Oakland Basketball: Interview with Greg Kampe, Part 1

Interview with Oakland University's head coach Greg Kampe

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The Interview took place over the phone on April 9th.

How have you been spending your time during these past two weeks?

Kampe: One thing we have right now is a lot of time. I don’t leave the house I do everything is done on Zoom or videos or FaceTime all that kind of stuff so trying to make the world work that way.

How much are you allowed by the NCAA to do stuff like Zoom and meetings are they pretty flexible during these times?

Kampe: So much of it is so new to everybody but you’re in the gray areas a little bit on some of the recruiting stuff that you do because you’re not allowed to make a video just for one guy so like when I have the video kinda like even though it is centered on a guy it is multipurpose you know so we can use it for multiple kids and that. And we can’t say their names and we can’t say, hey (insert name) this is, we can’t do that kinda stuff so there are these guidelines in there that you’re kinda walking around the edges of.

What do you miss most about not being able to conduct basketball type activities during the state of Michigan lockdown?

Kampe: I miss being around the players you know the interaction with the kids and the interaction with my staff. A good time of the year is a growth time. This is the time of the year when you kinda to make them better, nobody is upset because they’re not getting playing time, you didn’t have a loss, you didn’t have a win, it’s all about the future and growth.

That saying in baseball that spring’s hope is eternal or something like that that wherein the off-season everybody thinks they’re gonna be the champion next year and everybody’s working hard to become one. That’s one of those funniest times of all this because the pressures of reality, they are not a part of it, they are not a part of it at all there’s no pressure, there’s no you got to win your next game, you got to prep for this game, you got to play good, that type of thing.

What are your thoughts on this past season?

Kampe: Well, it was like a season like no other that we have ever had here. I’ve never had players that were major pieces in the lineup leave and especially leave at a time that we didn’t have a chance to replace them. So we had nine, we had nine, no 10 new players and seven freshmen. So it was almost like your first year at a school and you were going to go in implement your I guess the big word today is culture but your system, your culture and you would implement that the difference is that is wasn’t a new school it was our school and it was just all new players so it was rewarding at times, it was challenging at times but it was frustrating at times.

But for the situation we were thrown in to, I think we had a pretty darn good year. I mean obviously it’s not the standard of the years that we are accustomed to at Oakland it surely not anywhere near our standards that we expect but for the situation, I thought that was a pretty good year.

I thought there was there was a lot of positives out of the year, a year of growth. I’ve played more kids than I’ve ever played before, we had a lot of games that 11 or 12 kids played. For me as a coach, it was a year of growth. You know I had to reach into bags that haven’t been open in a long time to pull out different you know tricks or ideas.

Follow up question: What in particular are you the proudest of your team during this past season such as with your two seniors who graduated?

Kampe: I was proud of both those two kids (Xavier Hill-Mais and Brad Brechting) I thought they were put in a tough situation when (Jaevin) Cumberland left them and (Braden) Norris left, and they could have easily left to after all that but they didn’t’ and they both could have been grad transfers. They bleed black and gold is believed in Oakland and they battled and fought and this team got better. The game we lost at the end of the season, (Kevin) Kangu got hurt in the game and (Tray) Maddox didn’t play and Brechting was hurt too. Three of our top seven guys really and we weren’t going to win it and we would have won and had to play again we would have been and we don’t know what we would have done with the lineup.

You have to give those seniors a ton of credit, it would have been very easy to just play it out. Play the season out and get the season over with and move on to the pros.  But they didn’t, they fought and battled and a lot of young kids grew and learn and learned a lot about college basketball.

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