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U Akron men’s basketball sets dates with Gonzaga & Creighton

By Michael Beaven Published: August 25, 2016

The University of Akron men’s basketball team announced its 13-game non-conference schedule for the 2016-2017 season. The schedule features schools from 12 different conferences, highlighted by five teams that won 19 or more games last season.

“Our non-conference schedule is balanced,” UA coach Keith Dambrot said. “It will help us prepare for league play and has the opportunity to create a strong resume for March.”

The UA schedule features games against Gonzaga and Creighton, and an appearance in the second-annual Coaches vs. Cancer event on Nov. 12 against host Youngstown State YSU. The Zips and Penguins will play in the second game of a doubleheader, following the opening matchup between Cleveland State and Kent State.

“The Coaches vs. Cancer event is a special event for our program,” Dambrot said. “Not only is it a great night of basketball and a great opportunity to increase cancer awareness, but it is another chance to celebrate the legacy of Coach Dan Peters for his time at Youngstown and Akron. He was a great coach and a dear friend.”

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Soccer America tabs University of Akron as No. 1 in nation in men’s soccer poll

By Michael Beaven Published: August 25, 2016

The University of Akron will open its 2016 men’s soccer season Friday as the No. 1 ranked team in the country in the Soccer America Top 25 poll, which was released Thursday.

Stanford, UCLA, Maryland and North Carolina round out the top five in the poll.

The Zips enter the 2016 season also ranked second nationally in the NSCAA and College Soccer Newspolls and third in the TopDrawerSoccer.com poll. UA hosts Georgetown at 7:30 p.m. Friday at FirstEnergy Stadium–Cub Cadet Field and then will host Seattle on at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the Akron Classic.

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Akron Zips football training camp (scrimmage): Aug. 13

By George Thomas Published: August 13, 2016

Breaking it down (keep in mind these are stats I compiled during the course of the scrimmage):

Quarterbacks:  Thomas Woodson hit on 6-of-12 passes and about 107 yards led his version of the offense to a couple of scores.  First week of practice, it’s no one is going to be particularly sharp, but the confidence is palpable.  Chapman connected on 6-of-16 for about 133 yards, including a 75-yard textbook bomb.  As for Nelson, he connected on 5-of-17 passes for about 70 yards. Looking at him, it’s not difficult to see what the coaching staff does.  He has the potential to wreak havoc in the conference in the future.

Running backs: I could see this battle playing out much of the fall because Edwards isn’t giving ground to Ball.  Ball rushed for a respectable 44 yards on six carries and reeled off a couple of runs that displayed his speed, patience and power.  Edwards produced 50 yards on five carries and displayed a significant speed and surprising power.

Generally speaking:

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Akron Zips Training Camp (Day 5): First day in full gear

By George Thomas Published: August 12, 2016

Akron Zips football training camp (Day 5)

Bowden’s take:  “Although we're not scrimmaging until Saturday, we got a feel for full contact.   It was good to see the kids get a little altercation and playing with a little emotion and I don't mind it early while they have all that energy still.  It was a good day.   Nobody got hurt; we got a lot of work done.”

Some observations:

Offensively

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NSCAA ranks UA men’s soccer No. 2 in 2016 preseason national poll

By Michael Beaven Published: August 3, 2016

The University of Akron men’s soccer team will open its 2016 season ranked No. 2 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.

The NSCAA released its preseason poll on Tuesday, and the Zips received 567 points in the poll, including two first-place votes as the top team in the country. Stanford, the defending NCAA College Cup champion, is the preseason No. 1 with 579 points in the poll, including 20 first-place votes.

Clemson, Maryland, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Creighton, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Georgetown are ranked third through 10th.

UA returns seven starters, including four Mid-American Conference first-team performers (redshirt junior Sam Gainford, junior Stuart Holthusen, seniors Adam Najem and senior Brad Ruhaak in 2016 from a team that went 18-3-3 in 2015 and won MAC regular season and tournament titles en route to advancing to the College Cup for the fourth time in program history.

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Ex-Zip Alex Abreu chosen for Puerto Rican national team for pre-Olympic qualifier

By Marla Ridenour Published: June 18, 2016

Former University of Akron point guard Alex Abreu has been named to the Puerto Rican national team for a pre-Olympic qualifying tournament that begins Sunday in Panama.

Abreu, 24, averaged 8.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and a league-high 7.1 assists in his most recent season with Santeros de Aguada in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico faces Canada on June 29 and Italy on June 30. The Olympic qualifier opens July 4 in Belgrade, Serbia.

The University of Akron suspended Abreu after a March 7, 2013 arrest for drug trafficking and he later left school. One of the largest marijuana dealers in the city, Abreu pleaded guilty to a third degree felony and was sentenced to two years in prison. But his sentence was later suspended and he was placed on probation for 18 months.

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Mid-American Conference releases Akron Zips football game start times

By George Thomas Published: June 9, 2016

Depending on how you parse what qualifies for national TV – some say ESPN3 represents national distribution, some say it doesn’t, for example.  Others claim that if you’re on cable television period is not national television. 

I’m not about to argue with anyone regarding one the most inane debates to occupy a sports department conversation.

That being said: the Akron Zips have six nationally televised games or they have none.  Decide for yourself.  What is clear is that they will be seen – largely in part because of their success last year in winning a bowl game – six times on either an ESPN channel or the CBS Sports Network.

The Mid-American Conference released a partial list of game times Thursday morning.  That being said, Zips fans should be prepared to stay up late to catch games in their entirety.  That success from last year ensured that the team would get a shot at more eyeballs in the infamous MACtion mid-week slate of games.  The Zips final four games are on weeknights with the earliest start time being 7 p.m.:

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University of Akron athletics wins title of best in Mid-American Conference

By George Thomas Published: June 2, 2016

From a University of Akron Department of Athletics news release:

CLEVELAND, Ohio – On the heels of one of the most successful athletic campaigns in program history, the University of Akron was named the recipient of the 2015-16 Reese Trophy as the Mid-American Conference's top men's athletic program at the league's Athletic Honors Dinner on Wednesday, June 1.

During the 2015-16 academic year, the Zips competed in seven men's sports and captured the award for the second time (2014) in program history on the strength of winning conference titles in men's basketball, soccer, along with both indoor and outdoor track and field, and garnering the program's first-ever bowl game victory in football.

 

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