Michigan may not be the nation's best state for college basketball, but I would challenge anyone to name another state that's clearly better.
The University of Michigan is regaining stature and joining Michigan State as an entrenched Top 25 program, but the excellence doesn't stop there.
Oakland University has stepped up to Division I status near the turn of the millennium and this season is bidding for its second straight NCAA tournament berth. Coach Greg Kampe's Golden Grizzlies represented themselves well in a close defeat against Texas, 85-81.
The University of Detroit Titans are seeking a resurgence to revisit their late 1970s golden era under Dick Vitale.
As the Division II level, Wayne State University is bidding for a football national title but the hoopsters won't be overshadowed for long. They have reeled off six straight wins to take the lead in the Great Lakes Conference, and recently they ripped my hometown Saginaw Valley State Univerisity, 69-43.
Oakland, U-D and Wayne State all play uptempo styles that are fun to watch. In fact, Oakland is averaging more than 80 points per contest.
It's also fun when small guards have a chance to thrive. Oakland is led by 5-foot-11, senior Reggie Hamilton from Chicago, a waterbug who knows how to draw fouls and hits 93 percent of his free throws. The University of Detroit's Ray McCallum, son of the Coach Ray McCallum, is 6-foot-1 and averages 14.6 points.
For Coach David Green's Wayne State Tartars, the team leader is 6-foot-1 junior Mike Hollingsworth of Utica (Michigan has a Utica, but its smaller than New York's), who is complemented off the bench with some sizzle from 5-foot-6 dynamo Cole Prophet of Sandusky, Ohio.
Oakland and U-D at least get some face time on Fox Sports Detroit. I'd like a chance to see Wayne State on the tube, too.
- Sports & Recreation
- Oakland University
- Wayne State University
- Michigan State
- The University of Michigan