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Zips basketball: Three observations in Zips 88-81 win over Ohio

By George Thomas Published: February 27, 2013

Far too similarities to the first game between these two in the follow-up here at the Convocation Center in Athens.

The Zips couldn’t sustain the momentum from the opening moments and the Bobcats ran rampant building an 18-point lead to smack UA out of their coma.  No worries.  It’s typical of the team.  They  poured things on to win their 19 consecutive and 13th in a row in the Mid-American Conference.  Here’s why they won.

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Zips basketball: UA hits No. 24 in hoops poll

By George Thomas Published: February 25, 2013

The Akron Zips landed at No. 24 of the USA Today Coaches Poll which was released at approximately noon, marking the first time the school has appeared in either national poll.

The Zips may have opened a few eyes with their BracketBusters appearance and victory over the North Dakota State Bison last Friday at Rhodes Arena in front of a national TV audience.

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Zips basketball: Three observations in a 68-53 win

By George Thomas Published: February 22, 2013

The Akron Zips used shutdown defense to take Friday night’s BracketBusters game from the North Dakota State Bison 68-53. It’s one of those games where every little thing helps the Zips post-season prospects.  Although it’s likely that they have to win the MAC Tournament to get to the NCAA’s big dance, but every little bit helps and at moments the Zips dominated the Bison paving the way for the victory:

Key players:  Zeke Marshall showed up huge with 14 points, eight rebounds and those swats.  Treadwell joins him with 11 points, 14 rebounds and without Nick Harney 13 points and five rebounds.

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Zips hoops: Three observations for UA-NDSU game

By George Thomas Published: February 22, 2013

Yours truly will continue arguing up until game time that this is a risky game for the Akron Zips (21-4) given their season thus far.  A 17-game winning streak?  Nice.  But anyone who’s honest can say that at times it’s been ugly.  Tonight’s game against the North Dakota State Bison (20-7) is a chance for them to accomplish something only they can – make an impression on national television in prime time.  That simple.  How do they do it?

Key matchup:  Zeke Marshall against Marshall Bjorklund.  In that half-court game, the Bison will likely look to the inside for shots on a more consistent basis.  Marshall needs to be on his game defensively to nullify him.  With Braun out, statistically, he’s the Bison’s second leading scorer.  Taking him out of the game would leave them with not a lot of options.

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Zips basketball: A little bit hobbled

By George Thomas Published: February 21, 2013

Whatever the Zips do, they’ll have to accomplish it without senior guard Brian Walsh for the time being.  Walsh twisted his ankle in Wednesday’s practice and walked with a noticeable limp Thursday. His only activity involved an exercise bike.  Depth isn’t a problem for coach Keith Dambrot, but he will have to decide who fills Walsh’s shoes – be it sophomore Deji Ibitayo or freshman Reggie McAdams, two very different players.

Dambrot said that ultimately he’s looking for balance.

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Zips basketball Harlem Shake preview

By George Thomas Published: February 19, 2013

Zips athletics: Twitter Q&A

By George Thomas Published: February 19, 2013

Q:  George, you see these guys up close, streak taking its toll? - @wrigleyrocky

A:  Not even close wrigleyrocky.  I don’t know why it’s not.  What I can say is they believe that they aren’t getting enough respect.  As for the streak itself? The mantra this year “think bigger” has sunken in for this team.  The streak is a byproduct of that.  Their goals and eyes are focused clearly on each game.  For sportswriters that’s an annoying cliché.  They, however, realize if they take care of business one game at a time, their bigger goals – MAC Tournament, NCAA Tournament – will be within their grasp.  Psychologically speaking, the team is no different now than they were at the beginning of the year.  What I do notice is that practices are a bit more intense, but at this time of the college hoops season you have to expect that.

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Zips basketball: Three post-game observations

By George Thomas Published: February 16, 2013

Zips (21-4, 12-0) 67, Bowling Green (10-14, 5-7) 50

The win streak continues courtesy of 10 consecutive FT shots at the end of the game.  You could see a difference in the Zips intensity to open the game.  Part of it could have come from an impressive crowd of 5,247 or they could realize it’s just time to step things up.  Either way it’s the most intense they’ve been since the Ohio game.  Intensity, however didn’t necessarily equal good.

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Zips basketball: Three pre-game observations

By George Thomas Published: February 16, 2013

There’s been a change in approach this week with the Zips.  The coaching staff decided to break the game down into four-minute rounds that the team must win.

They’ll be graded on how many offensive rebounds, deflections, steals and post-touches they get in each segment and it will be determined whether they won each of 10 rounds within the game.

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Zips basketball: Of Treadwell and hosiery

By George Thomas Published: February 15, 2013
TreeSocks

For Michael Jordan it must’ve been the shoes.

For Akron Zips junior forward Demetrius Treadwell it may be the socks.

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Zips basketball: Post-game analysis for Eastern Michigan

By George Thomas Published: February 13, 2013

This was another one of those feats of daring do worthy of illusionist Criss Angel.  With more than 20 turnovers there is no way that the Zips should have won this game.  But here are three reasons they did:

Key player:  Brian Walsh with 16 points and 4-of-8 from the three-point arc.  For Zips fans it’s got to be a relief to see this performance at this time of the year.  From what’s been seen of Walsh, he will be doing anything and everything to keep it going.

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Zips basketball: Three keys for victory against EMU

By George Thomas Published: February 13, 2013

I’d argue that the Akron Zips current 15-game winning streak and a possible undefeated season in the Mid-American Conference hinges on tonight’s game against Eastern Michigan.

And there’s every reason to believe that the Eagles can take them down. They play a style of basketball similar to that of Ball State, a team the Zips barely squeaked out a win against.   Close games are well and good, and there’s no denying the icy resolve the team plays with when the game is on the line, but a blowout against a markedly inferior team would probably save Zips Nation runs to the drug store for heartburn medication.

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Zips hoops: More TV time for men, women's teams

By George Thomas Published: February 12, 2013

The Zips men and women will get another TV game in the coming weeks as each team’s second Miami contest will air on SportsTime Ohio.  Coach Jodi Kest’s women’s team will face the RedHawks at 2 p.m. March 3rd on the regional cable network.  The men will play their second game against Miami on STO at 7 p.m. March 5 in a Tuesday matchup.

That the men would get another TV date is no surprise given the way they’ve been playing, but for the women to have one added is a testament to just how good they are this year. The Miami game wasn’t initially on STO’s schedule.   Kent State?  Sure. Miami? Nope.  The powers that be must’ve gotten a look at the Zips’ performance against the RedHawks last Friday.

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Zips hoops: Twitter Q & A

By George Thomas Published: February 12, 2013

If you have a question related to University of Akron sports, send it to me via Twitter @GeorgeThomasABJ.  Here are a couple of queries for this week:

What is Chauncey Gilliam’s condition? He seems slow, tentative, frustrated. Not scoring. Is knee ok? - ‏@tjk4zips

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Zips hoops: Gilliam understanding his role

By George Thomas Published: February 11, 2013

When talking to senior forward Chauncey Gilliam the wistfulness can be heard in his voice as he talks about his senior season.  It hasn’t been easy for him.

Beginning the season in the starting lineup, he was eventually usurped by Nick Harney and his tremendous play for a stretch.

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Zips: Of FTs and random notes

By George Thomas Published: February 11, 2013

For those who believe that the Zips are without warts, rethink the position.  Now is the time, with seven regular season games remaining, for them to begin rising and taking care of each of those weaknesses.  

The obvious one:  slow starts and playing to the level of their competition, the latest example coming against the Miami RedHawks on national television Saturday.  But the most pressing example may be something very basic:  free throw shooting.

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Zips basketball: Three observations and then some

By George Thomas Published: February 9, 2013

Akron 54, Miami 50

Turning point:  Some might say the 15-2 run later in the second half, but I believe the 6-0 run to open the half set the tone for the rest of the game.  It was the team basically saying we took your best shot, here we come.

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Zips football: Zach Guiser, S, signs NLOI

By George Thomas Published: February 6, 2013

Zach Guiser, S, 6-foot-1, 205, Fayette City, Pa.

 

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Zips football: RB Manny Morgan signs NLOI

By George Thomas Published: February 6, 2013

Manny Morgan, RB, 5-foot-9, 190, Naples, Fla.

 

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Zips football; Mykel Traylor-Bennett

By George Thomas Published: February 6, 2013

Mykel Traylor-Bennett, WR, 6-foot-4, 200, Reynoldsburg Ohio

 

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Zips football: Keontae Hollis, DL, signs NLOI

By George Thomas Published: February 6, 2013

Keontae Hollis, DT, 6-foot-2, 285, Pontiac, Mich.

 

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Zips football: WR Austin Wolf signs NLOI

By George Thomas Published: February 6, 2013

Austin Wolf, WR, 6-foot-4, 200, Lebanon, Ohio

 

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Zips football: Kenmore's Deon'Tae Moore signs NLOI

By George Thomas Published: February 6, 2013

Deon’Tae Moore, OLB, 6-foot-4, 205, Akron Ohio

 

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Zips football: Michael Kish signs his NLOI

By George Thomas Published: February 6, 2013

Michael Kish, OL, 6-foot-5, Pittsburgh, Pa.

 

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Zips football: Ryan Kortocrax signs NLOI

By George Thomas Published: February 6, 2013

Ryan Kortocrax, OL, 6-foot-4, 285, Haviland, Ohio

 

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Zips football: Lavonne Gauthney signs

By George Thomas Published: February 6, 2013

 

Lavonne Gauthney, DT, 6-foot-2, 300, Reynoldsburg, Ohio

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Zips basketball: UA seeks multiple paths to tourney

By George Thomas Published: February 4, 2013

With bracket buster pairings set to be announced tonight, Keith Dambrot checked into whether instead of having a home game, as the Zips are slated to get the weekend of Feb. 22-23, could be on the road, according to a report from ESPN’s Andy Katz.

Call it enlightened self-interest.  Dambrot knows that there’s no guarantee that his team will win the season-ending MAC Tournament.  Don’t read that as a lack of confidence, but more of a lack of arrogance.  Therefore he’s preparing a different path to the NCAA tournament – an at-large bid.  In the MAC placing more than one team in the big dance has happened just six times, the most recent being in 1999 when Kent State won the conference and Miami received an invitation.

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Zips basketball: Black uniform sales information

By George Thomas Published: February 1, 2013

From a UA Athletic Department release:

Due to the enormous fan feedback regarding Akron's new black Nike jerseys, Zips Athletics has decided to create and sell a limited run of replica and authentic black merchandise during Saturday's nationally-televised contest against Ohio (5 p.m. ET, ESPNU).

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Zips hoops: Black Social Media Night uniforms will be sold

By George Thomas Published: February 1, 2013

The University of Akron Athletic Department plans to sell the black Social Media Night uniforms in varying versions.  More details to come.

The uniforms, which will be worn for Saturday's game against the Ohio Bobcats, became a sensation in college hoops circles earlier this week.

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