Oakland’s bid to remain atop the Horizon League standings took a hit on earlier this week.
On Wednesday, it was reported by Tony Paul of the Detroit News that rising sophomore forward Isaiah Brock had left the program.
Brock, a 23-year-old Army veteran, made headlines earlier in his collegiate career. In the fall, the 6-foot-8 forward who had done two tours overseas was ruled ineligible by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite earning dozens of credits online and during the summer at Oakland. Following an appeal and the backlash that came with the initial decision, the NCAA reversed the ruling.
According to the Detroit News, Brock is prioritizing academics over athletics and is still enrolled in the university as a student.
Brock went on to have a productive freshman campaign. He started 29 of 33 games for the Golden Grizzlies, averaging 6.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. He earned Horizon League all-defensive team honors.
Oakland finished 25-9, winning a share of the Horizon League regular season title. The Golden Grizzlies were upset in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament, wrapping up the 2016-17 season in the NIT.
Oakland has landed Illinois transfer Kendrick Nunn, a source confirms to NBCSports.com.
Nunn was booted from the Illini program earlier this off-season after he pled guilty to misdemeanor battery charges stemming from an altercation with a woman.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 15.5 points per game last season on 42.8 percent shooting from the floor and 39.1 percent from 3-point range while grabbing 5.0 rebounds per outing.
Nunn will have to sit out the upcoming year under NCAA transfer rules and will have one season of eligibility remaining in 2017-18.
Oakland went 23-12 last season and lost dynamo point guard Kay Felder to the NBA Draft following his strong junior season last year. They ranked in the top-10 nationally last year in adjusted tempo, utilizing the 3-point and free-throw lines to generate most of their points.
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.
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.”
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.
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.