This one counted. 5 Takeaways for OU at WVU

PC: Skip Townsend

On Tuesday November 11, Oakland kicked off their 2021-22 Men’s Basketball season with a 53-60 loss at West Virginia. Here are 5 takeaways from the game:

The Oakland defense is really good– The people that love to bet on Oakland Basketball love to take the Over. Unfortunately for them, OU played great defense against their Big12 opponent. That coupled with a poor offensive outing for OU left the game well under the line. But the defense for Oakland is the bigger takeaway. If they can hold a team like WVU to 0.88 Points per Possession and only 38 points coming against the actual defense, that’s pretty impressive. If this is who Oakland is this year, it will be tough for opposing teams to find points.

Oakland rebounding is going to be okay- Besides the defensive effort against a bigger team, the thing that Golden Grizzly fans and Greg Kampe have to be excited about is the way the team rebounded in their opener. There was a lot of talk and question about would they have the size to compete at all this year, and what would happen when they faced bigger opponents. A 48-33 advantage on the glass cannot be ignored. If they can continue to rebound that way all season it will be forgotten that it was a question mark heading into the season.

Never let it get away– In the past, Oakland would play games like this one, especially early season, and you could feel the game get away. Neal Ruhl on the call would often refer to “The horses are out of the barn” and you would know that it was just going to get uglier and uglier until a 20-30 point defeat was in the books. However, that didn’t happen in this game, and that is a great sign for OU. They continued to battle the entire game keeping it within 10 almost the entire second half. Even down to the wire, they were not out of the game and continued to battle. The fight in this team will end in victories eventually.

Jalen Moore can’t be that bad for OU to win – “You’ll never have a game this bad again.” is what Greg Kampe told his leader and point guard. The guard who lead the nation in assists last year turned in his worst game as a Golden Grizzly with 4 points, 4 assists and 13 turnovers. In a game that was expected to be physical, the diminutive point guard always seemed to have two Mountaineers draped over him unless he was on the ground after being hit. It was clear that Bob Huggins’ team had a game plan to limit Jalen Moore and they succeeded in it. However, it was a great change for Moore to finally play in front of a division 1 crowd and have great film to learn from. He knows he will have a target on his back from teams and will need to learn to make adjustments especially when they play him that physically and the refs are not going to give him the call.

The WVU fans are harder on Blake Lampman than I am, and that’s saying something- I have been known to criticize Blake Lampman in the past. I’m sure some of it is being spoiled by previous Oakland sharpshooters like Erik Kangas and Travis Bader, but OU faithful are used to having a shooter that makes big 3’s when they matter most. However, no amount of my criticism came even close to the WVU student section being on Lampman all night including a straight up “F*** you Lampman!” chant at one point. Kampe has said if he can provide some energy off the bench and shoot 40% from 3, that will be what he needs from him. Last night, Lampman was 2-5 from downtown (40% for the math majors out there) and 2 boards in 20 minutes. He served his role well, but if Blake never has to return to West Virginia it may still be too soon for him. What an odd target for them to get after. I thought that was my job?

Oakland will look to build on the goods and fix some of the bads Friday at Oklahoma State. That game will tip at 8pm Eastern and can be found on ESPN+ or on the radio locally on 1270AM.

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