#92 Oakland Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Oakland Golden Grizzlies

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #92
Conference Rank: #2 Horizon

Oakland Team Page#92 Oakland Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Oakland Basketball Tickets

Oakland got off to a slow start last season, but as usual that was mostly due to a tough nonconference schedule. By the time conference season rolled around, the Golden Grizzlies were playing pretty good basketball. They ended up going 11-5 in Horizon League action, which tied them for third place behind Valparaiso and Green Bay, both of whom they beat at home. Coach Greg Kampe returns point guard Kahlil Felder to the conference’s highest scoring offense. Two years ago Felder dished out 6.4 assists per game and averaged 9.5 points per game. Last year he boosted those numbers to 7.6 assists and 18.1 points. He is one of the best passers in the country, but now he is a proven scorer too. With Felder leading the way, Oakland will be competing for an NCAA Tournament bid.  

2014-15 Record: 16-17, 11-5
2014-15 Postseason: CIT
Coach: Greg Kampe
Coach Record: 271-241 at Oakland, 271-241 overall

Who’s Out:
The Grizzlies do lose their next two most productive players behind Felder though. Corey Petros, a 6-10 center, averaged 14.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists. His interior scoring will certainly be missed and Petros was the main reason why Oakland was able to stay in the black when it comes to rebound margin. Dante Williams, a 6-6 forward, had a great senior season, averaging 10.0 points per game. He knocked down a team high 67 three-pointers. Little used Ralph Hill and Collin Weaver are also not returning for the 2015-2016 campaign.

Who’s In:
Three transfers from the Big 12 will bolster Oakland’s roster. Percy Gibson spent three seasons at Iowa State. The 6-9, 271 pound center was at his most productive back in 2012-2013, when he averaged 4.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Gibson was a big time recruit coming out of high school, but never reach his full potential with the Cyclones. Sherron Dorsey-Walker also comes to Oakland from Iowa State. The former prep teammate of Felder, Dorsey-Walker is a talented shooting guard who could make a big impact with the Golden Grizzlies. Martez Walker is another transfer from the Big 12 who is heading back home to Detroit. He too spent some time at Pershing High School with Felder and Dorsey-Walker. Martez Walker, a 6-4 shooting guard, spent one season at Texas, where he averaged 4.7 points per game. Brad Brechting highlights the three incoming freshman. The 6-11, 210 pound center is a big body who can battle in the paint and will eventually be a nice replacement for Petros. Forward Xavier Hill-Mais and high scoring guard Jaevin Cumberland will find it tough to find many minutes as freshmen.

Who to Watch:
Most of the returning experience besides Felder comes from forwards Jalen Hayes and Tommie McCune. Hayes started 22 games as a freshman and averaged 8.5 points and 5.1 rebounds. McCune, a 6-8 forward, is a tough rebounder too, but he can also stretch out the defense with his outside shooting ability. Hayes and McCune, along with Gibson, will be asked to hit the glass hard in order to help replace Petros. Hayes and Gibson will also need to provide an interior scoring threat for Oakland so the shooters can have open looks. Speaking of shooters, Max Hooper and Nick Daniels are back to provide an offensive spark, most likely off of the bench. Hooper knocked down 60 three-pointers, connecting on 37.6 percent of his attempts. Daniels is a more versatile scorer. Not only did he shoot 48.6 percent from beyond the arc, but Daniels also has proved to be relatively effective attacking the basket.  

Final Projection:
Even without all of the Big 12 transfers, Oakland would have a pretty good team. If the transfers can live up to their potential, Coach Kampe suddenly has a very deep team that can give Valparaiso a run for their money and then some. Last season the Horizon League was very strong and Green Bay was basically on the bubble, while Valparaiso had a strong case as well if they had not won the conference’s automatic bid. The conference may not be quite as strong this year, but if there is a team that can compete with Valpo and make a case for the NCAA Tournament, it is Oakland.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Kahlil Felder, Junior, Guard, 18.1 points per game
Martez Walker, Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season
Tommie McCune, Senior, Forward, 6.6 points per game
Jalen Hayes, Sophomore, Forward, 8.5 points per game
Percy Gibson, Senior, Center, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.2 (30th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 75.2 (338, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.2 (54, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 46.8 (322, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (41, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.2 (88, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.6 (196, 5)
Rebound Margin: 0.1 (188, 4)
Assists Per Game: 15.7 (17, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (184, 7)


See All Top 144 Basketball Previews