When balling out isn’t enough

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It was a strange tweet from the Oakland University Men’s Basketball team. “These four balled out in the GB series.” The words were followed with graphics of four Oakland players who had very good statistical weekends. The other thing the 4 of them and the entire Oakland team had in common? Getting swept in Green Bay to a team that was 1-5 coming into the weekend.

The surprise of the season has been Trey Townsend and the numbers he has put up. He continued his campaign with a very solid week, especially for a freshman who is not looked to score often. Townsend always seems to do the little things, from winning the opening tip way more often than you’d expect from a 6-6 player to getting on the floor for loose balls. He may make plenty of freshman mistakes but they’re very rarely noticed by a casual observer. He averaged 9.5 points and 7 rebounds on the weekend. Those are numbers you have to be happy with if you’re Oakland, especially from a young role player.

Early in the second game they seemed to make getting the ball in his hands a priority and he was able to score. As the team “quit,” as Coach Greg Kampe described the second half meltdown where they were outscored 49-33, Townsend seemed to still be the player playing his most consistent game. Townsend has been a real highlight for OU all season and he continued that in the losses.

Playing alongside Townsend in the frontcourt has been Daniel Oladapo. It’s amazing Townsend has grabbed any rebounds with the number Oladapo is getting. Not only did Oladapo average 13 rebounds on the weekend, but he chipped in 19 ppg over the two games. Dan has been incredibly consistent during the conference slate where he wasn’t overmatched by multiple Power 5 bigs. If Oakland doesn’t find a way to win more games he will likely not get the post season accolades he deserves. He is closing in on averaging a double double in conference, something that shouldn’t be ignored, but likely will be without wins.

One half of the dynamic numbers for the Oakland backcourt come from Rashad Williams. Williams is leading the NCAA in 3 pointers made with 47 including 9 more this weekend while averaging 17.5 points. However, he has also taken 19 more attempts than the next most in the NCAA, and they’re tied for the most made. It is the volume and percentage he’s shooting that at times is hurting Oakland. He has proven he’s a shooter that has no conscious and not afraid to shoot the next shot after missing one. And Kampe wants just that. However, one has to start question the shot selection he’s taking and if it’s hurting the team in the end.

The other part of the backcourt and putting up stat stuffing numbers is Jalen Moore. He left Green Bay averaging 24 points and 8 assists. He also helped contribute to the loss in the first game with some untimely turnovers including 2 late in regulation. There’s no doubt he has been a terrific and needed piece for Oakland. He is 10th in the NCAA in assists per game, first in total assists with 104 which is 13 more than second place but not in the top 50 in assists to turnover ratio. Not doing him any favors is averaging 36 minutes per game. Running the show with the ball in his hands almost the entire offensive possession has to become mentally taxing and could be a big factor in late game blunders we have seen from him.

What does it all mean? For now, it means that they have impressive individual numbers without a lot of wins to show for it. For the players, coaches and fans, I’m sure they would gladly trade any of the stats for more wins. It just seems that all the key components are there. If a race car has a great engine, great transmission, great tires and still loses the race consistently, don’t you have to point the finger at the driver?

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