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April 29, 2014

Oakland University basketball adds two transfers

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

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Oakland University basketball adds two transfers
Pictured is former St. John’s basketball player Max Hooper, who has transferred to Oakland University. Oakland men’s coach Greg Kampe said Hooper “can shoot the basketball Travis Bader-like.”

Although the start of the season is still months away, Oakland University men’s and women’s basketball programs have made a move to try to improve their respective rosters, as each has added a transfer to the lineup.

The men’s program landed Max Hooper, a 6-foot-6 guard who transferred from St. John’s, which competes in the Big East Conference.

According to a release from Oakland, “Hooper is considered one of the most talented long-range shooters in the country.”

Hooper shot 25 of 62 from 3-point range in 25 appearances for St. John’s last season. His field goal percentage (.403) ranked sixth in the Big East.

Hooper, who is from Carmel Valley, California, graduated from St. John’s in three years and has two years of eligibility remaining. He began his collegiate career at Harvard, playing in two games.

After losing Travis Bader, who finished his collegiate career with NCAA Division I records for the most 3-pointers made and attempted, adding another long-range shooter to the lineup could be a welcome sight for Oakland University men’s head coach Greg Kampe.

“We’re extremely excited to have him,” Kampe said on ougrizzlies.com. “We’re extremely happy — big hole in our offense at that position, losing Travis Bader. Max is like Travis Bader in so many ways. Max is a 4.0 student who got his degree in three years, and so he has two years of eligibility — unlike most graduate transfers that have one.”

The women’s program has added Beth Mahurin, a junior college transfer from Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Illinois.

Mahurin, who is a 6-foot-3 center, averaged 13.1 points and 7.2 rebounds last season. She started in all 29 games and shot 52 percent from the field.

Mahurin began her collegiate career at Murray State, where she made 21 appearances.

She was an All-Conference selection two times during her prep career and made the All-State team her junior year. For her junior season, Mahurin averaged 17 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks per game.

“I think she fills a real need in our program,” Oakland women’s coach Jeff Tungate said on ougrizzlies.com. “She’s extremely tough. She really provides that physical post presence that we need. With incoming freshmen that we have — we filled a lot of holes there. That was the one position, in the post, I feel like we didn’t have the depth we need to take that next step — she helps provide that depth. I think we laid a really good, solid foundation, this past year — I think we had a great senior class that laid that foundation for us. We need to take that next step. Bringing Beth in, I think, helps us do that.”

In other Oakland University basketball news:
Travis Bader was selected to the 2014 Under Armour All-Tournament Team at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (P.I.T.), which took place April 16-19 in Portsmouth, Virgina.

The P.I.T. was a four-day, 12-game tournament, in which 64 senior college basketball players were invited to play in front of representatives from every NBA team. It was the 62nd annual P.I.T., and Bader, who played for K&D Rounds Landscaping, came away from the tournament with an average of 19.7 points per game in three contests, shooting 11 of 23 from 3-point range. 

John Stockton, Dennis Rodman, Tim Hardaway, Scottie Pippen, Rick Barry, Earl “the Pearl” Monroe and Dave Cowens are examples of players who participated at the P.I.T. who went on to play in the NBA.

In other Oakland University athletics news:
Belmont University has been approved by the Horizon League Board of Directors as an affiliate member in the sport of men’s soccer; Belmont is affiliated with the Ohio Valley Conference, which does not sponsor men’s soccer.

The Bruins are the first affiliate member in the Horizon League in over 30 years and are eligible for competition in 2014.

Last season, the Bruins finished with a record of 6-10-2.

Over the next four years, Belmont is also slated to play nonconference games against Horizon League teams in the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, and women’s soccer.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.