Zips fans are about 48 hours away from their first taste of basketball.
"Walsh is a good team," assistant coach Jeff Boals said. "It's not a team that you can take lightly. Two years ago they won the NAIA National Championship."
Two St. Vincent/St. Mary's High School grads lead the Walsh Cavaliers: Brandon Weems and Corey Jones.
The Zips will work on limiting turnovers and fouls and improving defensively. Those were the main issues during Akron's super-secret scrimmage at Xavier this weekend.
The Musketeers are a really good team. Some expect them to win the Atlantic 10. You might remember point guard Drew Lavender, who was one of the nation's top point guard recruits. The Columbus native committed to Oklahoma, then transferred to Xavier.
"It went good," Boals said. "Xavier is really good. They were really impressive. They are an experienced team."
The Zips held with them for most of the scrimmage, which consisted of two 25-minute segments and some situational plays. Akron began to sub some of the bench players and fell behind by 10.
"We held our own," Boals said.
On the injury front, Jeremiah Wood's hand has gotten a lot better. Ronnie Steward is about to start running again after suffering a badly strained hip flexor. Cedrick Middleton has a sore knee, and the coaches might hold him out of the exhibition game on Thursday.
That is bad news for the Zips' already thin point guard situation. Steve McNees is a good shooter with reliable ball handling, but defensively is a liability. That is where you get some of the concern for fouls, which come as a result of guard penetration.
"The point guard spot is hardest to learn," Boals said. "He has to learn where people are going to be. Defensively, he's going to guard quicker guys."
Darryl Roberts, who could help at the point, can't play until December because of academics. He's quick and can shoot very well, but he hasn't practiced with the team. It's hard to say whether he'll contribute.