Follow @TerryFoster971 | Terry can be reached at Terry.Foster@cbsradio.com
Oakland University plays the Detroit Mercy Titans Friday night at Calihan Hall in a game that means the world to the Golden Grizzlies who are still fighting for a top-two seed in the Horizon League tournament in March.
The Black and Gold wants revenge. And there are two key men that can avenge an earlier loss at the O'rena.
Hayes has become unstoppable with that baby hook shot inside. He is averaging 18.3 points and 9.6 rebounds in league play while shooting 56.3 percent from the field.
"Jalen has been as good as any player there is in the Horizon," Oakland Coach Greg Kampe said. "In our troubled times he has been the guy who has put the ball in the basket."
Oakland must go to him more if it is to win at Calihan. The Titans Jaleel Hogan butchered Oakland inside for 39 points and 14 rebounds. Brock is the man in the middle asked to shut down points in the paint. He was hobbled last time with a hip injury suffered during the game.
In that game Hayes scored 28 points but took just 12 shots. The Golden Grizzlies did not look to him enough although the Titans could not stop him. Hayes needs to take at least 20 shots and see where it takes him.
Oakland needs Brock to limit Hogan. The Black and Gold should be embarrassed. Hogan not only crushed them but clowned on Oakland's home floor. He flexed his muscles and flicked imaginary bugs off his shoulders. Those bugs were Oakland defenders.
Brock cannot be a bug. He must bug Hogan enough so this man does not have another big game.
The Titans (4-8 in the league) are near the bottom in the Horizon League but winning at Oakland was their national championship game. If you are a Titan grown man named Bob, Matt, Sam and Jim name themselves Titan Bob, Titan Matt, Titan Sam and Titan Jim. I ran into a number of them and they were chirping about the Oakland victory weeks later.
Observers around town said the win revived the series.
They will all be at Calihan Friday night looking for more blood and a season sweep against Oakland.