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Oh no. Bo Boroski is reffing tonight. What's the over-under on minutes before he becomes a storyline. I'll set it at 12 minutes.
Nick Harney is in street clothes, rocking his iPod. Another game under suspension. At least he's on the bench tonight. He was nowhere to be found on Saturday.
The Penguins are coming off road MAC losses to Buffalo and Toledo. The spread tonight is Akron minus 8.5.
YSU starters: Blake Allen, Kendrick Perry, Ashen Ward, DuShawn Brooks and Damian Eargle.
Akron starters: Brian Walsh, Alex Abreu, Chauncey Gilliam, Nik Cvetinovic and Zeke Marshall.
Cvetinovic made a nice interior pass to Marshall to get Akron started in scoring.
I don't see more than 20 YSU fans here, and that might be generous.
The MAC is 9-10 against the Horizon League this season. Akron will have a chance to even that tonight.
Speaking of the Horizon League, have you seen that Butler is below .500 this year? The Bulldogs have a difficult schedule, but it still must be disappointing.
15:42 - Akron 7, Youngstown State 9
I'm going to start leaving the scores at each four-minute interval (see above), so you can get a better context of my comments.
Boroski made it to the 13:53 mark ... After a Demetrius Treadwell bucket, the YSU player stepped on the baseline while making the inbounds pass. Boroski blew the whistle. I'm not saying he's wrong. It's a call you only see once or twice a season.
Brett McClanahan just woke up. Two 3s, back to back, and Akron is now on a 10-0 run.
Eargle just went berserk after a successful dunk that Marshall challenged. The referee went to settle Eargle down from his celebration.
11:54 - Akron 17, Youngstown State 17
Boroski drew boos at the 11:08 mark for a hand-check on Cvetinovic.
Walsh is getting screamed at for not throwing the ball into Treadwell sooner.
Akron will be an amazing low-post team with Treadwell and Marshall on the floor together, particularly the way they both pass out of the post. The Zips' new-found athleticism makes them a great transition team. It's just the 3-point shooting that has lacked.
7:57 - Akron 25, Youngstown State 19
Gilliam got the crowd fired up with the basketball equivalent of a "pick six." He took the steal coast-to-coast and threw down with one hand. The celebration included a loud shout.
Eargle, who previously spiked the football after his dunk over Marshall, got a jumpshot sent into the Zips bench, courtesy of Marshall. Eargle, who seems like a good-natured guy, smiled after.
Abreu drilled a 3 on the other end of the court, giving the Zips a 10-point lead.
YSU hasn't scored in nearly four minutes. It has been a 17-3 run. It doesn't help that the Penguins already have 11 turnovers.
3:45 - Akron 36, Youngstown State 22
First, Kim Jong-Il. Now Jon Bon Jovi (link)?
A fan just shouted what I was thinking (to Boroski): "We know you're Ianello's brother!" The two look alike.
Halftime - Akron 41, Youngstown State 30
It's time for the Teddy Bear Toss. I'm guessing I'll get hit with at least one. ... Two near-misses.
Notable halftime stats: Brooks has 16 points. Treadwell has nine. Cvetinovic and Marshall have five rebounds. Eargle has seven rebounds and four blocks. Akron is shooting 45.2 percent. YSU is 40.7 percent. The Penguins have seven assists and 12 turnovers. Akron has seven assists and eight turnovers.
Eargle is third in the nation in blocks per game with an average of 4.3. Marshall, meanwhile, averages 2.9 blocks per game (19th nationally).
Abreu tried to get cute with a no-look pass on a fast break. He slung the ball out of bounds, eliciting a Rated R comment from Keith Dambrot in response.
15:51 - Akron 48, Youngstown State 33
Youngstown State is doubling-down in the post. So why are the Zips' guards so hesitant to throw it down there? I don't get it.
Treadwell is on fire tonight. He is 7-of-9 from the field.
I'll tell you what makes Eargle a great shot-blocker -- his hands. He just slapped away two Marshall layup attempts. Not because he's taller or jumps high. It was because his hand-eye coordination and anticipation allowed him to meet the ball.
Brooks made his fifth 3-pointer of the game. This one happened while Gilliam fouled him. ... The refs reviewed the shot to make sure Brooks was behind the line, which it was.
11:50 - Akron 60, Youngstown State 43
I see myself rooting hard for the ball to find Treadwell. He's the most exciting player on the team in my opinion. I have been so frustrated with talented players who refuse to be assertive. If Treadwell isn't a great player, it won't be for that reason.
After I type that, Treadwell made three consecutive turnovers. I guess there's a trade-off with being assertive.
6:29 - Akron 72, Youngstown State 52
For the first time this season, Cvetinovic pulled off his signature move from last season: a spin move baseline into a reverse layup.
Josh Egner was whistled for traveling. Is it my imagination, or do the Zips travel more than any other team in recent history?
Cvetinovic hit a 3 in transition and held up three fingers to let the crowd know about it.
3:18 - Akron 79, Youngstown State 56
The jumbotron caught a shot of Jim Laria, the Akron Clerk of Courts. Jim is a regular at Zips games.
Dambrot has compared Treadwell's game to that of Romeo Travis, but I think Jeremiah Wood is a better comparison. He's bouncy and active like Wood.
Gilliam got a warm ovation when he sat down. He scored a burst of five points just before.
C.J. Oldham dribbled the ball out of bounds intentionally, so Akron could sub in Kyle Peterson, the last reserve on the bench other than Blake Justice, who's redshirting.
With 30 seconds left and a 26-point lead, Akron refused to kick the ball out and run clock. Instead, they were going for another score. That's Bush league.
Final score - Akron 88, Youngstown State 62
Notable final stats: Treadwell scored 15 and grabbed seven rebounds. Cvetinovic had 15 and seven. Walsh scored 10 and grabbed a career-high six rebounds. Brooks scored 20. Eargle finished with eight points, nine boards, and six blocks. Akron shot 45.9 percent. YSU was 37 percent. Akron had 16 assists and 15 turnovers. YSU had 10 and 19.
"For this particular game, we had better bigs. We tried to exploit that as much as we could. Eventually, when they started closing in on us, we kicked the ball out and guys started making some 3s."
On his baseline move: "I finally got it in after a whole year."
On McClanahan: "When he made those two 3s, I was happy. He just needs to see it go in. He was struggling in practice. When he sees that first one go in, that's all he needs. He gave us a great boost off the bench."
On Abreu's surgery (Thursday): "We're going to have several guys who are going to come into practice earlier and learn the 1 spot and try to run the offense. It will be hard but it's another challenge for us. We just have to adjust to it and play through it."
"It all started with practice. We've really been focused. Everybody's been working hard. It's carried over from practice."
"I'm definitely feeling more comfortable. Each and every game, I'm learning. The game's starting to slow down."
"Adjusting to the game speed ... It's a lot quicker than high school."
"Kind of a scary game because they have that outside pop. They're never out the the game, but you're never out of the game either. It was about us playing 10 against 6. We just had more guys than them. We're big and strong. Our ability to switch their ball screens hurt them. Our bigs are quick enough to cover their guards."
"I think we're sharing the ball better. Nik struggled a little bit, hit rock bottom and now has figured out what he is. He's a gritty player. Treadwell is a terrific talent. He's a cross between Rome and Wood. He's so explosive athletically. He's really got a good mind for the game. He still doesn't guard as well as we'd like at this point. But I think he will. A lot of what we do is going to depend on how good he gets, and Harney. Then we'll have four big guys who are as good as most in the league."
"We've only had our group together for two games. All our trials and tribulations are going to pay dividends before it's all over. We're not out of the woods yet. You can see us starting to get a little bit better."
"We haven't shown that we can beat good teams yet."
"Tree threw it away tonight, but I think he knows where to go with it. I like the fact that he passes it. He's got some intangible things about him. He doesn't have a selfish streak about him at all."
"I think Q was really good. He's an unselfish guy. Alex was good at what he did. He's not as quick as he usually is because of that knee, but he did a good job for us."
"I like Deji [Ibitayo]. I think it will be good in the long run. He needs to get in better condition. He's big, strong, good shooter. I think Q can play there. Walsh can play there some. The challenge is going to be against VCU. Even with Alex, we'd have some struggles. Maybe Shaka [Smart] will take it easy on us and respect his elder."
"No chance. We'll never play again. This guy [Shaka] is a family member of mine. It's a terrible game for both of us. I'll be happy if we won, but I won't be happy for him. He's upset when we lose. He feels bad for us. I talk to him about 4 or 5 times per week."
YSU COACH JERRY SLOCUM
"I thought our bigs battled them well. I thought our guard play was horrific tonight."
"We went to the bench and gave up eight points right off the bat, within 35 seconds. The floodgates opened up."
"Absolutely nothing [positive to take away from this game]."
"It's a tired basketball team. We've been on the road forever."