Well, all I can say is it is about time.
Oakland University has officially joined the Horizon League. The move will hopefully create a great rivalry with the University of Detroit Mercy. The two schools are about 45 minutes away.
The two schools actually compete in a few other sports already but now will be forced to compete in men’s basketball, something I have been hoping for this for about three years. I’m really excited and I honestly think that both Oakland’s head coach Greg Kampe and Titans head coach Ray McCallum are legitimately excited about the move.
Here is what Kampe told the Detroit News:
“It’s up to the Oakland nation to step up,” Kampe said. “When we play at Calihan Hall there had better be 500 to 1,000 OU fans there.
“They’ve been clamoring for (our entry into the Horizon League) for years.”
“You can’t put it into words the opportunity it is for Oakland University,” Kampe said. “In the past five years, twice the Horizon League has had a team in the NCAA final. It changes everything.”
Earlier today, both coaches were interviewed together by Tom Leyden and here is a quote from that by McCallum. When asked about the first meeting between the two teams on the hardwood:
“We want to establish that Calihan is one of the best places, toughest places to win and it should be a great game with a great crowd, that’s what we want.”
I think this move is long overdue and will do nothing but benefit the conference overall. Oakland is not just a decent mid-major program for basketball but offers many other quality teams in other sports. But there is no doubt that men’s basketball will get the most attention from the media. And I think that they deserve it.
However, the other sports deserve attention too and with Oakland joining the Horizon, I think more sports will get that attention locally. Overall, the move was a wise one by the Horizon League.