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Akron is wearing silver uniforms. It's the first I've seen them. They're pretty slick, despite the fact that silver/grey is not an Akron color.
Akron starters: Brian Walsh, Alex Abreu, Chauncey Gilliam, Nik Cvetinovic and Zeke Marshall.
Coach Clemon Johnson sent a player to the scorer's table after the first possession of the game for a substitution. He called a timeout at the 18:54 mark. Clearly, the former member of the Philadelphia 76ers is anxious to have a good start. Akron leads 9-2 early.
Marshall sunk a turn-around jumper off the glass. He needs to do that more often.
On the next play, a FAMU player attempted to bounce a floater off the glass. Instead, the ball sailed clear over the backboard altogether.
Akron extended its lead to 11 off a Marshall block, that started the Zips in transition, and Cvetinovic drilled a 3.
Abreu scored another layup. He gets a surprising amount of points around the rim, for being 5-foot-11 (cough) 5-foot-9. It helps that he is an efficient user of the backboard.
This "Oh SH!*!" moment was brought to you by Demetrius Treadwell and Quincy Diggs. Treadwell led the fast break, with Diggs sprinting on the wing. Treadwell threw a perfect lob to Diggs, who converted a two-handed spinning dunk, while being fouled.
It's not often that you're tripling an opponent, but Akron nearly did so, coming as close as 36-13. FAMU had gone eight minutes without a field goal. It has been a 23-4 run.
Clemons called another timeout. He is rocking an unusual style -- suit jacket, no tie, dress shirt with all buttons buttoned.
Diggs was bothering FAMU's point guard on defense. Between dribbles, the FAMU player slapped Diggs' hand away, which gave Diggs the opening to slap the ball away.
Keith Dambrot was happy to see the following play: The ball found Diggs in the corner, and he was mostly open. He swung the ball to Abreu, who was completely open. Abreu pump faked and drove to the rim and dished it to Cvetinovic for a very easy deuce. That's how you play offense.
Halftime - Akron 48, Florida A&M 19
Notable halftime stats: Marshall and Cvetinovic each have 11. Diggs has 10. Abreu has six rebounds. Marshall has blocked three shots. Akron is shooting 63.3 percent. FAMU is shooting 21.9 percent. The teams are combined 2-for-14 on 3-point attempts. Akron has made 9-of-11 free throw attempts.
Dambrot is urging the Zips to run the fast break off made shots to start the second half.
FAMU is playing a 2-3 zone defense. I would be, too, until the Zips show they can make a 3. The Rattlers started the second half with a 4-0 run.
Marshall and FAMU's center engaged in a battle for position in the paint. It eventually degenerated into the FAMU player simply pushing Marshall with two hands. That's a foul.
Walsh has drained two consecutive 3s. Walsh and Gilliam are my two favorite jump shots on the team, in terms of form and mechanics. If there's an important shot to be taken, however, I think you give the ball to Diggs.
Marshall gathered a rebound, attempted the put-back, but was blocked. That is rare.
Rick McFadden is really chomping away at his gum on the Zips' sideline. Yep, it's that kind of game for the Rasor on the Zips blog...
Cvetinovic has a double-double already, with 12 points and 10 boards. Marshall is one rebound away from the same, but he just hit the bench with 7:01 left and a 36 point Akron lead. So we probably won't see him again.
These last seven minutes are going to be slow. FAMU has committed 10 fouls already.
C.J. Oldham and Michael Green are in the game.
Akron just had a sequence of at least four offensive rebounds. No points, though.
Deji Ibitayo had a total of nine career points before today. He has 11 in today's game.
For the week, Marshall averaged 17 points, 7.5 rebounds and five blocks per game.
Final score - Akron 91, Florida A&M 69
Akron comes back two days later, Monday, against Youngstown State. If you pay $10, you can attend that game, plus the women's game against YSU tomorrow at 2 p.m. Monday is the annual Teddy Bear Toss game.
Notable final stats: Diggs scored 16. Marshall had 13 and nine rebounds. Cvetinovic had 12 and 10. Ibitayo and Treadwell each scored 11. Akron shot 46.9 percent (32.4 percent in the second half). FAMU was 36.8 percent (50 percent in the second half). Akron had 18 assists and 15 turnovers. FAMU had six assists and 14 turnovers.
Marshall scored in double figures nine times last season. He's done it seven times already this year. Marshall is now ninth in the MAC career block list.
This was Cvetinovic's seventh career double-double.
Coach Keith Dambrot
"We had some good stretches. We in the second half didn't do much of anything. The first half was pretty good. We had a purpose, threw the ball inside."
"We have to be more consistent. We haven't gotten McClanahan involved, which is disappointing to me. It's a confidence thing. He just looks a little dead-faced."
"Diggs was tremendous for us. Zeke was really good. He is playing with discipline defensively, so he's not fouling now. One time, he gave up a basket, but it was a good decision because we need him in there."
"Nikola looked like the old Nikola. Once we can get Tree completely straightened out, and Harney, we change a little bit because we have good big people."
"This is the hardest team I've had since I've been here. We have a lack of maturity and discipline. I have to stay on top of them constantly. I like them, but it's hard. This team, you have to nurture them and kick them."
"We don't have a guy like McNees, which is a problem. Alex wants to be, but he hasn't hit that point in his career yet. As long as we make steps, I can live with it."
"I had a conniption at the walk-through today. I didn't like what I saw. It's maturity. It's understanding the situation. The reason we've been able to play so well in the MAC Tournament is that we have done it right in practice. It was one of my worst moments since I've been here. I told them I had enough." [said he was "slobbering" he was so mad]
On Diggs: "I thought we has really good today. I didn't think he's played as well since we didn't start him. When he's free and easy, he's really good. I was pleased in what I got out of him today. It showed really good coachability."
On Marshall: "The thing about him is that he's one of the most team-oriented guys. I compare him to LeBron in that sense. He doesn't care if he scores. He's a great young man. I hope my son grows up like him. He's not perfect by any means, but he's trying to be the best person he can. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body."
On his suggestion that Zeke might come out after his junior year for the NBA Draft: "I'll be his biggest marketing agency the beginning of his senior year. I've already argued with about four scouts already. I'm not comparing him to the other guy [LeBron], but he has the same attributes. I'll be surprised if he doesn't get what he wants at the end of the day [NBA]."
"Deji, talent-wise, his ceiling is unlimited. He can be really good."
On Harney's status Monday: "No comment. I hope [he will play]."
"We want to get organized. We want to get settled. It's going to be hard because we won't have Alex. [His knee surgery on Dec. 22] is going to unsettle us again. It's usually 10 days to three weeks [recovery]. That's why I'm playing Deji."
"We have to survive [over the next month]. February, we're going to play full throttle."
"It's been difficult figuring out the guys and their tendencies. As a team, we are trying to figure out everyone's role. We're working hard at it. These last two games, we are blending in finally."
On Marshall: "He just turned 21, guys. These last few years, he has progressed. It is amazing to see him from his freshman year, to his sophomore year, to his junior year. He comes in early, and does everything coach asks him to do. He's been a monster."
[Dambrot] "didn't like it that we gave up easy layups to begin the second half. We were trying to figure out their zone."
"You never know who's going to explode. Last game, Chauncey had 17. Tonight, Q had a good game, Treadwell, Deji. You never know where the firepower is going to come from."
"You have to have four or five guys who you know what to expect from on a nightly basis. This year, we have much more weapons."
On the alley-oop: "I didn't think he was going to throw it at first, but it felt good to throw it in."
"You can see that coach gets upset if we don't keep hustling, even though we already know we won."
"We had a long talk before practice about that [playing down to other teams]. It's hard for me to play against teams like that. I try to get other guys involved because they don't need me to win. I have to look at each team like it's a high major."
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