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Conference commissioner saying 'no' to state of Indiana

By George Thomas Published: April 1, 2015

Mid-American Conference commissioner Jon Steinbrecher announced on ESPN that his conference would avoid doing business in Indiana because of the state’s recent passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

"The Mid-American Conference will not schedule any more meetings or championships in Indiana until this current matter is brought to a sensible and appropriate conclusion," Steinbrecher said in interview.

The conference has one member school in Indiana, Ball State in Muncie.

The MAC holds its basketball tournament in Cleveland and its championship football game in Detroit, but holds its president’s meeting in Indianapolis.  

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Zips basketball: Center Pat Forsythe earns recognition

By George Thomas Published: March 27, 2015

From a University of Akron athletic department news release:  

Akron Zips junior center Pat Forsythe has been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division I All-District Second Team, the association announced on Friday.

The honor is the first NABC All-District honor for Forsythe and the eighth by a Zips' player since 2004.

Prior to the Mid-American Conference Tournament earlier this month, Forsythe was named Third-Team All-MAC.

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Zips basketball: UA to face Kansas State in WNIT

By George Thomas Published: March 17, 2015

The University of Akron women’s basketball team will play the Kansas State Wildcats in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament in Manhattan, Kan. Thursday at Bramlage Coliseum.  Game time will be announced later Tuesday.

It will be the first meeting ever between the Zips (22-8) and Wildcasts (18-13).

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Zips basketball: Women's team headed to WNIT

By George Thomas Published: March 16, 2015

The University of Akron women’s basketball team is among six Mid-American Conference program to receive an invite to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament it was announced Monday night.

They will not know who their opponent is until later into the night.

A red-hot Eastern Michigan team ousted the Zips in the third round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament last Thursday.  The team recorded a 22-8 record for the season.  UA is one of 35 teams that won at least 20 games over the season in the field of 64.

It is their second appearance in the WNIT, the last coming in 2013. Other MAC participants include Ball State, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Toledo and Western Michigan.  Also, the Horizon League’s Cleveland State University made the cut.

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Zips football: QB battle will be a wide-open affair

By George Thomas Published: March 16, 2015

This is just my observation, but Terry Bowden saying that the quarterback competition is wide open this spring is the equivalent of telling former Kent Roosevelt standout Tra’Von Chapman that it’s his to win.

Chapman, a former Pitt recruit before a skirmish with the law and eventual Ashland quarterback, showed all the talent in the world at Roosevelt.  He could make the throws.  He’s got legs and he had plenty of football I.Q.  Maturity or lack thereof may have been his biggest enemy.

“I think without a doubt with Tra’Von Chapman having been ineligible last year and him being eligible,” Bowden said. “I believe the position deserves to be wide open.”

Practical reasons exist as to why Chapman will get his start.  A lot has to do with the inconsistent play from starter Kyle Pohl and his backup Thomas Woodson.  Both passers failed to complete anywhere near 60 percent of their passes in Bowden’s offense.  In fairness to Pohl, however, he missed a couple of games after taking a hit to the head and didn’t seem as effective for several games after.

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Zips basketball: Men's team passes on post-season

By George Thomas Published: March 15, 2015

University of Akron men’s basketball coach Keith Dambrot announced Saturday that his team will not accept any post-season play.

The Zips lost to eventual Mid-American Tournament champion Buffalo Friday night, and Dambrot said then that his team would likely pass on post-season play.

“After evaluating our current position, I feel it is in the best interest of our players and our program not to play in the postseason this year,” Dambrot said. “We have several players nursing injuries and have missed a lot of class time over the past few weeks. We would like to thank the postseason tournament committees for their interest in having us continue our season.”

Dambrot said Friday that other post-season tournaments didn’t have the same allure.

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Points to ponder: Akron Zips vs. Buffalo Bulls (Tournament Edition)

By George Thomas Published: March 14, 2015

The word of the day is “fatigue.”   That’s what that 68-59 loss was all about.  It touched upon every negative stat in that game.

Let’s talk about it:

Coach Keith Dambrot admitted to it with some of his first words: “In the end the fatigue got the best of us,” he said.  They opened with plenty of energy in the game’s early moments, took their best shot and gradually ran out of gas.  Dambrot likes to refer to his team as a car in interviews.  It finally sputtered, spit and stalled at the latest moment possible.

On the offensive glass the Zips got owned 17-5 which led to 20 second chance points for the Bulls.   “They had more energy than we had.  You could see it in the offensive boards and the way we shot the ball,” he said. 

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