Detroit — Enough's enough.

Oakland coach Greg Kampe is sick and tired of talking about the disappointment of last season, when his team — the co-champions of the Horizon League during the regular season — was stunned, again, in its opening game of the league tournament.

Oakland won 25 games, second-most in program history, and still won its first NIT game. More importantly, Kampe said, he had a bunch of good kids who accomplished a great deal.

"Let's clarify the disappointment. I can't be disappointed in a group of young men that won 25 games, beat two Power-Five teams and won a league championship," Kampe said Friday at Horizon League media day, held at the site of this year's league tournament — Little Caesars Arena. "We lost in the conference tournament in a game we probably shouldn't have lost. But that one game didn't define that team.

"Now, because of that and because of the expectations this team has, the tournament is really, really important, and it's important because winning another league championship and then not getting to the NCAA Tournament, in the world we live in, that would be a huge, huge disappointment. And it would be a group of seniors that have had a tremendous career and never got to play in the NCAA Tournament.

"That's the way I look at it."

Oakland was the runaway pick to win the Horizon League in the preseason poll released Friday, receiving 31 of the 47 first-place votes from media and coaches. It's followed by Northern Kentucky, Illinois-Chicago and, somewhat surprisingly, Detroit Mercy.

Detroit Mercy, 8-23 in Bacari Alexander's first year as head coach, actually received a first-place vote.

"That was somebody that called in sick," Alexander dead-panned.

On the women's side, longtime juggernaut Green Bay was the easy preseason pick to win the title. Oakland is picked third, while Detroit Mercy is picked fifth.

On the men's side, Oakland returns everybody but Sherron Dorsey-Walker, and adds a big-time transfer in former Illinois standout Kendrick Nunn — who sat out last year after switching schools. He'll have one year of eligibility at Oakland, gunning for his first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Nunn made the preseason second-team, while Jalen Hayes and Martez Walker made the first-team. Oakland's offense should be stellar again, though it'll have to replace the defense of Isaiah Brock, the Army veteran who had a surprisingly impressive freshman year, then decided he didn't want to play basketball anymore.

For Detroit Mercy, it has a big transfer, too, in former Michigan player Kam Chatman, plus got good news early last month, when Jaleel Hogan, after a heavy class workload this summer, was declared academically eligible.

The Titans also should benefit from the development of Corey Allen, so good as a freshman, among others. A daunting early schedule, which includes Virginia Tech, UCLA and Michigan — the latter at Little Caesars Arena on Dec. 16 — could prove the Titans' biggest challenge, at least from a confidence standpoint. It lost so many early games last season, things kind of snowballed.

"Our schedule is very challenging and ambitious and exciting," Alexander said. "Ultimately what it comes down to, is what kind of momentum can we build going into league play."

Allen and Hogan both were named to the preseason second-team. Of note, Flint's Cameron Morse, of Youngstown State, made first-team, after putting on quite the show at last year's league tournament at Joe Louis Arena.

Oakland hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2011, and Detroit Mercy since 2012.


(First-place votes in parentheses)

1. Oakland (31)

2. Northern Kentucky (10)

3. Illinois-Chicago (3)

4. Detroit Mercy (1)

5. Wright State

6. Green Bay

7. Youngstown State (1)

8. Milwaukee (1)

9. Cleveland State



■ Drew McDonald, Northern Kentucky-#

■ Jalen Hayes, Oakland

■ Martez Walker, Oakland

■ Dikembe Dixson, Illinois-Chicago

■ Cameron Morse, Youngstown State

#-Preseason player of the year


■ Corey Allen, Detroit Mercy

■ Jaleel Hogan, Detroit Mercy

■ Lavone Holland II, Northern Kentucky

■ Kendrick Nunn, Oakland

■ Tai Odiase, Illinois-Chicago


(First-place votes in parentheses)

1. Green Bay (21)

2. Wright State (4)

3. Oakland

4. Milwaukee

5. Detroit Mercy

6. Cleveland State


8. Youngstown State

9. Northern Kentucky

10. Illinois-Chicago


■ Chelsea Welch, Wright State-#

■ Ashanti Abshaw, Cleveland State

■ Brianne Cohen, Detroit Mercy

■ Jessica Lindstrom, Green Bay

■ Steph Kostowicz, Milwaukee

#-Preseason player of the year


■ Khayla Livingston, Cleveland State

■ Allie LeClaire, Green Bay

■ Danielle Lawrence, IUPUI

■ Taylor Jones, Oakland

■ Lexi Smith, Wright State