RTC Live: Oakland @ UMKCPosted by rtmsf on February 24th, 2011
Game #150. RTC Live brings you a look at the Summit League, as UMKC looks to pull an upset over Oakland, who has clinched the conference crown with two games remaining.
While the Oakland Grizzlies have already clinched the Summit League title, coach Greg Kampe is charged with keeping his team motivated to finish strong entering the conference tournament. They’re lead by 6’11 center Keith Benson, who has made waves as the Summit League’s first bona fide NBA prospect in a number of years. Averaging a double-double (17.6/10.0), Benson has helped guide the Grizzlies through conference play as well as through Oakland’s grueling slate of power conference foes. Confident that his team could handle the conference, Kampe sought out “big six” teams in an effort to get his team ready for the challenges they figure to face in the Big Dance. The result was an unenviable slate that included battles against West Virginia, Purdue, Illinois, Michigan State, Tennessee (who the Grizzlies upset) and Ohio State. Benson deservedly receives much attention, but he’s complemented by a pair of long-range assassins in freshman Travis Bader (45.3%) and 5’11 guard Reggie Hamilton (38.3%). On the other side of the scorer’s table, UMKC head coach Matt Brown (a John Beilein disciple) can improve his team’s seeding for the conference tournament with a win tonight. If they are to turn the trick, it will be behind the hot hand of senior Jay Couisnard, who has averaged 23.5 points per game in his last six outings. Senior Spencer Johnson, the heart and soul of UMKC, has the challenge of matching up with Benson on the glass. Despite his size, he became the school’s all-time leading rebounder recently, and has 695 career boards entering tonight’s game. Another card in the ‘Roos’ back pocket is their flawless 7-0 record at Swinney Recreation Center, one of their two home courts. IUPUI has been the only Summit League team to figure out Oakland, and their solution was simple – get Benson in foul trouble. Perhaps that’s not the only recipe, though so tune in at 8:00 EST to see if the Kangaroos can stun the Grizzlies.