PantherU

A Jerk’s Guide to the Oakland Golden Grizzlies

PantherU has decided to forego the usual ho-hum season previews of basketball teams in the Horizon League, instead…well…we’re just gonna trash your team in the style of Deadspin (yeah, we’re not even covering up that we’re ripping them off). For years, PantherU has been second only to the Horizon League office in pissing off Horizon League hoops fans, and it’s high time we embraced the villain. It’s all in good fun, so don’t take it seriously and be ready to enjoy the previews. If you are a fan of a Horizon League team and you want to be a part of trashing your own team, feel free to send all to jimmy@pantheru.com.

The team: Oakland Golden Grizzlies

2014 record: 13-20 (7-9 Horizon League)

The coach: Greg Kampe, who despite our photoshop job, is put simply a freaking boss. This guy should probably have a statue of him built outside the O’rena (really?) once he retires from being the hoops coach, which he has been for Oakland since the 1984-85 season. So, he’s hitting year 31 with the Grizzlies. That’s unbelievable, meaning he’s lasted longer than any coach in D-I this side of Jim Boeheim and Mike Kry…Coach K. He’s also a coach with a death wish, playing the numbers game by loading up the schedule year after year with high-majors (and good ones, too) and beating one every so often. They’ve taken enough of a pounding in these games lately that I’ve openly wondered as recently as this sentence whether or not he’s wearing some kind of S&M gear under that short sleeve windbreaker. Now, you can’t unsee that in your head.

The star: Corey Petros, your doughy big in the middle. Petros has probably had too many servings of Greek yogurt, but it seems to be working: he averages 8.2 rebounds per game while never jumping over a phonebook. He knows how to throw his weight around, like Margaret Thatcher. I’d imagine that if Margaret Thatcher were a post player in the Horizon League, she’d be Corey Petros. If that’s not a winning endorsement of Petros, I don’t know what is.

Could be worse: The Grizzlies might not be so bad. Travis Bader scored 20 ppg, but he also took a lot of shots. The Golden Grizzlies are littered with guys who have better field goal percentages, so if they all get better (as players tend to do year to year), we could be looking at one heck of a roster coming back.  Or we could be looking at a team who went 7-9 losing their best shooter ever, picking up the pieces. Who knows.

This is the worst: Golden Grizzlies is a real long name, but I’m going to say that the name of the arena (we should talk) is ridiculous. The Athletics O’rena?! O’RENA. It’s bad enough that every time I hear the name O’RENA, I think of this guy. Oh….oh…oh…O’RENA.

There could be worse names, to be sure, but is there anything as lazy as O’RENA out there? I’m also disappointed that they never dressed Duke Mondy up in a cowboy hat and chaps on the floor or in promotional videos. Doesn’t that name just scream John Wayne to you? DUKE MONDY is on his horse for the fast break!

Look forward to: More Kahlil Felder. With Travis Bader shooting himself into NCAA lore (five feet in front of me!) at the Klotsche Center this past winter, the now sophomore Felder should get a whole lot more looks. He was more efficient than Bader last year and also dishes the ball out a ton. His assist numbers may go down now that, you know, he doesn’t have the greatest three-point shooter in the history of the game on his team. But that just means he’s got to work harder to create those chances for himself, which should make him all-conference caliber as a sophomore. Could be a big deal.

Hey, how about that: This should be a fun season to watch, at least. Oakland is 2nd in the conference in both points scored and points allowed, so you know they’ve got a whole lot of points coming through the pipeline. Maybe there won’t be, with Bader gone. They may substitute him with defense. They definitely do get somewhat of a sharpshooter in Max Hooper, a transfer from St. John’s who made roughly 40% of his three-pointers last year in the Big East.

What Oakland fans have to say:

Dudek:

Young team, new pieces, same ridiculous scheduling. They’ll be ready for the Horizon League, if any of them are still playing ball after December.

Gary:

  • Former Oakland player Ryan Williams has had bit parts in “Balls of Fury” and Miller lite commercials.
  • Is Kampe’s hair real? No one really knows.
  • Schedule top 5 conferences for out of conference scheduling (rare wins) because players want to play those teams and at those arenas but has yet to land a 3 star+ recruit based on this model.
  • We outgrew the O’Rena 15 years ago (4k) and don’t have a practice facility.
  • Thinking dribble drive and no defense can be successful in the Horizon League.
  • Leads the league in players out for the season before the season begins, every year.
  • Considers itself the 3rd best team in the state of Michigan behind Michigan and Michigan State.
  • Can’t get over the fact that UDM blocked entry (banded with Loyola and Butler to block) into the Horizon league 15 years ago.
  • Still has to remind everyone that Oakland isn’t in California.
  • Oakland University or Oakland Community College?
  • We’ve come a long way since have a basketball team sponsored by Reebok.
  • Our previous mascot is more popular on social media than our current Grizzly mascot. Pioneer Pete has to be top 5 regardless of conference for creativity and presence from a school’s previous mascot.

Jeff:

Year after year, the calm. cool and collected Coach Kampe builds his team from the inside out. the ball never to be seen on or around the perimeter (other than Travis Bader, Reggie Hamilton, Erik Kangas, Brandon Cassise, Brad Buddenborg … okay so there has been a few)

Well this year that changes… enter stage left… Max Hooper. Yes, that’s his stage name,  we don’t know his real name. Max has chose Oakland next on his tour of schools to peddle his 3 point wares and finally add some long distance shooting to this team. Also joining the team this year are freshman Neon Buddeau, Billy Doyle, Sidney Dean and Birdie to round out the all name team.

Oakland will start kick off the season against powerhouse Ferris State University to set the tone and then travel to a few low level schools like Iowa State. Michigan State, Arizona, PItt, Maryland, Clemson and Morehead State (giggle). Once the cupcake portion of the schedule is over they dive into the hard part of the season starting with Cleveland State. 

But seriously come for the game stay for the 9 different OU mascots (Pawz, Clawzz, Grizz, Midge… I don’t know the rest) and 47 different other local sponsored mascots also running around the O’Rena during a game. If you like winning pizza coupons based on 3 point shooting and Mongolian food inspired mascots, boy are you in for a treat!

 

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