It took a Dru Joyce floater with 2 seconds left to earn Akron its first MAC win.
Miami's defense frustrated the Zips into 38 percent shooting and only six assists, but the more talented team still won 54-52 by playing a bit of defense itself and grabbing 15 offensive rebounds.
Like always, the effort was well-rounded offensively with Joyce, Romeo Travis and Jeremiah Wood each scoring between nine and 12 points. It appeared the Zips were more eager to get the ball into the post than during the loss against Ohio.
Attendance was sparce for a conference game, especially among the AK-Rowdies. The student section filled only half of one endzone, which it shared with the band. At halftime, they invited random students to sit in the other endzone, which makes perfect sense.
There are a ton of students up in the bleachers, but they don't sit with the Rowdies because they don't want to be rejected for not wearing a special shirt, not attending a meeting, etc. Whoever is calling the shots in the organization needs to drop the power trip and remember its just a fan club.
Here's another random idea... During the women's game versus Kent State, one side of the endzone bleachers was blocked off with a big curtain and a giant inflatable Zippy that lurched over the floor. I think that's a really cool look, and it will make the crowd appear more dense.
Why is density important? For some reason, crowds are louder when the people are bunched together. Fans feed off each other. Second, fans want to attend games with high attendance. Although blocking off one end wouldn't help the numbers, it certainly will appear there are more people.
Obviously, you kill that plan against Ohio and Kent State, where it should be a near sell-out. In fact, maybe you save the plan until next season's nonconference schedule.
More random thoughts...
- Chris McKnight's dad is a very vocal fan. With his headphones and backwards ballcap, he certainly caught the referees' ear a few times.
- Cedrick Middleton switched jerseys to a No. 43 in the middle of the game. I'm not sure why. If anyone else does, I'd be interested to know.
- John Rybak sported a headband tonight and actually played a little in the second half. My buddy Kiel Fleming joked: "I bet he's wearing the headband to fool (Keith) Dambrot into thinking he's someone else." If there's a player who needs a confidence boost, it's Rybak. He can still be a serviceable Division I player, but he is nowhere near that now.
- The athletic department needs some work on its game presentation. That's one thing Youngstown State, despite not having a video screen, did fairly well. For starters, find a new public address announcer. The guy they have now has decent energy, but his voice is too nasalized. (Edited)
- I'll have more on the game tomorrow.
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