Rochester — Greg Kampe is entering his 31st year as coach of the Oakland University men's basketball team.
Only Syracuse's Jim Boeheim (39th) and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (35th) have coached longer among Division 1 coaches.
"That makes me old," said Kampe, 58, who ranks 21st among active Division 1 coaches in victories (519). "Hopefully, that makes me more knowledgeable. I can still remember all kinds of basketball stuff. But I can't remember where I parked my car."
What he definitely can remember is his team's difficult schedule — five consecutive road games in December: Michigan State, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Clemson and Maryland.
And he also can remember he has to replace guard Travis Bader, the career NCAA 3-point shooter (504 made).
So this season, Kampe will run his offense through the middle with 6-foot-10 senior Corey Petros (Utica Eisenhower) before going outside.
"Our offense is going to be predicated on good post play," Kampe said. "Every one of our Oakland teams relied on our post game. In order of our offensive preferences, we want to go into Corey, get a layup, free throw and then a 3-pointer. That's how we think."
And Petros, a Horizon League first-team selection who averaged 13.3 points and 8.2 rebounds last year, is ready to be the man in the middle.
"I'm looking for the challenge," Petros said. "I've been watching film of Keith (Benson, former Oakland post player) to pick up pointers."
Besides Petros, Oakland returns two starters from last year's 13-20 team — 5-9 sophomore point guard Kahlil Felder (Detroit Pershing) and 6-8 junior forward Tommie McCune (Saginaw High).
Felder was named Horizon League freshman of the year last season, and led the league in assists (6.4). He also averaged 9.5 points, while McCune averaged 5.6.
Max Hooper, a 6-6 junior transfer from St. John's, replaces Bader at scoring guard. Hooper shot 40 percent on 3-pointers last season.
"We only have three players who played significant minutes last year, but I think we are very, very talented," Kampe said. "You have to have good seniors, we have that. Have to be good in the post, we have that. Have to be good at point guard, we have that."
Ten Oakland games are scheduled to be televised on WMYD, in addition to two national games (Michigan State, Arizona) and one (Pittsbirgh) on Fox Sports Detroit.
... Artis Cleveland, a 6-10 redshirt freshman suspended indefinitely for violating team rules, likely will not return, according to Kampe.
The Oakland women's team suffered through injuries to key players last season. But with the return of senior Zakiya Minifee and sophomore Sinclair Russell, coach Jeff Tungate is optimistic.
"I feel really good about where we are at," said Tungate, in his second year. "I'm really excited about our returners. We have a drastic improvement in our returners which should give us really good depth."
The Golden Grizzlies finished 13-17 last season, 8-8 in the Horizon League, despite missing Minifee and Russell (knees) the entire season.
Oakland also returns starters in point guard Elena Popkey (13.6 points, 5.6 rebounds) and forward Olivia Nash (11.2 points, 7.1 rebounds).
2013-14: 13-20 overall (7-Horizon League)
Returning starters: Kahlil Felder (9.5 pts., 6.4 assists), Corey Petros (13.3 pts., 8.2 rebs.), Tommie McCune (5.6 pts., 2.7 rebs.)
Opener: at Iowa State, Nov. 14
Home opener: Western Michigan, Nov. 19
2013-14: 13-17 overall (8-8 Horizon League)
Key players: Elena Popkey (13.6 pts., 6.2 rebs.), Olivia Nash (11.2 pts., 7.1 rebs.)
Opener: at Miami, Nov. 14
Home opener: Chicago State, Nov. 23
Jim Spadafore is a free-lance writer.