Oakland men's basketball team heading to Greece with 10 new players

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Rashad Williams

The Oakland men's basketball team is preparing for a 10-day trip to Greece. Hope they bring name tags.

The 2019-20 Golden Grizzlies will feature 10 new players, after a series of high-profile players transferred out of the program — including starting guards Braden Norris to Loyola-Chicago and Jaevin Cumberland to Cincinnati.

The new players include: 

►C.J. Gettelfinger, guard, 6-4/185, Knoxville, Tenn.

►Zach Goodline, guard, 6-1/170, Coloma, Mich.

►Jackie Harris, forward, 6-6/205, Lambertville, Mich.

►Yusuf Jihad, center, 6-8/215, Farmington Hills

►Kevin Kangu, guard, 6-4/180, Burlington, Ontario (Vincennes University)

►Blake Lampman, guard, 6-1/180, Haslett, Mich.

►Madison Monroe, guard, 6-3/190, Charlotte, N.C. (U.S. Military Prep)

►Emmanuel Newsome, guard, 6-0/160, Boca Raton, Fla.

►Daniel Oladapo, forward, 6-7/220, Washington, D.C. (Chipola College)

►Rashad Williams, guard, 6-2/180, Detroit (Cleveland State)

Williams is among the most intriguing additions, having transferred from a fellow Horizon League school amid the fallout at Cleveland State, where head coach Dennis Felton was fired after just two seasons.

Williams starred at Wayne Memorial High School before going to Cleveland State, where he made the all-freshman team in the league and averaged 10.8 points. Williams was the top 3-point shooter in the league, at 40.8 percent, and set a Cleveland State freshman record with 91 made 3-pointers.

Returning will be guard Tray Maddox Jr., center Brad Brechting, forward Xavier Hill-Mais, center Babatunde Sowunmi and guard Kenny Pittman Jr..

Oakland was 16-17 overall last season, but 11-7 in league play, good enough for third place. It lost to Northern Kentucky on a last-second shot in the Horizon League tournament semifinals.

The Golden Grizzlies haven't won the Horizon League tournament championship since joining the league in 2013, and haven't made the NCAA Tournament since 2011.

They have another tough nonconference schedule, including games at Maryland and Syracuse, with a game against Michigan State at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Dec. 14. Oakland and Michigan State recently re-upped their rivalry series for six more years, the games alternating between Breslin Center in East Lansing and LCA.

To prepare for the regular season, Oakland will hold 10 practices and play four games during the 10-day trip to Greece from Aug. 22 through Sept. 2.

Oakland will spend three days in Corinth and Athens, and four days on the island of Mykonos. The Golden Grizzlies will play games Aug. 24 (AEK BC U21 team), Aug. 25 (Oiakas Nafplioy BC), Aug. 31 (Rethymno Cretan Kings at OAKA Stadium) and Sept. 1 (PAO BC U21 team at OAKA Stadium).

This is Oakland and coach Greg Kampe's first overseas trip since visiting Span in 2015.

Elsewhere in the Horizon League, Detroit Mercy, under second-year coach Mike Davis, has yet to release its nonconference schedule or its roster. The Titans were 11-20 last season and are ineligible for postseason play in 2019-20 because of poor cumulative grades, dating back to previous head coaches. Detroit Mercy is appealing.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984