No. 4 – Oakland
Best Wins: At Purdue Fort Wayne (75-66), Charlotte (70-49), and Ohio (88-74)
Number of wins over a power five conference teams: Zero
Number of victories over high tier mid major teams not in a Power Five conference: Zero
Notable Defeats: At Washington State (54-96), At Florida Atlantic (55-76), and at Boston College (66-70)
Non-Conference Record: 2-8
RPI Ranking: 356
KenPom Ranking: 307
College Basketball Power Index Ranking: 234
Sagarin Ranking: 317
Quadrant 1 Wins: Zero
Quadrant 2 Victories: Zero
Quadrant 3 Wins: Zero
Total Points from Rankings: 1,214
There is no debate that the Golden Grizzlies are missing the all-around production from Jamal Cain who now is with the Miami Heat. Last season he was Oakland’s leading scorer and rebounder. One other player that they miss as well is Micah Parrish, who was a full-time starter and is now playing at San Diego State this offseason. However, Oakland did bring back two key players and added some players via the transfer portal.
However, the Golden Grizzlies brought back Jalen Moore who lead the team in assists and steals last season. Moore however is playing through a minor injury this season and his overall production is down in comparison to last season due to him not playing at 100% strength. For example, Moore was Oakland’s second-leading scorer last season but this season he is only the team’s third-leading scorer when many thought he would be the Golden Grizzlies’ leading scorer with Cain now playing now in the NBA. Though, the other returning starter for Oakland has statistically speaking, played better this year than last.
Trey Townsend who was the team’s leading shot block leader and fourth-leading scorer last season is now the team’s leading scorer this season and is playing well overall. Townsend had 30 points against Toledo on the road and 23 points against Bowling Green. It is, however, the Golden Grizzlies transfers that are getting the most attention this season and some are doing better than others thus far this season.
One addition to head coach Greg Kampe’s program this season via the transfer portal is Lourne Bowman Jr. who was a top 200 nationally ranked recruit from the state of Michigan out of high school who played last season at Wisconsin and who was the Badgers’ sixth-leading scorer and helped Wisconsin capture the Maui Jim Maui Invitational last season. However, this season he averaged just 8.4 minutes a game and averaged 3.9 points per game. The Golden Grizzlies hope that he will be able to contribute more as the season goes on. Another player that transferred to Oakland this season is a player from the Missouri Valley Conference.
Keaton Hervey has done a decent job replacing the production that Parrish produced last season. Hervey is similar in size as Parrish as he is 6’6 and having played at Missouri State the past two seasons, he has used that experience to start and play significant minutes for the Golden Grizzlies this season. He is Oakland’s second-leading scorer and the leading rebounder for the Golden Grizzlies through ten games
Oakland’s other transfer is Rocket Watt who started off at Michigan State playing two seasons there before transferring to Mississippi State for his third season. However, injuries limited him to only 19 games and the Bulldogs coach Ben Howland who recruited Watts to Starkville was fired after seven seasons as the head coach at Mississippi State. Watts then decided to transfer to Oakland. Watts this season has had some good games for example against Eastern Michigan he had 15 points, two rebounds, and two assists.
In his last game, he had a season-high 20 points in a road loss to Purdue Fort Wayne. However, he has had four games where he scores four or fewer points and for the Golden Grizzlies to do well this season, they need his offensive production.