Better late than never, right?
My computer and my blog’s Ohio.com server suffered simultaneous meltdowns last night. The server has been running since noon. Unfortunately, my laptop is off to B.F. Egypt for a speaker replacement. My girlfriend's computer will have to do for now.
Here are the game notes I scribbled while sitting frustrated at the media table last night:
It’s a wonder how Toledo got so bad, so quickly. Certainly, they lost some seniors last year, but from what I hear from “One Who Knows,” this isn’t just a young team, it’s a team without even young talent. Eek. Bad combination.
On Friday, I was studying in the law library. Up the stairs walked Zippy. It was really funny to see her in that context. She was with a representative of the athletics department to sell basketball tickets to professors. Hats off to the staff for this ingenious strategy. It also took my mind off of the legal process of clearing checks, which was quite necessary.
The men’s soccer team was honored during the game. There aren’t many occasions when it’s appropriate to clap from press row. I felt this was one. These guys worked so hard and established an airdock full of school pride.
Toledo is having an awful time beating Akron’s full-court press. On the first three possessions, here were the results: steal, timeout (then successful passage), turnover.
At halftime, the score is 27-19. The teams combined for 1-of-12 on 3-point attempts. Toledo has the rebounding edge, 17-13. There is really not much more to report. It was an ugly, uneventful 20 minutes.
The university announced the induction of several new members of its Varsity A Hall of Fame. Among the people accompanying these folks out to the court was my law school buddy Joe Rich, who is a student trustee for the university. (This should serve as notice to my law school friends that if you read my blog and follow the Zips, you might just get a shoutout someday.)
A fan posted a sign reading: “Frenchie and Dunn are No. 1” … I alerted Joe Dunn to this, and the radio guys shared a good laugh. I told Joe he must alert his listeners to such a creative sign. He responded: “Only if we win.”
Toledo’s Malcolm Griffin dashed around two screens for an uncontested layup. Nik Cvetinovic was late on the rotation, and it was clearly his fault. Acknowledging it, Cvetinovic shouted a four-letter word you often hear used in Martin Scorsese movies. It starts with F. I could have misheard him, but I think the second letter was U.
Cvetinovic, I feel, is at a crossroads in his career. He has the talent and drive to be a franchise player, much like Romeo Travis and Jeremiah Wood. But we also need to see more consistent statistics out of him. That’s what separates Wood and Travis from guys like Chris McKnight and Matt Futch, who are good players that never really carried the team.
The same goes for Humpty Hitchens. No one would question his talent or drive. Much like Cvetinovic, he must learn to harness his competitiveness and emotions. That is what Nick Dials was able to do. Hitchens certainly has the same capacity for being a star in the league like his predecessors Dials, Dru Joyce and Cedrick Middleton.
Toledo is hanging around in this game because Akron can’t make an open 3-pointer. The Zips are 2-for-17 on 3s. As I type that, Hitchens drilled a 3 to extend Akron’s lead to nine with 7:26 left. Next possession: Steve McNees canned a 3 with 5:48 to take the lead to 10. Then Hitchens made another 3 to extend the lead to 13 with 5:18 remaining. The next two possessions resulted in steals in the backcourt and easy layups. Akron put this game out of reach in one blog paragraph. The lead is 17.
Hitchens and McNees did a nice job breaking Toledo’s press. Hitchens lobbed a pass over Toledo’s defense to a cutting Cvetinovic, who dunked it. The next possession, Toledo’s 6-foot-9 forward Justin Anyijong heaved an ill-advised 3-point attempt that resulted in a long rebound, which resulted in Hitchens feeding Chris McKnight for a second-straight Zips dunk.
Final score: Akron 59, Toledo 45
I will blog about tomorro's game against EMU tomorrow.