Oakland Golden Grizzlies 2019-20 Season Preview

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Can Oakland hoops have another surprising season with new talent?

We all know the story by now. A ton of transfers, weird scholarship situations and the big men holding down the fort for the last year of their eligibility. The real question is: Can this team contend with NKU or Wright State?

In a league dominated by big men (Loudon Love, Drew McDonald, Jalen Hayes to name a few), Oakland has the big men talent to compete with anyone. What is the weaker point of the team, however, is floor spacing and guard play. This is a team that should out-rebound just about anyone, but might struggle from the floor consistently.

Tray Maddox is one of the two players that fans have seen play any minutes for Head Coach Greg Kampe, and is generating significant buzz around media members. Maddox will need to take a step up to lead the back court this season. That is the number one concern with this team, is back court play. A step up from Kenny Pittman could aide back court woes, as some additional three-point shooting would greatly assist Xavier Hill-Mais and Brad Brechting.

Rashad Williams would help out the back court, but it is looking more and more like he will not be a part of the team and will be a red shirt player for the 2019-20 season. With Williams, Oakland would give teams like Wright State and Northern Kentucky a run for their money.

Greg Kampe has recently been extended three more years (first reported by Tony Paul of the Detroit News), and this team looks to be in a win-now mode. If newcomers can step up and perform well, this team could once again surprise. However, with so many new faces, fans can expect growing pains as the team has to figure their identity out.

Newcomers

Rashad Williams, 6’2″ G

Daniel Oladapo, 6’7″ F

Emmanuel Newsome, 6’0″ G

Zach Goodline, 6’1″ G

Blake Lamplan, 6’1″ G

Kevin Kangu, 6’4″ G

Madison Monroe, 6’3″ G

Christopher Gettlefinger, 6’4″ G

Yusuf Jihad, 6’8″ F

Jackie Harris, 6’6″ F

Lineup

CBS Sports Jon Rothstein reported on 9/25 that the starting lineup for the Golden Grizzlies will be:

Kevin Kangu

Tray Maddox

Daniel Oladapo

Xavier Hill-Mais

Brad Brechting

Outlook

Prediction: The Golden Grizzlies still have great talent with Maddox, Hill-Mais and Brechting, but the amount of newcomers to the team will prove tough this season. Another top-four seed is still in the cards for Oakland, I predict a fourth seed in the Horizon League and a semi-finals loss to Wright State. However, I would not rule out a potential run in the conference tournament. Solid big man play can go a long way, as proven by the dominance of NKU and Wright State these past two years.

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