Not much has changed for Oakland basketball after beating No. 7 Tennessee
ROCHESTER - Life was pretty normal at Oakland University Thursday morning, roughly 36 hours after the Grizzlies' basketball team made national news by upsetting then-No. 7 Tennessee.
With final exams complete, the snow-covered campus was fairly empty. Inside the O’Rena, the Grizzlies’ on-campus arena, not much had changed.
“We’re doing what we got to do, you know, it’s just freakin’ December,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. “It’s been like March, though, when we made it to the tournament and everyone in the country wants to talk to you because they never heard of you.
“So it’s kind of nice to have that in December, too, but it’s meaningless in the scope of it. It didn’t do anything for us other than get us our 24 hours of fame.”
It was practice as usual Thursday, with Kampe getting into his team a little bit while the Grizzlies started preparing for their next opponent, Michigan, on Saturday (noon, ESPN3.com).
Beating previously unbeaten Tennessee, 89-82, on Tuesday night gave the flagship Summit League basketball program more recognition.
Playing well against two straight ranked teams - Illinois and Michigan State - had brought Oakland to the national conscience. Beating the Volunteers put Kampe on ESPN on Wednesday morning and brought a bunch of national media attention to the suburban Detroit school.
That’s what happens when you play major school after major school. Before the crux of Summit League play, Oakland will have played five Big Ten teams (Purdue, Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State), West Virginia from the Big East and last year’s Mid-American Conference NCAA tournament representative, Ohio.
“It sunk in immediately after the game. We were all happy and all that, but now we’re focused on the next game,” senior forward Will Hudson said. “ I guess if we were in school, it would be harder to, I don’t know if concentrate is the right word, but there’d be more of a hype atmosphere.
“We were hyped as a team and all that, but it’s in the past now.”
Still, beating Tennessee on its own floor did give a momentary lift to a team that had been so close to upsets before.
“Man, it was amazing,” Oakland fifth-year senior guard Larry Wright said. “It was amazing.”