Oakland's tough basketball schedule adds Xavier; school gets $95K for game

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Oakland men's basketball nailed down its trek through the Big Ten.

Now, it's turning to the Big East.

Oakland will visit Xavier on Wednesday, Dec. 2, the latest high-profile opponent for coach Greg Kampe's Golden Grizzlies early in the 2020-21 season. Oakland will receive $95,000 for the game.

Jalen Moore

Oakland also has on its schedule trips to Ohio State for the season opener on Nov. 11, Michigan State on either Nov. 13, 14 or 15 (depending on MSU's football schedule, which includes a visit to Penn State that weekend), and Michigan on Dec. 21.

The Michigan game was the major coup, the teams meeting for the first time in more nearly a decade.

That's three Big Ten opponents, if you're counting, and Oakland had some hopes of getting a fourth, but those discussions appear to be tabled for now, particularly as college athletic departments grapple with the fallout — and the potential for no fans in the stands — from the COVID-19 pandemic, which many experts believe could see another wave throughout the country this fall and winter.

There is no fan clause in the Oakland-Xavier contract that would cost Oakland money if the game is fan-less, though there were discussions about that.

Xavier was 19-13 (8-10 Big East) this past season, under second-year coach Travis Steele, and were considered outside the NCAA Tournament bubble before the tournament was canceled.

Oakland was 14-19 and 8-10 Horizon League, a rare down season for Kampe, whose team never did find a true point guard. Kampe believes that's fixed with his recruiting class with the arrival of JUCO All-America transfer Jalen Moore.

The teams have played four times before, with Xavier winning each of them, most recently 73-63 in December 2018 in Cincinnati. They also played in 2003, 2004 and 2007.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984