Some key stats...
Wood stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, five assists and seven rebounds. That ties a career high.
McNees tied the school record by going 6-for-6 with threes.
Miami had 14 assists and 16 turnovers. Akron was 15 to 12.
Wood "I threw him at least four of them."
"We didn't want to play Miami's game -- slow, wait until the end of the clock."
"The second half, they didn't really double me because there were so many 3s going up."
"We're in the MAC now. There's no room for error. We can't lose any games."
"We locked down on Pollitz."
"We didn't know how much support was going to come. We're happy. Akron came out and supported us."
"This was a great game to come make a statement."
McNees "I was feelin' good. I was just hitting open shots. I wasn't doing anything special."
"I've been getting a lot of extra reps with no school in session."
On his defense: "It's a big adjustment from high school. I feel like every game I'm getting a little better."
"It was good for us to come out and say 'We mean business.'"
Dambrot "We were playing Northern Illinois last year and we were winning by a lot. The fans started getting on (McNees). They were caling him Sunshine. He was getting so flustered by it because he couldn't do anything about it."
"I felt that it would be more difficult filling the 1 spot, and less difficult filling the 4 spot, but it's been the opposite."
"It's amazing what young people can do when they're given an opportunity."
"He's gonna be a good player. He scored a lot of points in high school. He's a strange player. He's very good with the ball, up and down. The thing that makes him is that he is of the highest character."
"We have covered the best players well all year long."
"We have that belief structure totally under control. We had that in my second year when we went to Puerto Rico and played Clemson and Mississippi State. This is the equivalent to that."
"We've been getting on Steve about getting more reps in practice. His percentages aren't great. The problem is, we practice hard. When he's open, I feel like he has a good chance to make it. It offsets Ceddy. Ceddy had a rough night. Guys like Ceddy shouldn't feel bad."
"I feel you had to earn your minutes. I believed we'd be better defensively with Jimmy. I thought McKnight answered the challenge well. I've been really hard on him on practice. He's another high-character kid."
"This is my thing on Miami: Miami plays great early and great late. They usually struggle this time of year. They look rusty to me. They're really good. Don't be misled by that."
"We've been guarding little guys with big guys -- using length. I thought it bothered them."
On the laugh between McNees and Dambrot at the end of the game: "I told him he's the dumbest point guard we've ever had."
On Steward: "It's up to him and his family. We have three guards playing a lot. It doesn't make much sense to play him now. Going in, I thought Ronnie would play before McNees. But if Ronnie's healthy, maybe McNees doesn't get his chance."
On Buffalo: "
Reggie Weatherspoon gets guys to play harder than anyone in the league. It's a hard place to play. We know what we are. If we don't come to play, it's going to be tough.
"The high-majors can go 8-8 and 9-7 in their league, but they still get in their tournament. We beat each other up, and none of us are getting in."
"This one surprised me. We caught them at the right time. Believe me. There won't be another game like this for 10 years."
Charlie Coles "Let's hope that was a little
James Brown tonight. The singer -- The Big Payback. Let's hope they aren't that much better than us. If that wasn't just a payback, then they are pretty dog-gone good. I think we can play better, but they are pretty good. They have a great three-guard rotation."
"McNees, wow. No mercy. The thing I hold against him -- and I'm mad at him -- we didn't beat him last year. What does he have to be mad at? He was red-shirting! His baskets should be stricken from the game."
"Jeremiah Wood is just terrific. You have to get
Leon Williams or
Haminn Quaintance to guard him. He's just too big for us. When you double, he rifles that pass over."
"All credit goes to Akron. To suffer that loss, then to come back and be this good. I admire that kind of effort. That's a lot of courage. That's what you want your team to do."
"Linhart got on Bramos. Bramos shot-putted a shot. I said, 'Did I wake up at a track meet?'"
Coles downplayed his team's non-conference achievements by telling a story from when he played at Miami. Toledo beat the No. 1 team in the nation (NYU) in Madison Square Garden. Western Michigan lost by 1 to the defending champions (Loyola Marymount). Those teams didn't even finish in the MAC's top three.
"That's the worry of a tough schedule. Kids think they're better than they are. And kids get bogged down."
"I might have a team that can't play the way we've been playing. I might have to speed it up."
"Akron does a good job of playing around Wood. We do a miserable job of knowing who our best player is (Tim Pollitz)."
"I'm glad I don't have to come back to Akron this year."
And also this....
Zeke Marshall, a 6-11 recruit from McKeesport, Pa., was in attendance. He has scholarship offers from West Virginia and Pitt.
Jamie Dixon of Pitt has been attending his game. The Panthers really want him, but the Zips seem to have a great shot. This was Marshall's fifth trip to Akron. Marshall will be a project but he might be ready to play immediately on defense. A toddler that was with him (maybe his sister) whacked me with her purse on my way out of Rhodes Arena. His mother was apologetic, but I thought it was funny.