Akron fans waited until the second week of December to see the Zips play a Division I opponent at home.
They will have to wait two more to see the Zips play a worthy opponent.
Winston-Salem State might be the worst team on Akron's schedule, including Tiffin. The Rams are 1-11 this season, which is their first in Division I.
You have to feel bad for WSSU, which won't have an affiliation until the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference accepts them next season, and therefore plays all but six games on the road this season.
Here are some statistics that will show why Saturday night's game won't be close...
- The Rams have a -17.8 scoring margin.
- They shoot 34.2 percent from the field and 62.1 percent from the line.
- The opposition outrebounds WSS by an average of 7.7 per game.
- The opposition averages almost double the assists per game.
Anyhow, here are some other interesting tidbits about WSSU...
- First-year coach Bobby Collins comes from the MEAC's Hampton University, where he advanced the program after it moved to Division I in 1995.
- Much like Akron in the '80s, WSSU had been successful at a lower level before moving to Division I. The Rams won the National Championship in 1967. The Zips lost to WSSU twice that season in the teams' only previous meetings. Earl "The Pearl" Monroe dropped 49 on the Zips in the second game. That still stands as a record-high scoring total for an opposing player.
- Despite having four juniors and three seniors on the roster, Collins is doing the wise thing in giving playing time to his underclassmen, who are actually Division I recruits.
- The team leader probably is Roy Peake, a point guard who I would call a poor man's Dru Joyce. He has a great assist-to-turnover ratio, but lacks Joyce's scoring ability. He averages only 4.5 points in more than 30 minutes per game.
- The Rams are fairly small. The tallest player who gets on the court is 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Jamal Durham, who also leads the team with 10.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
I think the Zips could sit their entire starting lineup and win by 20 at home. Without a game for another week, there's no reason for that. The Zips win big.
Prediction: Akron 93, WSSU 52