Keith Dambrot is a defensive coach, so it's no wonder he said his team could have locked down more tightly on Ohio in last night's loss.
Cedrick Middleton, a hustle player, said the Zips could have played harder.
I think they are more wrong than right. The problem is Akron's trouble finding an offensive flow against a zone defense. Sure, the Zips could have held Ohio to fewer points. But there's no way the Bobcats defense should hold Akron below 85.
For basketball novices, a zone is where each player is responsible for an area in the halfcourt. It shifts depending on which side of the court has the ball, but for the most part, it's simple. A good motion offense normally won't be effective against a zone because defenders won't follow offensive players through screens and around picks.
The best attacks against a zone are deep jumpers, feeding the post and driving to the hoop. Akron's roster lacks slashers with the exception of Middleton and maybe Jimmy Conyers someday. That gives them two options: shoot or post up.
Without a lights-out shooter, that option isn't that attractive. Plenty of Zips can hit 30 percent from long-range: Nick Dials, Dru Joyce and Nate Linhart to name a few. But they don't have a go-to shooter on whom you would bet your last unemployment check.
So that leaves post play. And that's where Dambrot has been reluctant to venture. Against Nevada, Jeremiah Wood looked really confident bouncing through the paint with excellent footwork against the taller Nick Fazekas. Romeo Travis has a knack for getting tough layups and fade aways to fall. Quade Milum is improving each night with his hook shot.
You can see why Travis and Wood are scoring inconsistently. They don't get enough touches. Each possession should go through one of them. Even if they aren't deep enough in the post or the defenders double down, a kick-out pass should open up a cleaner shot than if Dials and Joyce play patty cake out on the perimeter for 20 seconds.
I'm not basketball expert, and I didn't even make my varsity team in high school. It's just my humble opinion.