Coach Keith Dambrot said the Zips didn't play very well in tonight's 81-79 loss to Arkansas-Little Rock in the first round of the CBE Classic.
He also didn't want to dwell on it.
Unfortunately, the biggest problem tonight was rebounding, which looked like a weakness entering the season. The Trojans outrebounded Akron 36 to 24. That stands to reason since UALR's Rashad Jones-Jennings might be the nation's best rebounder.
Romeo Travis (21 points, six rebounds) and Cedrick Middleton probably played best for Akron (although I don't know for sure because I was listening to the radio while putting out the newspaper).
Akron will play Gardner-Webb or Texas Tech tomorrow. With the Red Raiders in control, I'll talk a little about what the Zips will be up against in Gardner-Webb, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Bulldogs are very inexperienced. They have a roster with 11 new players. Guard/forward Chris Gash is the only senior. He averaged 10 points and five rebounds on last year's senior-laden team.
The Bulldogs reloaded with junior college players, so it shouldn't be a complete letdown. The team has some solid shooters.
ESPN.com grades the team likewise...
- Backcourt: B-
- Frontcourt: C+
- Bench: C+
- Intangibles: B-
Compare that with Akron's grades...
- Backcourt: A
- Frontcourt: B+
- Bench: B
- Intangibles: A
The Zips likely will bounce back to beat the Bulldogs, 71-59.
The Buchtelite's season preview talks about how Jodi Kest will need to match youth with a couple talented pieces already on the roster.
I'll post our podcast tomorrow. The Buchtelite guys ponder how many games this young team can win.
The Buchtelite's future sports editor Adam Ferrise wrote an interesting story about David Harvey. He explains how the stud wide receiver wound up in Blue and Gold.
I've been meaning to break down Ohio, and I'll get around to it tomorrow morning.
In the meantime, here is a quote from my buddy Chris Muhlberg, an avid Bobcats fan down in Athens...
"Our team is the ultimate bend but don't break kind of team. We are not powerful, but we have good defense and special teams and win the turnover battle, while taking advantage if the opponents turn it over. Solich needed this season to turn out as it has or else he was in big trouble after us making national headlines for all the wrong reasons in the offseason, but he has silenced most by winning. I am a giant loser, and the Bobcats suck."
OK. That last part was me, speaking on behalf of Mr. Muhlberg. Thanks to my Athens bureau for that.
Here is this week's Rasor on the Zips. Admittedly, it's not my finest work.
Look around the NFL and tell me you don't get just a little jealous.
Big name draftees are showing signs of becoming superstar quarterbacks.
Alex Smith has a high quarterback rating. Phillip Rivers looks like Dan Marino. I won't even discuss Ben Roethlisberger.
It must irk you that a lot of teams are in great shape for the next decade at quarterback. Meanwhile, the Browns offense looks helpless at times under Charlie Frye's control.
Still, Frye gives the Browns their best chance of reaching the playoffs in the future.
True, Frye has been knocked down a lot. Only Oakland's Andrew Walter has been sacked more. That has been the Browns' greatest problem.
Often, you can attribute sacks to a quarterback holding onto the ball too long. That is not the case in Cleveland. Frye, a 2005 University of Akron grad, typically has a second or two before the pocket closes in and a defensive end twists his helmet sideways.
What's sad is the number of sacks would be much higher, but Frye has eluded countless defenders with his mobility. I honestly don't think even a superstar pocket passer like Peyton Manning could thrive with guards Cosey Coleman and Joe Andruzzi's ole' blocking style.
Perhaps most important to the Browns' playoff hopes is Frye only costs $430,000 against the cap. Subract that from Roethlisberger's $4.2 million and you can afford a couple good offensive linemen who will make up for a possible talent downgrade at quarterback.
Those are some reasons the franchise is still excited about Frye. You should be, too.
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