Day & Time: Monday, November 20, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: Syracuse (-9)
TV/Streaming: ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Oakland blog: Mid-Major Madness
Rivalry: 2-0, Syracuse leads
Current Streak: 2, Orange (duh.)
First Meeting: Jonny Flynn led Syracuse with 18 points in a pretty one-sided 86-66 victory over Oakland at the Carrier Dome in 2008. Syracuse was up 15 pretty early and then held off the Golden Grizzlies from there. Oakland shot under 30 percent on the game, while SU owned the boards (courtesy of Paul Harris and Rick Jackson).
Last Meeting: Just a year later, the impressive 2009-10 team ran right past Oakland in a 92-60 rout. Brandon Triche had 27 points and Wes Johnson collected 11 rebounds for the Orange. Four SU players hit double figures and like the other contest, this one was out of reach pretty quickly for Oakland.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (42nd year, 1,007-357); Oakland: Greg Kampe (34th year, 585-425)
Coach Bio: Kampe played at Bowling Green, then when right into coaching afterward, serving as an assistant at Toledo from 1978 through 1983. From there, he moved straight on to Oakland, where he’s been ever since. He coached the Golden Grizzlies into a Division II tournament contender, then the program made the jump to DI in 1999. They won their first regular season title that first year, and first made the NCAAs in 2005.
Last Year: Oakland finished tied for first in the Horizon League last year at 14-4 (25-9 overall). However, the Golden Grizzlies were upset by Youngstown State early in the league tournament and instead headed to the NIT. There, Oakland fell to six-seed Richmond in the second round.
Last Game: The Golden Grizzlies fell to Toledo, 87-74 in a bit of a homecoming for Kampe. Oakland shot just 38 percent from the field, and found themselves facing a large deficit for most of the second half. However, the team did have two players top the 20-point mark. Senior guard Martez Walker led all scorers with 29 points on 8-of-15 shooting (plus 10 made free throws). Kendrick Nunn also managed 24 while hitting 11 of his 27 shots.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": Pick your poison between Nunn and Walker. Nunn’s an Illinois transfer that averaged 15.5 points per game in his last season with the Illini (2015-16) and is on a 28 point-per-game pace so far this season. Walker’s averaging 24.3 himself. Both players are reasonably good three-point shooters, hitting over 43 percent apiece. Walker’s the more accurate overall shooter, however, at over 61 percent. They’re going to create some problems.
If Syracuse Wins: Syracuse wins its first big test of the season, which I think we can all agree is a good benchmark for a young team this early.
If Syracuse Loses: WAYLP.
Fun Fact No. 1: Kampe is the third-longest tenured coach in Division I basketball, behind Jim Boeheim and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. While Coach K hasn’t been in DI the whole time, we’ll still give him the nod here. Even if we ruled out the DII seasons, he’d be tied for ninth-longest.
Fun Fact No. 2: Oakland has won regular season championships in three different leagues -- the Great Lakes Athletic Conference, Summit League and Horizon League. They’ve yet to win the conference tournament in the Horizon, however.