Keith Dambrot -- "I think the team is going to be a very, very good team. We just need to get our pieces back (referring to Middleton and Steward)."
On Middleton: "That guy is the heart and soul of our team."
On what he learned tonight: "I needed to find out whether McNees can play and whether Bardo can play. I think Bardo did some good stuff. He's very good defensively. I thought McNees played well offensively. He's a scorer. I'll say that."
On the team's effort tonight: "They punched us in the mouth early. We didn't play well together. We didn't guard well."
On Steward's return: "It doesn't look good to me. He can't walk without a limp. He would have pushed to start. I'm going in thinking we're not (going to redshirt him). A lot of it depends on if the other guy (Darryl Roberts) is eligible."
On McNees' defense: "We built the program around defense. I told McNees, 'You're good on offense. I'll play you some. But you need to get better on defense.'"
On Walsh's 7-footer Eder Araujo, who grabbed nine rebounds but was 1-for-11 on field goals: "He could play for a lot of teams (in the MAC). He's better than the guy Kent got (Gabe Garcia)."
On Swiech's possible redshirt: "Ask me in two days." (He implied we should pay attention to how much he played tonight as an indicator.
On Conyers: He's gotten better "belief-wise offensively. A lot of it was rust."
His thoughts on the rotation...
1 - McNees, Middleton 2 - Dials, Middleton 3 - Linhart, Conyers 4 - Milum, McKnight 5 - Wood, Bardo
Cedrick Middleton -- "Last year, how it ended... The fact that that was our last game was hard for us. It took me weeks, months to get over it."
On McNees: "Being here for four years of Coach D, he'll learn to play defense." (He suggested that McNees' defensive shortcoming has become a running joke on the team.)
On his sore knee: "We're just taking precaution." (If this was a regular season game, Dambrot said he'd play.)
On the faster paced offense: "We always want to run the break."
Nick Dials -- "It was very subpar on our part. We didn't play hard from the beginning."
About the MAC Championship loss: "It adds to our maturity. We don't want to put ourselves in the position to lose on a game winner."
On going to Alaska: "I don't want to do it. I don't want to travel no nine hours on a plane."
Some key stats...
Five Zips were in double figures: McKnight (14), Milum (13), McNees (12), Conyers (12) and Wood (10).
Akron had 19 assists and nine turnovers. The guards only had one turnover (Goddard).
Conyers led the team with six rebounds. He also had four assists.
It was a tough night for the local boys from Walsh. Brandon Weems played 36 minutes and scored one point. Corey Jones scored four in 24 minutes.
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