Blogs > Pemberton's Point

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

Monday, September 14, 2009

OU men's schedule is out, here's my predictions

The Oakland men’s basketball schedule is finally out and man is it a tough one with road games at Wisconsin, Kansas, Memphis, Michigan State, Oregon and Syracuse.

The home non-conference schedule is sort of weak with Hope College, Eastern Michigan, Rochester College, Central Arkansas, Green Bay and Alma, but I know Oakland’s expectations for this season are out and likely made an already difficult task of finding home games even more difficult.

Here is my early prediction of how things pan out for the Golden Grizzlies this season. I may be a little optimistic, but again expectations are high this season.

W — Nov. 10 Hope College — The return of former OU player Peter Bunn won’t go well, as Oakland wins this one easily
W — Nov. 14 Eastern Michigan — The Eagles will be better with Carlos Medlock back, but the Grizzlies should still get the win.
L — Nov. 18 at Wisconsin — Part of me wants to pick an upset here and while the Badgers lost Marcus Landry, they do return Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon.
W — Nov. 21 Rochester College — It’s admiral what OU does for Rochester College coach Garth Pleasant and his program, but I don’t see them even keeping it close.
W — Nov. 23 at Tennessee Tech —The Golden Eagles went 12-18 and 6-12 in the Ohio Valley last year, will be a tough win on the road, but OU is capable.
L — Nov. 25 at Kansas — OU’s Keith Benson will go against his roomate at the Amare Stoudemire camp Cole Aldrich, but the Jayhawks will likely prove too much.
W — Nov. 28 Central Arkansas — The Bears finished dead last in the Southland last year and I don’t see them coming into the O’Rena and getting a win.
L — Nov. 30 at Memphis — The Tigers should once again be one of the top teams in the nation despite the loss of coach John Calipari.
W — Dec. 5 at IPFW — The Grizzlies have just one conference game in the middle of the non-conference schedule this year, which is a positive after losing to Southern Utah in early December the last two years.
L — Dec. 10 at Michigan State — OU has never beat the Spartans and this could be one of the best MSU teams the Grizzlies have faced.
W — Dec. 13 Green Bay — This is Oakland’s most difficult non-conference home game. The series has been entertaining thus far, so this should be a good one.
W — Dec. 17 at Seattle University — Will likley be a tough road game for OU. Seattle went 21-8 last season, including 13-8 against Division I opponents, but lost team MVP Austen Powers to graduation. Seattle will play its first full Division I schedule this season.
L — Dec. 19 at Oregon — Oakland is 2-0 against Oregon the last two years, but the Ducks likely have this one circled on their calendar and will come out fired up to win this game.
W — Dec. 22 at Syracuse — I got a feeling Oakland is going to knock off one of these big-time opponents, it might not be the Orange, but I’m going out on a limb and saying Oakland springs the upset.
W — Dec. 28 Alma — OU concludes the non-conference schedule with an easy win over the non-Division I opponent.
W — Dec. 31 Western Illinois — The Leathernecks will be improved, but Oakland absolutely dominated them twice last year.
W — Jan. 2 IUPUI — The Jaguars will be a dangerous team with Alex Young, Robert Glenn and a solid group back, but OU is tough at home.
L — Jan. 7 Oral Roberts — Oakland fell in overtime at Oral Roberts last season. The Golden Eagles did lose Robert Jarvis and Marcus Lewis, but have a strong group of newcomers. OU will likely lose two or three on the road during league play so here’s one of them.
W — Jan. 9 at Centenary — The Grizzlies got embarrassed at the Gold Dome last year, but this Gents team isn’t the same and will likely struggle all season as the school prepares for the transition to Division III.
W — Jan. 14 UMKC — The Kangaroos will likely be another team that struggles this year after finishing dead last in the Summit League last season.
W — Jan. 16 Southern Utah — Davis Baker and Jake Nielson are back, but the Thunderbirds don’t return much after that.
W — Jan. 21 at North Dakota State — Not sure what to expect from the Bison this year. Michael Tveidt could be a star in the league, but the rest of the team could experience some growing pains.
L — Jan. 23 at South Dakota State — Frost Arena is a tough place to play and the Jacks have nearly everyone back from last year. Like I said previously OU will likely lost two-three conference games so this is the second one I’m predicting.
W — Jan. 28 at IUPUI — The third of four straight on the road for Oakland. This could be a trap game, but the Grizzlies should be able escape the Jungle with the win.
W — Jan. 30 at Western Illinois — Oakland should conclude the road trip with a win over the Leathernecks.
W — Feb. 4 Centenary — Oakland can’t overlook the Gents, but should be able to win this one easily.
W — Feb. 6 Oral Roberts — The Golden Eagles always find a way to finish near the top of the conference, but I don’t see them sweeping Oakland.
W — Feb. 11 at Southern Utah — The dreaded trip to Cedar City, where Oakland hasn’t won since 2006. The Grizzlies end the losing streak this season.
W — Feb. 13 at UMKC — Municipal Auditorium is normally a tough place to play, but the Kangaroos will likely struggle this year so the crowd could be thin.
W — Feb. 18 South Dakota St. — Oakland avenges the loss in Brookings and clinches the league title against the Jacks, who I predict will finish in the top three of the league this year.
W — Feb. 20 North Dakota St. — The Grizzlies continue their home winning streak with a win over the Bison.
W — Feb. 27 IPFW — This could be a trap game, especially if the conference race is over. But if Oakland is undefeated at home at this point in the season then they won’t let it slip away against the Mastodons.

Predicted finish: 25-7 overall, 16-2 Summit (League champions)


Anonymous OUalum said...

Yeah, I mostly agree w/ you DP, but i think OU will beat Memphis, & maybe Wisconsin too. Also, I sure wish Bradley was on the schedule. hopefully next season we can get a better home schedule too.

September 15, 2009 at 12:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any games scheduled for the Palace of AH ?

September 21, 2009 at 11:17 AM 
Blogger Dave Pemberton said...

OUalum, beating Wisconsin or Memphis will be really tough, but not asking the impossible. Like I said in the post I expect them to knock off one if not more of the big BCS schools on the schedule. Time will tell which one.

Anonymous, no games at The Palace this season, but OU will have games there in the future. Also the school just announced Oakland will host first and second round games of the NCAA Tournament at The Palace in 2013.

September 21, 2009 at 7:01 PM 
Anonymous Old Titan said...

Curious to know when you might be giving your overall Summit LEague predictions, your preseason All-Conference team, and your leading candidates for league POY.

September 24, 2009 at 11:10 AM 
Blogger Dave Pemberton said...

Old Titan,
Should have them up this weekend. How are the ORU newcomers looking? You hear anything yet?

September 24, 2009 at 10:03 PM 
Anonymous Old Titan said...

Lots of speculation re. the ORU starting line-up: Kevin Ford and Dominique Morrison seem to be the only locks. SE Missouri State transfer guard Roderick Pearson is the early favorite at point, with sophomore letterman Kyron Stokes at the #2 spot, with freshman bomber Hunter McClintock pushing for playing time at both spots. Biggest question is whether to go "small" at the #4 spot with juco defensive stopper Michael Craion and Ford at the post, or go "big" with Ford at the #4 and freshman man-mountain Damen Bell-Holter in the blocks. Wouldn't be surprised to see all 7 players take turns starting in the early going...

September 25, 2009 at 3:09 PM 
Blogger The D Man said...

We will miss your Summit League coverage, Dave. Good luck in your new role.

As for Southern Utah, the program may take a step forward this year. They will be very young (six freshman and two sophomores) but they will have some better all-around basketball players fighting for minutes. Coach Reid finally has a team comprised of players that he recruited, and he is excited about their potential and the kind of guys they are. Despite their youth, I look for them to be battling for a spot somewhere in the top half of the league this year.

September 27, 2009 at 10:00 AM 

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