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

Saturday, November 15, 2008

OU vs. Cleveland State pregame notes

The opponent — Cleveland State is the preseason favorite in the Horizon League after finishing second last year and reaching the NIT. The Vikings are No. 9 in the mid-major preseason top 25, but will rely heavily on senior forward J’Nathan Bullock (Flint Northern) and Cedric Jackson, who were both named to the preseason All-Horizon League first team. Bullock (14.8 points, 6.6 rebounds) was also named a preseason mid-major All-American by collegeinsider.com and Jackson (13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists) was an honorable mention.

Kampe’s key to the game — Rebounding. The loss of senior forward Derick Nelson will hurt Oakland’s ability to rebound, as Nelson was the team’s leading rebounder last season (7.3 per game). Cleveland State outrebouned its opponents last season by an average of 34.7 to 31.6, with Bullock leading the Vikings in rebounding last season with 6.6 per game.
“We’ve got to rebound without Derick,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. “That’s their strength. We have to rebound. Their strength is getting rebounds and not let you have any. We have to live and die with defense and we have to be able to score the ball.”

Key matchup — Johnathon Jones vs. Jackson. Jones (14.9 points per game last year) may to shoulder more of the scoring load with Nelson out and Jackson was the Vikings’ second leading scorer last season (13.9 per game). Jones (6 assists per game) and Jackson (4.9 per game) were also their team’s best passers last season. To make the matchup even more exciting both players are also very strong defensively. Jones normally guards the opposing team’s best perimeter player, while Jackson is also known for his defense and was a Horizon League All-defensive team selection last season. Jackson is bigger at 6-foot-3, 190 so Jones will have to rely on his speed.

Matchup history — Oakland is 0-2 all-time against Cleveland State. Both meetings came during the Grizzlies transition period to Division I. The Vikings won the first meeting, 81-67, at the O’Rena on Dec.9, 2000 and then defeated Oakland again the next year, 87-73, at Wolstein Center.

The skinny — This was going to be a tough opening game for Oakland even without the loss of Oakland. Freshman Drew Maynard and Blake Cushingberry were expected to contribute this season, but with have step up even more in the absence of Nelson. The Grizzlies will need to contain the Vikings big two (Bullock and Jackson) to have a chance.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Theodore said...

Fantastic!

September 11, 2013 at 12:13 AM 

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