DETROIT (AP) — Greg Kampe is in his 34th season as Oakland University’s coach, and he’s closing in on 600 victories. He was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame this year, an acknowledgement of the job he’s done turning the suburban Detroit school into a reputable Division I basketball outpost.
Now, Kampe feels the Golden Grizzlies need to take another big step — one that’s eluded them year after year.
Oakland is 0-16 against Michigan State after an 86-73 loss to the second-ranked Spartans last weekend, and after the game, Kampe was blunt in saying how upset he was that his team couldn’t pull off the upset. Oakland has built a solid mid-major program that can compete with big-name schools, but without a signature accomplishment — like an NCAA Tournament run or a win over a team like Michigan State — it’s hard to get noticed.
“It’s time for this program to win that game,” Kampe said. “We win them, but we beat Clemson and we beat Georgia and we beat teams like that, and nobody cares. This is a game that people would have cared.”
Oakland has come close against the Spartans, losing in overtime in 2015, by four in 2013, by one in 2010 and by four in 2007. This season, Kampe thinks he has a lottery-worthy player in Kendrick Nunn, but the Spartans were still too talented and too resourceful.
“We’re 0-16 against the pillar of college basketball — the blue blood,” Kampe said. “We’ve got to beat ’em, and then we can legitimize who we are because…Read More