Until last night, I wasn't sure Akron had a go-to player in clutch situations.
Keith Dambrot designed a play to get Dru Joyce the ball for the potential tying shot against Nevada, but I figured that was only because he is a versatile enough offensive player to give the team more options with a few seconds left.
Last night, with plenty of time on the clock, Dambrot called for an isolation to Joyce. The Zips' floor general wisely waited until the clock read five seconds before slashing on freshman Alex Moosmann.
The more I think about it, the more it seems last night's game will be quite valuable the rest of the MAC season. It gave Joyce the confidence that may have wavered after the Nevada loss. It confirmed that the Zips have a player to take that last shot, and it will be a good shot.
I should also mention that Miami will be good this season. I'd call them the third-best team in the MAC, behind Akron and Ohio. Their defense took the crowd out of the game and frustrated Akron into some poor shooting. I think Miami matches up great against the Bobcats. Don't be surprised to see the RedHawks sweep that season series.
Here are some clips from this morning's papers...
- PD's Elton Alexander: Joyce had suffered through a scoring decline since Nevada. Maybe this will serve as a massive slump-buster.
- ABJ's Tom Gaffney: Akron tried to speed the tempo on Miami, but it didn't work. In the end, the Zips just played the game Charlie Coles' way. Gaffney also points out that Joyce is close to a pace that would make him UA's all-time career assists leader. Eric McLaughlin currently holds that record.
- Cincy Enquirer's Michael Beaven: Dambrot thought Coles would double-team Joyce on the last shot.
The Zips' RPI jumped nine spots to 135. Miami moved up, too. The RedHawks sit at 131. If Akron keeps winning the games it is supposed to, the team's RPI should wind up between 60 and 80 -- still not good enough for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Sinisa Ubiparipovic today became the highest drafted professional athlete from UA I can remember.
- 2013 (110)
- 2012 (199)
- 2011 (225)
- 2010 (266)
- 2009 (380)
- 2008 (327)
- 2007 (561)
- 2006 (605)
- 2005 (89)