You love to see it: 5 Takeaways from Oakland’s win over Oklahoma State

Image courtesy of Oakland Athletics

After having a chance last year to knock off Oklahoma State before eventual NBA number one pick Cade Cunningham took over down the stretch, Oakland University got redemption with a 56-55 victory on the road. Coming off a narrow defeat at West Virginia just a few nights before, there were many that felt Oakland would at least be able to keep it close with OSU. Oakland managed to control the pace of the game and made the Sooners play their tempo. All this lead to the first Power 5 victory of the 2021-2022 season for the Horizon League. Here are 5 takeaways from the game:

Oakland out rebounded another Big 12 opponent- Oakland out rebounded West Virginia in their opener by 15 rebounds. To beat a Bob Huggins team on the boards is tough. Oakland showed it was no fluke and turned around in their second game of the season with a 4 rebound advantage over OSU. While it wasn’t the dominant showing they had against WVU, it was still impressive and was a second game in a row where they won the glass against a bigger opponent. Rebounding was a question mark for Oakland heading into the season knowing they were playing a bit undersized but they have shown after two games that they’re going to be okay on the boards.

Kampe may know what he’s talking about- Greg Kampe told Tony Paul of the Detroit News before the season started that he felt this year’s team was good enough to win a Power 5 game. Well, the longtime coach just may have a career in this after all. Before the game. He also told his team with 4 minutes left in the second half that if they didn’t allow OSU to score again they would win. He was right about that too. From the pregame Grizzvision Kampe tipped his hand. They were going to need to slow down the pace of the game to have a chance. And that was what they did. Kampe and his staff put together all the pieces and assembled it into a big time upset victory. He’s a big time personality, but turns out somewhere in all that he may have a clue what he’s talking about too when it comes to the basketball court. And food. But that’s a different article.

OSU beat themselves in many ways- Not to take anything away from Oakland, but in many ways OSU beat themselves in this game, or at least didn’t do themselves any favors. No matter the opponent, having 18 turnovers, shooting 6-12 from the free throw line and 3-17 from 3 is not a recipe for victory. Despite having the bigger and more athletic team, they allowed Oakland to dictate the tempo of the game which was a key to the OU victory. In many ways, it seemed like Greg Kampe and his staff simply out coached Mike Boynton’s crew. Was this a case of not being prepared, not making adjustments or did OU simply catch them on a bad night? No matter the reason, the Sooners did not do what they needed to do to escape with the victory. In what is already a tough year for them due to a seemingly questionable decision by the NCAA which will keep them from being NCAA tournament eligible, this is another setback in Stillwater.

Jalen Moore was clutch when they needed him most- When Moore went to shoot his free throws with the game on the line, it was the loudest Greg Kampe has ever heard a gym. He missed the first and they managed to get even louder. Jalen Moore, who is a good free throw shooter but hasn’t seemed to settled in for the season at the line, then buried the next two to get OU the lead. A coach can game plan all day, but at the end of the game, players still have to make plays. Oakland is very fortunate to have the next in a long line of successful point guards who can make plays. In what hasn’t been an ideal start statistically for him this season, you have to imagine this will only propel his swagger and he will continue to improve. This Golden Grizzly team operating with Jalen Moore with confidence will be tough to beat most nights in conference.

The zone defense is for real- Kampe put the zone defense out of necessity last year before the start of the season. Then he found he liked it and worked well for his team especially being able to utilize Micah Parrish at the top of it. As OU heads into the second year with it, it seems to be more than a gimmick. While they only had 6 steals in the game, it was clear they were able to use it to keep OSU off balance a bit and a bit uncomfortable. They have limited two teams who are bigger and more athletic on offense. When they have had the chance to set their defense and limit the transition offense of the opposition, they have had success.

OU will get a quick chance to recover from their victory before they take on Toledo Wednesday night in Rochester.

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