It’s not quite David vs. Goliath, but the Briton basketball team will face tough test tonight as they open their season against a Division I opponent.
The Albion College men’s basketball team will travel to Rochester, MI tonight for an exhibition matchup against the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies. The game begins at 7:30 in the Athletics Center O’rena.
Head coach Jody May said Oakland will be the most athletic team that the Brits face all season. However, May pointed out that both teams will still have to hustle and execute with the basketball if they want to win the game.
“Both teams will have to make baskets, and both teams will have to rebound,” May said. “It’s a really good learning experience for our guys to learn the value of executing and playing hard. If you don’t do that, it doesn’t matter if you are playing Division I or Division III.”
May said that Oakland likes to play at a fast pace. On offense, they like to spread teams out in order to create driving lanes to the basket. On defense, the Grizzlies like to cause turnovers by overplaying and denying passes.
“The big thing is taking care of basketball. They make it difficult to run your offense, but we need to execute,” May said. “On defense, we have to keep them out of the paint and limit their penetration. Also, it’s important that we rebound with them.”
The Britons have faced Division I opponents in the past, including Eastern Michigan, University of Detroit Mercy, and Indiana State. While Albion has never pulled off an upset against those larger schools, rarely do the Brits find themselves severely overmatched. Albion has managed to remain within 10-15 points during most of those games.
It will be the 12th meeting between the Britons and the Golden Grizzlies. Albion actually holds a 7-4 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools. However, this will be their first matchup since 1973, before Oakland became Division 1.
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