season.

Even with the departure of senior center Alec Brown, who was selected in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, head coach Brian Wardle still returns Horizon League Player of the Year favorite in senior point guard Keifer Sykes as well as forward Jordan Fouse,who might be the league’s best defensive player. Green Bay will miss the skill level of Brown on the interior, but they might actually have more interior depth this season as 6-foot-9 senior and double-figure scorer Greg Mays returns and Wardle recruited a few big bodies to bolster the rotation of big men that he can use.

Challenging Green Bay this season will Cleveland State, who has multiple all-league candidates, including senior point guard Charlie Lee, junior big man Anton Grady and junior guard Trey Lewis. Senior forward Marlin Mason acts as a stretch four and 6-foot-9 redshirt sophomore Aaron Scales can play this season and gives the Vikings another big body on the interior.

The most intriguing team in the Horizon League this year could be Valparaiso, who returns 6-foot-10 rim protector Vashill Fernandez along with three talented sophomores — point guard Lexus Williams, forward Alec Peters and forward Jubril Adekoya — and Charlotte transfer E. Victor Nickerson. Bryce Drew’s ballclub went a surpring 9-7 in the league last season despite starting Adekoya, Peters and Williams as true freshmen.

Billy Donlon loses five of the top six scorers from a Wright State team that fell short in the conference tournament finals a season ago, but the Raiders return 5-foot-9 senior point guard Reggie Arceneaux along with 6-foot-6 sophomore J.T. Yoho and guard Crishawn Hopkins. Wright State had 10 players average double-figure minutes last season, so expect Donlon to go to his seven-man recruiting class early and often for depth.

Defending conference tournament champion Milwaukee will not represent the Horizon League again in the NCAA Tournament. This isn’t a bold prediction, but a truth, as the Panthers are ineligible for postseason for low APR scores. But three starters still return for Milwaukee, led by senior point guard Steve McWhorter and junior big man Matt Tiby and Northern Illinois transfer Akeem Springs should add some scoring punch on the wing.

Detroit has the pieces to surprise in the Horizon this season as senior wing Juwan Howard Jr., returns after a breakout junior season. If the son of the former Fab Five member can get some help from Colorado transfer Chris Jenkins or 6-foot-8 sophomore Paris Bass, the Titans could compete sooner than later. Bass, in particular, will be one to watch after sitting out last season.

Oakland now faces life in the post Travis Bader-era, as the NCAA’s all-time leader in three-pointers has graduated and moved on. The Golden Grizzlies will now have to rely on the inside-outside combination of senior big man Corey Petros and returning Horizon League Freshman of the Year Kahlil Fielder at point guard. St. John’s transfer Max Hooper, who shot 40 percent from three-point range in his final season in New York, will get a shot at replacing the prolific Bader.

PRESEASON HORIZON LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Keifer Sykes, Green Bay

One of the most dynamic point guards in the country, the 5-foot-11 senior puts up numbers all over the floor and usually rises to the occasion when Green Bay has a big game. A freak athlete with outstanding leaping ability and quickness, Sykes is a difference-maker on both ends of the floor and averaged 20.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game in his junior season. The only thing missing on the resume for the senior is a trip to the NCAA Tournament and he’s focused on leading four returning starters to the Big Dance in 2014-15.

THE REST OF THE PRESEASON ALL-HORIZON LEAGUE TEAM:

  • Juwan Howard Jr., Detroit – The son of former NBA veteran and Fab Five member Juwan Howard, the 6-foot-5 senior had a breakout junior season, averaging 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and also leading the Titans in assists.
  • Corey Petros, Oakland – A 6-foot-10, 260-pound senior, Petros is a load to handle on the interior and averaged 13.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season on 57 percent field goal shooting.
  • Alec Peters, Valparaiso – The 6-foot-9 sophomore had a huge impact as a freshman, averaging 12.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game on some impressive shooting splits for a player his size (49% FG, 77% FT, 38% 3PT).
  • Trey Lewis, Cleveland State – The Vikings have multiple all-league candidates but Lewis averaged 13.6 points per game as a sophomore and if the 6-foot-3 guard improves his shooting percentages, that number could climb greatly.

ONE TWITTER FEED TO FOLLOW: @billpotter_HL

PREDICTED FINISH

1. Green Bay
2. Cleveland State
3. Valparaiso
4. Wright State
5. Milwaukee
6. Detroit
7. Oakland
8. Youngstown State
9. UIC