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

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oakland-Rochester College notes

Nelson out at least another two weeks
The X-ray on senior forward Derick Nelson’s foot this week has left his future uncertain. He will be out at least another two weeks and possibly longer.

“It didn’t go good,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. “That last X-ray wasn’t good. Well it’s good and bad. There’s a calcification on the crack. They said it would be at least two weeks and could be four. If it comes to four weeks, then it’ll be in the middle of January and we’re going to have a decision to make. We want him back. This is a very good team and with him, it could be a special team. We want him back, but we’re not going to bring him back if it’s going to take two or three more weeks to put him back into playing shape. All of a sudden it’s the middle of February and all of a sudden he’s Derick Nelson, then it’s not worth it.

“As I said before, it’s going to be his decision. He’s got a child and he will graduate at the end of this semester. And he wants to play professionally and he’s got the ability to do that. If his decision is ‘Coach I don’t want to come back next year no matter what,’ then we will play him. If there’s any idea that he wants to come back, we’ll make that decision when the doctor gives the OK.”

This is obviously not good news for Oakland, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out. If Nelson comes back this season at 100 percent then the team’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament this season will increase. If the Grizzlies redshirt him, then next year’s team would have everybody back except Erik Kangas and Dan Waterstradt and would add not only Nelson, but St. John’s transfer Larry Wright and whatever recruits Oakland lands in addition to Drew Valentine.

Nelson has to do what’s best for him and his family and it’s a shame he got injured, but Oakland will benefit from both scenarios as long as he is back at 100 percent.

Kangas tweaks ankle
Kangas missed the Delaware State game at the Las Vegas Invitational with an ankle injury and apparently re-aggravated that ankle against Rochester College Sunday. He left the game and went into training room. He later returned to the bench without his shoe and an ice pack on his ankle.

“Yeah, that’s not good,” Kampe said of the injury. “We’re coming into a big stretch now. We have Green Bay on the road and they’re very good. They beat UMass and UMass beat Kansas (Saturday). Then, we have Michigan at the Palace, then we go to Eastern Michigan, then Michigan State at the Palace. So, we’re going into a big four-game stretch and we need Erik Kangas. Without Derick Nelson, we can’t afford to lose Erik Kangas. He just tweaked that ankle again. I probably had him out there too long.”

The Michigan game at The Palace already look more difficult than it did at the beginning of the year, but would be even more difficult without Kangas, who is averaging 20 points a game in this last three games.

Samuels in street clothes
Freshman Matt Samuels missed Sunday’s game against Rochester College with an ankle injury he suffered in practice, but it doesn’t appear he will be out long.

“Matt got hurt in practice (Saturday),” Kampe said. “He hurt his ankle and warmed up today, but didn’t go. I suspect he’ll be okay by Green Bay. I hope so. We need him. He would have gotten to play a lot tonight. I was going into this game and planning on giving him a chance to really (play). I wanted to sit JJ a lot tonight. Give (Matt) the ball and find out what he can do when no one is looking over his shoulder. It was a bad injury for us, because I really wanted to play him.”



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