The kids just might be all right.
The University of Akron men’s basketball team, led by two freshmen point guards, beat the USC Trojans 66-46 in the opening game of the Gildan Charleston Classic in South Carolina Thursday afternoon.
Playing without star forward Demetrius Treadwell, who was indefinitely suspended last weekend, Zips players stepped up to fill the void his loss may have created.
Sophomore forward Kwan Cheatham Jr tossed in 15 points and seven rebounds and junior center Pat Forsythe also had 15, a career high, and nine rebounds. Freshman point guard Noah Robotham added 14 points.To read more or comment...
Northeast Ohio may have escaped Buffalo’s Snowmaggedon, but two football teams will feel its impact.
Kent State University’s football team set out for Buffalo early Tuesday for what was usually a three-hour tour for their game against the Buffalo Bulls scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Because forecasters expected another 2-3 feet of snow, the Mid-American Conference, after conferring Thursday morning, moved the game to 1 p.m. Friday.
The Golden Flashes were scheduled to play the University of Akron football team at 7 p.m. Tuesday, but MAC rules prohibit them from playing games so close together forcing the conference to move that game to 1 p.m. next Friday.To read more or comment...
University of Akron coach Keith Dambrot said it himself in an interview: now everyone gets to find out how good of a coach he is.
That will certainly be the case as the team begins to showcase today in Charleston, S.C. in the Gildan Charleston Classic tournament without its best player – Demetrius “Tree” Treadwell.
Treadwell, suspended indefinitely from the program Sunday, is a huge cog for the Zips – offensively, but especially on the boards.
“When you look at Tree you're going to have to replace the intimidation factor which is difficult to replace because people are a little scared of him,” Dambrot said. “And you have to replace the ability to go get a rebound in a crowd. That's a tough one. Then the third thing is crunch time baskets.”To read more or comment...
From a University of Akron athletics department news release:
The University of Akron Department of Athletics announced Wednesday that Ron Arenz will not return as head coach of the volleyball program.
"We are thankful to Coach Arenz for his years of service to Zips Athletics and the volleyball program," said Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill. "He has mentored many successful student-athletes during his time here. However, I have determined that it is time for Akron volleyball to move in a new direction."
Arenz served as the head coach of the Zips since 2008. He coached an All-Mid-American Conference performer in five of his seven seasons at the helm, and placed two student-athletes on the Academic All-MAC team. His program also received four team academic awards from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).To read more or comment...
It may be too little too late with respect to some form of post-season play for the Akron Zips, but that doesn’t diminish what their 30-6 win over the UMass Minutemen Tuesday night at InfoCision Stadium. In fact, it was fairly impressive as UA never trailed. It’s the team that everyone expected to start the season. So why did they pull this one out? Here are a few of my observations regarding that:
Kyle Pohl, hitting 26-of-40 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns, had his most complete game of the year. He was decisive and, yes, that includes making the occasional questionable decision, but that every quarterback likes to gamble and Pohl is no exception. Most importantly, he played within himself and the confines of his circumstances. The game generally came to him and he was calm in the process. As for the circumstances? With that arctic air no one could ask for a better game than the one he delivered.
The offensive line knocked the Minutemen’s d-line off the ball just enough to open holes. That is what the Zips needed most of all on a night when the temperature at kickoff hovered around 15 degrees with a wind chill below zero. They hit on some tough runs as they rushed the ball 37 times, the most attempts in what seems like an eon. Mind you, yards per carry weren’t exorbitant at 3.6 per carry, but three of those, on average get the offense a first down. In this case it enabled Pohl to be effective in the passing game.
The run game and receivers that gave him easy targets aided Pohl’s success. In this case, junior receiver Zach D’Orazio led the corps with a career game in both receptions with 10 and yards for 121. He didn’t score, but his receptions enabled the offense to keep the chains moving. Green native Andrew Pratt had a nice came with five receptions for 50 yards and L.T. Smith had a key 32-yard reception on a TD drive and caught a 7-yard score. In all wide outs caught 24 of Pohl's 26 receptions. That’s production.To read more or comment...
Here’s an educated guess that staying warm may not be too much of an option for the Akron Zips and UMass Minutemen tonight when they play at InfoCision Stadium.
At kickoff the temperature is expected to be a balmy 15 degrees with a minus-2 wind chill. Welcome to November where the average temperature this time of year is in the 50s with lows in the 30s. In that kind of biting cold what can be done on the football field? It plays into the four keys to victory for UA:
The offensive line has to get off the ball: They have to be explosive from the point of attack so they can blow UMass’ defensive line off the ball, the holes will open and there’s every reason to believe that it’s possible.
Then run the ball: Because the Minutemen give up 187 yards rushing per game. The Zips have two good backs in Conor Hundley and Jawon Chisholm who can lug the ball. Combined they average better than five yards per pop. They also provide a change of pace from the other – Hundley being more of a bulldozer and Chisholm more of a slasher with the ability to break a long one.To read more or comment...
The University of Akron men’s basketball team lost a huge part of its unit when the school announced that star forward Demetrius Treadwell has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of the student code of conduct.
The UA athletics department emailed a five-line news release emailed in the late afternoon.
“Treadwell's suspension begins immediately. The incident has been referred to the Department of Student Conduct and Community Standards,” according to the release.
The suspension was handed down by the athletics department and they declined to elaborate further. UA men’s basketball coach Keith Dambrot could not be reached for comment.To read more or comment...
The University of Akron women’s team raced off with a 80-49 win over the Binghamton (N.Y.) Bearcats in the their home regular season debut in the Akron Classic Friday night despite a rocky start.
UA junior guard Anita Brown led scorers with 29 points and added 11 rebounds to get her first double-double on the season. Senior forward Sina King, who sat out last season, returned playing as if she never left nailing a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
The Zips opened the game with a 9-2 run before allowing the Bearcats to race off to a 15-0 run to take a lead that proved brief. UA eventually clamped down defensively to take control.
They forced 17 Binghamton turnovers which led to 21 of their points. They held Binghamton to 33 percent shooting on the night and controlled the boards 52-32, including winning the offensive glass 21-7. They play Northern Kentucky University Saturday at 3:30 p.m.To read more or comment...
Lilli Piper has signed on to play basketball and softball at the University of Akron.
Piper, a Norton resident and a senior at Walsh Jesuit High School, is set to join the Zips next school year.
Piper, a 5-foot-10 guard, averaged 12.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game last season in basketball. She earned All-Ohio Special Mention recognition as a junior, and was also named first team all-district.
“Lilli is a phenomenal athlete with a tremendous work ethic and drive,” Zips women’s basketball coach Jodi Kest said. “She possesses great basketball IQ and an extremely versatile game that will allow her to play multiple positions.”To read more or comment...
A total of seven University of Akron men’s soccer players earned All-Mid American Conference honors Thursday.
Sophomore midfielder Adam Najem, senior forward Saad Abdul-Salaam, junior goalkeeper Jake Fenlason and junior defender Andrew Souders were selected as first-team All-MAC players.
Freshman forward Stuart Holthusen, freshman midfielder Richie Laryea and sophomore midfielder Victor Souto were tabbed second-team selections.
West Virginia swept the MAC specialty awards. Mountaineers forward Andy Bevin was named the Player of the Year, midfielder Joey Piatczyc was tabbed as the Newcomer of the Year and Marlon LeBlanc was named Coach of the Year.To read more or comment...
University of Akron men’s basketball head coach Keith Dambrot announced on Thursday that Peter Agba (Greensboro, N.C.), Emmanuel Olojakpoke (Houston, Texas) and Joshua Williams (Akron, Ohio) have signed national letters of intent to play for the Zips in the 2015-16 season.
Agba, a forward who is 6-foot-6 and 210-pounds, averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds as a junior while helping Greensboro Day School to the PACIS conference championship and Division 3-A state championship game in 2014. He was named PACIS All-Conference and was the team’s co-MVP for 2013-14. One of the highlight performances from his junior campaign included a 24-point, 29-rebound effort against High Point Christian on Jan. 8.
“Peter is a relentless rebounder with an outstanding motor and energy, and no player will out-work him on the floor,” Dambrot said. “He comes from a great high school program and has been well-coached.”
Olojakpoke, a forward who is 6-foot-8 and 190-pounds, averaged 13.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.6 blocked shots per game as a junior at Cypress Springs High School. He finished his junior campaign shooting 64.4 percent from the floor (192-for-298). He earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in his district (17-5A) while helping CSHS to a 22-12 record in 2013-14 and a spot in the 2014 district playoffs. Olojakpoke was the high school teammate of current Zips freshman Antino Jackson.To read more or comment...
University of Akron volleyball head coach Ron Arenz announced Thursday that Patience Brown (Bloomington, Ill.) and Abbey Pawlak (Sylvania, Ohio) have committed to join the program for the 2015-16 academic year
“We are looking forward to having Patience and Abbey as freshmen for the 2015 season,” Arenz said. “The pair brings a new dimension to what will be a veteran squad for us next year.”
Brown, a 5-9 middle hitter out of University High school in central Illinois, led her team to back-to-back conference championships for the last two seasons. She was named team captain as a senior, and earned several all-tournament team nods in the club circuit.
“Patience is as dynamic of a student-athlete as you can get, and she comes from one of the best volleyball breeding grounds in the country,” Arenz said. “Her speed, jumping ability and fluid arm make her a threat along any part of the net. I anticipate great things from Patience during her time as a Zip.”To read more or comment...
University of Akron softball head coach Julie Jones announced Thursday that Caroline Cahill, Gabby Fredericks, Kelly Hysong and Lilli Piper have committed to join the program for the 2015-16 academic year.
Cahill, a catcher from Huber Heights Wayne High School in the Dayton area, hit .391 with 13 RBI as a junior in 2014. She earned second-team all-conference honors and was named to the All-Ohio underclassmen southwest team a season ago. As a sophomore, Cahill earned honorable mention all-conference honors and was named the team's most valuable player.
“Caroline stands out with her on-field leadership abilities,” Jones said. “She is the perfect student-athlete to come in and help our pitchers get better with her communication skills behind the plate.”
Fredericks, a catcher/first baseman out of New Philadelphia High School, was named first-team all-conference and first-team all-district in each of the past two seasons. She also earned honorable mention All-Ohio status as a sophomore and was part of the All-Ohio second team last year as a junior. Fredericks has hit over .460 every year, including a .523 mark in 2014 that featured 46 hits, 18 for extra bases. She has struck out just three times total in three seasons.To read more or comment...
University of Akron women’s basketball coach Jodi Kest received national letter of intents from high school seniors Lilli Piper and Fredniqua “Shaq” Walker.
“This is a great week for our program as we add two exceptional student-athletes to our Akron family,” Kest said. “Our recruiting philosophy has always been to keep the local talent home. Lilli and Fredniqua are two great local talents that will bring a lot to our program.”
Piper, a 5-foot-10 guard who lives in Norton and attends Walsh Jesuit, averaged 12.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game last season. She earned All-Ohio Special Mention recognition as a junior, and was also named first team all-district.
“Lilli is a phenomenal athlete with a tremendous work ethic and drive,” Kest said. “She possesses great basketball IQ and an extremely versatile game that will allow her to play multiple positions.”To read more or comment...
The University of Akron women’s swimming and diving head coach Brian Peresie announced on Wednesday that 11 student-athletes have committed to the program for the 2015-16 academic year.
The 11 recruits are: Emily Christophersen, Karly Crail, Ragen Engel, Sadie Fazekas, Alexandra Hedden, Kim Jones, Emma King, Madison Myers, Ashley Schrock, Victoria Shaffer and Hannah Smith.
“My staff and I are thrilled to welcome the Class of 2019. We feel each student-athlete brings the specific skill set and character we were seeking,” Peresie said. “Our team is comprised of driven individuals striving to represent the University of Akron at the highest level. We feel these young ladies will fit in right away and make a tremendous impact on our program.
“I want to applaud both Meg Finnerty and Chris Medvedeff’s efforts as we sought out to bring in a transformational recruiting class. We feel we have achieved our objectives and look forward to a bright future with Zips Swimming and Diving.”To read more or comment...
It would be very easy to make this post about the five things Akron Zips need to do to beat the Buffalo Bulls tonight and write all of the bullet points regarding turnovers. We’ll skip the silliness in favor of some serious observations because UA is in a serious spot in that they would greatly enhance their bowl opportunities were they to leave upstate New York with a much-needed “W.”
It would boost the program. It would boost their confidence and it would right a ship that’s been blown off its course through the efforts of its crew. So what do the Zips need to do to beat the Bulls?
Stop the turnovers: Yeah, I’m freakin’ Captain Obvious. I’ve been stating this for three games, but somehow they’ve not been able to do it through 14 turnovers in those three games. Part of it is their fault, especially in one area – interceptions. The Zips offense has a route that’s meant to do nothing but take advantage of height advantages they have with their outside receivers. Last week, it was thrown a couple of times and intercepted a couple of times because the receiver did do his job. He had two options on the play: catch it or stop the receiver from doing so. Simple enough.
Don’t be afraid to run the ball: Yup, the spread is basically a passing offense, but in their two running backs – Jawon Chisholm and Conor Hundley – they have a duo that each rush for better than five yards per pop.To read more or comment...
From a University of Akron athletics department news release:
The University of Akron athletics department will begin its search for a new leader for the women's soccer program, as Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill announced Thursday that Vernon Croft will not return as head coach.
"Earlier today, I informed coach Croft that he has been relieved of his duties, effective immediately," Wistrcill said. "Under his leadership for the past several seasons, we have developed well-rounded student-athletes. Unfortunately, we were not able to meet our goals on the playing field. After a comprehensive evaluation, I have determined that our women's soccer program needs to move in a new direction."
Croft led the Zips for the last three seasons. He was named the interim head coach prior to the 2012 campaign. Akron was 17-34-5, 6-25-2 in Mid-American Conference play, under Croft.