Akron beat Western Michigan, 69-55. Western made a 12-2 run in the second half, but the Zips extended the lead for a comfortable victory. It is the first time in six years that the Zips will be 3-0 to start MAC play, Steve French said.
Dru Joyce had 11 points, nine assists and only two turnovers. Nate Linhart had eight rebounds and six points. The turning point came after Western's 12-2 run when Nick Dials and Matt Futch hit back-to-back 3 pointers. No, that's not a typo. Dials led both teams with 15 points. Futch hit a 3. Romeo Travis had six points and eight rebounds, but was in foul trouble much of the game. Quade Milum had a solid game, too. My dude Rob Preston chipped in with 11.
Western Michigan couldn't make a shot all night.
By the way, Toledo barely beat Buffalo, 73-70.
Kent State crushed Akron, 62-38. Kelly Kennedy's team put up another unimpressive showing.
Jessie Crooks played well, with 17 points on six of 13 shooting. Everyone else played like garbage. Courtney Stewart couldn't hit the broad side of Rhodes Arena with her jumpshot (two of 12 from the field). Krissy Marco had eight turnovers and only one assist. The team had only five assists. The Zips shot 27 percent and had 28 turnovers.
For your turnovers to outnumber your shooting percentage points, you must be playing intoxicated. That's the only legitimate excuse. The girls must have been passing around a bottle of Jack before tipoff. Obviously, I'm joking. We don't have any Bode Millers at Akron.
Not that I'm a Bush basher, but I have these words for Kennedy:
"You're doing a heckuva job, Kelly!"
This, however, might be crossing the line.
Still, after this kind of drubbing from a Kent State team, I just want to go hide under a rock. This team is better than this, and they will show improvement by the end of the year. My question to you is, will that be enough to save Kennedy her $90,000 job?
Great news for Zips fans. Paul Posluszny, the Butkus Award winner, will return to Penn State for his senior season. Akron will travel to Happy Valley for the second time in three years to play the Nittany Lions on Sept. 2. And Posluszny will be waiting for them. Penn State will lose captain, quarterback and fifth-year senior Michael Robinson to graduation. I'm sure Joe-Pa will still have his team ranked top 10 nationally at the beginning of next season, however.
Also, I got an e-mail from a Rutgers alum who gave me some insight into Nate Robinson's story. In case you haven't heard of Robinson, he was the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country coming out of high school in New Jersey two years ago. He had a very low SAT score despite a 3.0 high school GPA. Miami (Fla.) could not take him because of SAT requirements, so he went to Rutgers. He sat out last year after transferring to Akron. I assume he will be given a chance to win a starting job this spring.
Anyhow, Robinson had trouble with missing classes and study halls at Rutgers. Coach Greg Schiano is very strict when it comes to academics. He met with Robinson and his mother to give him a final chance to shape up, and Robinson blew it. Schiano dismissed Robinson after his sophomore year, despite being a strong contributor on defense and an overall good person. "I love the kid and he's a good kid," Schiano said. "But we have to help him get to where he wants to get to. This chapter had to end."
For more on Nate Robinson, read this story from SI.com.
By the way, where the heck are our big-time boosters?