Blogs > Pemberton's Point

Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Oakland-Delaware State preview

The opponent - Delaware State has a had a rough start to its season. The Hornets (0-5) have lost their first five games by an average of 25.8 points per game and their closest game was an 18-point loss Lehigh. Delaware State even lost an exhibition game to Cheyney (a Division II school), 67-64.

Senior guard Donald Johnson (6-foot-4) is the Hornets leading scorer at 9.4 points per game. Johnson is one of three returning starters from last year’s Delaware State team that finished 14-16. Junior forward Frisco Sandidge (8 points, 6.6 rebounds) and sophomore guard Trevor Welcher (5.6 points, 2.3 assists) are the other two returning starters. Senior forward Arturo Dubois (8 points, 6.6 rebounds) and junior guard Marcus Neal (6.1 points, 4.1 rebounds) are the Hornets other two starters. Delaware State was picked to finish third in MEAC preseason poll.

Key matchup – Oakland Drew Maynard vs. Delaware State Donald Johnson. The loss of Derick Nelson has left the Golden Grizzlies without a consistent third scorer, but Maynard could prove to be the guy. Maynard scored a career-high 11 points against Kansas State and will be making the first start of his career against Delaware State. If Maynard can get going offensively it will provide a huge boost. Johnson is the Hornets leading scorer and will need to have a big day for his team to pick up its first win.

Matchup history – Oakland and Delaware State have never met. Oakland is 1-0 all-time against MEAC team. The Grizzlies defeated Morgan State, 83-79, in double overtime back on Dec. 22, 1972. A side note is when Oakland made the NCAA tournament back in 2005 and was the No. 16 seed against North Carolina, Delaware State was also a No. 16 seed and played at the same site in Charlotte, N.C. The Hornets fell to Duke.

The skinny – Oakland needs to pick a win after losing three straight to BCS schools. The Grizzlies have two games in Las Vegas as part of the Las Vegas Invitational before kicking off conference play next week at Southern Utah and at UMKC. It would be good for the team’s confidence to pick a pair of wins heading into the two December league games. The Grizzlies have also had two days off, something they haven’t had in their last two games. Oakland’s game against Delaware State is the fourth game of a 15-day, seven-game road trip and one of nine straight road games to start the season.



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