Oakland hoops loses star guard Martez Walker
When it rains, it pours. And at this point, Oakland men's basketball coach Greg Kampe has to be walking around with one mammoth umbrella.
In the latest blow to a season that began with grand expectations and serious NCAA Tournament hopes, Oakland has lost star guard Martez Walker for the season with a broken left ankle, Kampe announced Wednesday.
"I am heartbroken for Martez," Kampe said. "He was having an MVP-type season and all he wanted to do was win and go to the NCAA Tournament. Now he's lost that chance."
Walker hurt the ankle late in Friday's victory over Detroit Mercy.
Walker is Oakland's fourth scholarship player to suffer a season-ending injury this season. A fifth, Xavier Hill-Mais, also redshirted early, before the parade of ailments.
Star guard Kendrick Nunn also is playing with ankle tendinitis, which hasn't stopped him from ranking second in the nation in scoring, even though he's playing in pain.
Walker, a red-shirt senior, was averaging 15.4 points, third on the team, and 37.9 minutes, among the top 15 in the nation.
He played two-and-a-half seasons at Oakland, after transferring from Texas. In high school, the 6-foot-6, 185-pounder starred at Detroit Pershing. He was an all-state selection as a senior.
Oakland is 16-10, 8-5 in the Horizon League, likely heading toward a No. 4 seed in the league tournament next month at Little Caesars Arena. The Golden Grizzlies will have to make quite a run to earn their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011.
Oakland plays at Youngstown State on Wednesday; Walker is not with the team.
The Golden Grizzlies, who received votes in the preseason Associated Press poll and took then-No. 2 Michigan State to the brink earlier this season before losing, have five regular-season games left.