After the management of the College Insiders Tournament consulted the Necronomicon they announced that Toledo was going to host Oakland. Then, after a mirror broke and a black cat walked under a ladder they they decided Buffalo should travel to Oakland and Toledo should host Robbert Morris. I suppose Oakland being willing to buy another home game helped shake things up.
Greg Kampe has been coaching at Oakland since 1984 what the Grizzlies were a division two program. That's right they have been rolling with the same coach through 28 years and two divisions. Kampe has done pretty well for Oakland, especially of late. The "Golden Grizzlies" have been to the NCAA tournament three times since 2005. They have also been to two CIT tournaments in that time frame. Five post season appearances and three dances in seven years is a good run for any program, let alone a mid major.
Unlike the game against American this is going to be a true road test for Buffalo. Oakland played in front of about two thousand people, on short notice, during spring break. It's not unreasonable to think that with a round one win they will better that attendance this week.
I tuned in to their last game while the Bulls and Eagles were in the half. What I saw was Bowling Green start to sneak back into the game before Oakland started to hammer them. When it was all over Oakland put Bowling Green down by 17 points.
This is one of those team that is far better than their RPI would indicate and for Oakland it all starts with one of their two seniors.
|Conf #||3||2||3pt FG %||37.5||34.8|
|RPI||146||75||Eff FG %||53.3||52.4|
|Top 25||0-1||0-0||OR /G||11.1||12.1|
|19+ Score||2-2||3-1||Off Reb %||31.9||35.7|
|6- Score||5-5||6-4||DR /G||22.7||28.3|
|Pts /G||79.8||72.9||A /G||13.3||16.5|
|Poss /G||70.7||68.9||Assist %||50.3||63.9|
|Floor %||53.2||53.7||Steals /G||6.4||5.6|
|FG /G||26.4||25.8||Steal %||9||8.1|
|FG Att /G||58.2||55.7||Blocks /G||2.1||5.2|
|FG %||45.4||46.4||Block %||3.6||8.6|
|FT Made /G||17.7||14.5||TOPG||12.3||14.9|
|FT Att /G||24.2||22||TO %||17.5||21.6|
|FT %||73.4||66||Fouls /G||18.5||17.6|
UB Faces not just one of the Best offenses in the CIT but one of the best in the entirety of Division on basketball. Led by Reggie Hamilton the Grizzlies put up just under eighty points a game. Hamilton himself averages nearly 26 points per contest. In round one against Bowling Green he put up 37, hes been doing it all season.
Hamilton leads the NCAA in field goal attempts, free throws, points, and points per game. On top of all that he is also top ten in about five other statistical categories. He's not a big guard but he makes every inch of his 5'11 frame work. If he has one offensive vulnerability it's that he's not a phenomenal shooter. Not phenomenal but respectable at .447, it's more than made up for by the volume of work he puts in during his 35 minutes a game.
Perhaps the most worrisome aspect of Oakland's offense is not Hamilton, but the fact Hamilton is not alone. Travis Bader's 16 points per game fits so nicely Hamilton's shadow that it's tempting to write the Grizzlies off as a one man show.
If you make that mistake, and focus too much on Hamilton, Oakland does have the tools to make you pay in other ways.
So how does the number one scoring team in the NCAA end up third in their conference and in the CIT?
Their defense is awful! Their defense is 78.2 points per game awful. That number puts tham at number 340 among all 345 NCAA division one basketball schools. Among those 345 division one teams Oakland also ranks below at least three hundred in three point field goal Percent, three point field goals allowed, total opponents field goal percent, and effective opponents field goal percent.
Aside from Drew Valentine, The Grizzlies are suspect re-bounders and that's where UB is going to have to win this game. It's really doubtful you're going to completely shut down Hamilton but you have to make them pay for every missed shot. The Bulls also can't mess around on offense early in the game.
This is defensively the worst team UB has faced since Buff State but maybe they are the best offense we've faced all season. Bowling Green got into a situation where they tried to play a fast paced game with Oakland and looked gassed down the stretch. Few teams will win a shootout with Oakland, best to make sure you're in a position where you have the luxury of controlling the tempo.