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Coaches v Cancer

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The University of Florida athletics website is selling travel packages to Madison Square Garden to see the Coaches v Cancer finals against Texas Tech, Syracuse, and Wake.


Am I the only one who finds this a little presumptuous?


Long gone from the Albany area, I am very much looking forward to seeing live Dane basketball next week.


Go Danes!!!!

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It is a joke.


When I called to get my tickets, the woman asked if I'd be interested in "joining the Gators in NY the following week". I don't think she even understood that they had to win the 2 games in Gainesville first.


On the topic of U of Florida - what's up with those football jerseys they wore against Georgia? Those jerseys along with the VT jerseys are some of the worst that I have ever seen

Edited by reeder
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Team preview: Oakland



Blue Ribbon Yearbook


Editor's Note: ESPN Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 326 Division I teams. To order the complete 25th anniversary edition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, visit www.blueribbonyearbook.com or call 1-866-805-BALL (2255).

(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)


In a span of 1.3 seconds last March, life as Greg Kampe knew it changed forever.


That's when Pierre Dukes drained a three-pointer in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament championship game to upset top-seeded Oral Roberts and send Oakland to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.


Twenty-one years of relentless devotion to a single school all came to fruition for Kampe. Finally, the coach that brought this program from Division II to Division I to the Big Dance was in the national spotlight.


"For 10 days, we were the Cinderella team," Kampe said. "It was non-stop for 24 hours talking to people across the world. & After Alabama A&M [the NCAA Tournament play-in game], I was doing a show somewhere every 15 minutes from 5 a.m. [on]. It was just unbelievable."


Kampe wasn't the only one benefiting from the fantasy finish.


"We sold more T-shirts in one week then we did in three years," he said.


All of this hardly seemed fathomable, let alone possible a few months before.


"We had a tough time [early], with three freshmen playing," Kampe said. "We just couldn't seem to finish [games]."


Playing a non-conference schedule with Illinois, Xavier, Marquette, Texas A&M and Missouri (and later, Michigan State), didn't help matters all that much either.


But Kampe started noticing a swing in momentum in a game against his alma mater, Bowling Green, right before the conference season began. Oakland's new defense came to life, allowing only 29 percent shooting.


"We had to get out of our man-to-man and play match-up zone," he said. "But you know, when you're 0-7, it's hard for you to get them to believe in anything."


While the Golden Grizzlies were up and down the next few weeks, a win Feb. 12 before a large crowd at UMKC was a confidence booster. And an overtime win against IUPUI on Senior Night was a telling sign.


By the time the conference tournament came around, the Golden Grizzlies were accepting what their coach had been preaching all along.


"We played a perfect first half. And we held the ball," Kampe said about the opener against UMKC, a 67-63 win. "They made a run in the second half but we were able to hang on. & They started believing that this style could win for us. That was the key game [of the tournament] right there."


In the 56-53 semifinal win over Chicago State, Oakland controlled the entire game.


With the same blueprint working in games one and two, Kampe didn't need to tweak much for the title game.


"We needed to hold the ball,'' he said. "And the game played out perfect. ... Our defense was amazing. And then in the second half, we started by scoring on every possession. We were playing perfect and went up by eight."


That's when Oral Roberts made a run. So Kampe countered with a man-to-man defense. Still, it came down to the end. And it was Dukes to the rescue, with a shot Kampe insists he had taken "a million" times in practice during his career.


After handling Alabama A&M a 79-69 beating in the play-in game the Tuesday before the NCAA Tournament proper began, the competition increased a tad in the opening roundeventual national champion North Carolina.


"[i'm thinking], they've got 15 McDonald's All-Americans and we've got three guys that have eaten at McDonald's," said Kampe, whose team fell, 96-68.


All joking aside, there was one Oakland player that could have definitely made the Tar Heels roster.


Rawle Marshall (19.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.3 bpg) signed a free-agent contract with the Dallas Mavericks this summer. Should Marshall make the roster this season, he would be Oakland's first NBA player.


"We've had constant contact this summer," Kampe said. "It's just a great situation for him. His assistant coach, Charlie Parker, was my coach in college. I'm just really, really happy for him. There's nothing he wanted more than this. And he got his degree. Now he's in the NBA. It's a case where he got from us what he needed and we got from him what we needed."


In the MCC Tournament championship game, Marshall (the conference's leading scorer) was supposed to take a back seat to the MCC Player of the Year, Oral Roberts' Caleb Green. But with Oakland's offense, defense and every intangible possible involving Marshall, it was quickly evident he was going to have the largest impact on the floor.


In addition to Marshall, Oakland also loses Cortney Scott (18.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg), who dominated the play-in game with 29 points. He also managed to score 21 against the most outstanding player of the entire NCAA Tournament, Scott May of North Carolina.


Gone, too, are Dukes (4.4 ppg, 2.0 apg) and DeMarcus Ishmeal (4.3 ppg, 3.3 apg).


Sophomores Brandon Cassise (8.3 ppg, 1.4 apg), a 6-3, 185-pound guard, and Patrick McCloskey (5.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg), a 6-7, 230-pound forward, along with forward David Carson (4.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg), a 6-7, 225-pounder, are the key returnees whom Kampe will count on to provide some much-needed leadership.


"Brandon, Patrick and David need to let those new guys know that all it takes is those three days in March," he said. "That's what it's all about."


Cassise, who was Oakland's primary scorer off the bench late in the season, made 10 starts. McCloskey started half of the 32 games and shot 51 percent from the field.


Junior center Shawn Hopes (4.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg in 2003-04), a 6-8, 270-pounder, is back after deciding not to play last year.


"Shawn can be one of the top two or three centers in the conference," Kampe said.


Two Detroit products are coming back home after stints at larger programs in power conferences. Guards Calvin Wooten (3.5 ppg in 2003-04), a 6-1 junior from Rutgers, and Rick Billings (1.1 ppg, 1.3 rpg), a 6-3 junior from Ohio State, are so good that they're already Oakland's top two players without having played a game.


"We think those two guys could be major, major impact players," Kampe said.


As a freshman, Wooten had 24-point efforts against Notre Dame and Villanova and a 21-point second-half outburst at Pittsburgh. However, in that off-season, he tore his ACL and played in only 13 games as a sophomore.


Billings, academically ineligible three seasons ago, averaged four points and two rebounds a game as a freshman under Jim O'Brien. After playing eight games last season for Thad Matta, the 2002 Detroit Public School League Player of the Year left the Buckeye program.


Freshmen point guards and Michigan products Keith MacKenzie (23.0 ppg, 6.5 apg, 5.0 rpg) and Erik Kangas (17.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) will vie for the starting nod.


MacKenzie, a 6-1, 175-pounder from Warren DeLaSalle (Macomb Township) High School, has the moxie Kampe looks for from his point guards.


"He is like one of my old-time point guardsnot only can he create for other people, but he can shoot the ball and make his free throws," Kampe said.


Kangas, out of DeWitt High School, is a 6-4, 185-pounder that made a state-record 17 three-pointers in the state tournament championship round (quarterfinal, semifinal and final).


Fellow in-state freshmen B-Jay Walker (15.0 ppg, 8.0 apg), a 5-9, 170-pounder from Royal Oak Shrine (Lathrup Village) High School, and Ricky Biezski, a 6-3, 185-pounder from Notre Dame Prep (Pontiac), look to provide depth in the backcourt.


In the frontcourt, 6-6, 230-pound sophomore forward Vova Severovas (4.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg) should help immediately when he becomes eligible in December after transferring from Wright State. Severovas prepped at Groves (Detroit) High School, where he was chosen the best power forward in the state by Michigan Prep Spotlight.


Freshman forwards Derick Nelson, at 6-5, 215 pounds, from Bridgton Academy in Maine, and Aaron Gardner (17.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.0 bpg), at 6-9, 205 pounds, from Frankton (Anderson) High School, round out the recruits on the interior.










Only nine other Division I coaches have been with their schools longer than Kampe, who enters his 22nd season just one win away from reaching the 350-win mark. But the undisputed, biggest win of them all was the Oral Roberts stunner. It put Oakland on the map as a basketball program for the first time.


This season, Oakland will start out in the limelight again as it opens in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Should the Golden Grizzlies oust Albany, they would likely face host Florida the following day.


Also on the non-conference portion of the schedule are road games against Marquette, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Missouri.


As that slate winds down when Billings and Severovas become eligible, this year's Oakland outfit actually might surprise some folks.


"By January, we could be really good. We have a ton of talent," Kampe said. "Everyone says we're inexperienced. But that's not really true. I mean Rick is a fourth-year guy, Calvin is a junior."


No matter what happens in 2005-06, nothing will be more of a surprise than what happened last year.


For the most comprehensive previews on all 326 Division I teams, order the "Bible" of college basketball, the 25th anniversary edition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, at www.blueribbonyearbook.com or call 1-866-805-BALL (2255).

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Good Afternoon Everyone,

I'd like to invite everyone to an informal pre-game gathering of UAlbany Friends & Alumni before the Great Danes season opening game on November 9th. We will rendezvous at the TGI Friday's located at 3598 SW Archer Road (also called Route 24) near the intersection of Archer(Route 24) and SW 34th Street (also called Route 121). The restaurant is located near the SW corner of the UFlorida campus about 2-3 miles from the entrance to the arena. I plan on being there by 3pm which should give us some time together before heading over for the game vs. Oakland, tip-off 5pm.


Safe travels to everyone.

Regards - Don

Don Ostrom

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Unfortunately I won't be able to make it down to the Sunshine State for our opening games..apparently I have to go to class on Wednesday or something like that. :P Anyway, do any of you know if the game will be broadcast on any internet playing radio station?..or if some site has regular updates of the game while in progress?

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ok...but if they arent, i checked Yahoo.com, Florida is broadcasting for free on the website both game 1 and game 2 that they play in. So we still have a way to listen even if they dont. Sometimes, Yahoo.com does free live stream video of games, but none of the Florida games are sched for that

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