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Western Michigan Broncos vs. Oakland Golden Grizzlies Basketball Preview

WMU’s second game and first against an NCAA opponent will be a match up with Oakland University. The Broncos should be able to have another majoring scoring day and we’ll see if the defense can remain solid.

Oakland C Corey Petros.
Oakland C Corey Petros.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos head to the east side of Michigan Wednesday to take on the Oakland Golden Grizzlies of Rochester. With all respect to Aquinas, this will be the first real test for the WMU squad.

OU has started the season 0-2 after losing 93-82 to the #14 Iowa State Cyclones last Friday, and then dropping one to the Eastern Michigan Eagles last night, 89-77. Don't let this slow start fool you though - these were two quality opponents and the Broncos will not have an easy go of it against the Golden Grizzlies.

Corey Petros and Kahlil Felder have both been Oakland's most prolific scorers so far this season, each scoring 38 through the first two games. Petros put up 25 points against Iowa State and another 13 against Eastern. Petros all recorded a double-double against the Eagles, tallying 10 rebounds and playing the full 40 minutes. This 255 pound, 6-foot-10 senior forward will be tough to handle for the Broncos front court.

Felder scored 23 against Iowa State then 15 against the Eagles. The 176 pound, 5-foot-9 sophomore guard has not been pretty inefficient from the field however, shooting only 31.4 percent. It'll be up to Western guards David Brown and Austin Richie to contain Felder.

The Golden Grizzlies other starting guard, 201 pound, 6-foot-6 junior Max Hooper will also be trouble for Western, as he led Oakland with 18 points against Eastern.

The Broncos will counter with some great offensive threats of their own. Richie had a career day for the Broncos in the season opener, unloading for 28 points in the Bronco victory over Aquinas. David Brown also scored 20 against the Saints.

Expect the same starting lineup for the Broncos:
PG - Austin Richie
SG - David Brown
SF - Tucker Haymond
PF - Connar Tava
C - Drake LaMont

LaMont had a pretty solid first outing with the Broncos against Aquinas and should be able to build his confidence even further against the Golden Grizzlies. If the Broncos start in man defensive scheme against Oakland like they did against Aquinas, it'll be interesting to see if head coach Steve Hawkins gives the freshman LaMont a chance to prove himself against Petros.

I think the Broncos have stronger shooters than Oakland, but the turnover issue may be key. Western turned it over 16 times against Aquinas, and will have to be careful with that ball in order to beat the Golden Grizzlies.

Gametime: Wednesday, November 19, 7:00pm Eastern

Location: Athletics Center O'rena, Rochester, MI

How to watch: The game will be broadcast on and on the WatchESPN app. In the Detroit area, it will also be seen on Comcast TV-20.

How to listen: The game will be heard on select stations of the Bronco Radio Network, including flagship 96.5 FM WZOX in Kalamazoo. In Detroit, it will be on 1130 AM WDFN.

Prediction: Western Michigan wins 77-70.