By Matt Dery
Oakland Basketball Analyst
This is getting a little ridiculous. The Oakland Golden Grizzlies begin their last road trip of the regular season and Greg Kampe may have to ask the bus driver to pull off on the side of the road to grab some reinforcements. Does Neal Ruhl have any eligibility left?
The Grizzlies still sit in the top four in the Horizon League at 8-5, but they are down to eight scholarship players. Oakland looked good on Friday night, sweeping away rival Detroit Mercy, but they lost senior Martez Walker to a left foot injury late in the second half. "Mellon" gutted it out to play the final minute or so, but was announced today that he will miss the rest of the season with a broken foot.
Injuries have been an issue all year for Kampe's crew, yet, nobody has made any excuses. Think about it. The crew in street clothes tomorrow night (Walker, Brailen Neely, Brad Brechting, Jaevin Cumberland plus Xavier Hill-Mais who redshirted this year) would be a pretty darn good starting five.
In addition, senior Nick Daniels is not 100 percent with a sore knee and sophomore Isaiah Brock has been bothered all year with ailments, the latest a sore wrist and hand which bothered him on Friday. But this team keeps winning and I like the fact that nobody is hanging their head about all of the health setbacks.
The meniscus injury that has put Neely's season on park for the remainder of the year has opened up an opportunity for freshman Stan Scott. A relative unknown coming into the season, the athletic point guard has shown that no stage is too big for him. Scott grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists on Friday, and shows a nose for the ball on the offensive glass that is unmatched by any guard on this team.
Scott is not your prototypical point man, 6-3 with length, and if he can improve defensively and knock down a shot or two, I like his ceiling. Give Kampe credit for starting him on Friday and throwing him right in the fire.
One more thing. The "Grizz Gang" is just incredible. Friday night vs Detroit-Mercy was not for first place in the league. Neither team will tell you that they are playing at their highest level right now, yet, that student section was off the charts again. Every single student was in their seat for tip-off and cheered and hollered until the final buzzer. It truly is one of the best student sections I've ever been around.
The Dery View is sponsored by the United Shore Professional Baseball League. For more information visit uspbl.com.