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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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Akron coach Keith Dambrot after loss to Buffalo: 'We just ran in mud a little bit'

By Marla Ridenour Published: March 14, 2015

Here's what Akron coach Keith Dambrot and junior wing Jake Kretzer said after a 68-59 loss to Buffalo in the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena:

KEITH DAMBROT

Opening statement:

We played with good heart, we just didn't play good enough to win, that's really what it came down to. We played good enough defensively, but we didn't rebound the ball well enough, we didn't do enough offensively really to win. It's unfortunate, we were right there to win, we just didn't make enough plays.

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Game snapshot: Akron Zips vs. Buffalo Bulls (Tournament edition)

By George Thomas Published: March 13, 2015

Akron Zips (21-13) vs. Buffalo Bulls (20-9)

Time: Approximately 9 p.m., Quicken Loans Arena

TV:  Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, ESPN3 via the WatchESPN app on supported devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, assorted smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.  Game may be subject to blackout.

Radio: Akron-IMG Sports Network – SportsRadio 1350 AM (WARF) in Akron (flagship) and for free at GoZips.com/TuneIn. Steve French (play-by-play) and Joe Dunn (analyst) will have the call beginning at 8:30 p.m.

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Points to ponder: Akron Zips v. Kent State tournament edition

By George Thomas Published: March 13, 2015

After looking as if they were going to sputter their way to a tournament ending loss, the University of Akron men’s basketball team found a second gear to against rival Kent State (21-11) Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena to take the victory 53-51.

Trailing for most of the way – including by 13 – at one point, the Zips (20-13) found a second gear and claimed a win to continue to the Mid-American Conference semi-final on Friday.

Of course a last second shot, which couldn’t beat the buzzer, decided the game’s outcome.  With 7.9 second Kent State, with no timeouts, got the ball to the Zips side of the court and after receiving a pass, Kent State’s Devareaux Manley, barely missed beating the buzzer for the win.

Center Pat Forsythe led the Zips with 12 points and three rebounds while point guard Antino Jackson tossed in 11 points. Center Isaiah Johnson tossed in 10.

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Transcript: UA coach Keith Dambrot says beating KSU 'was like trip to dentist'

By Marla Ridenour Published: March 13, 2015

Here's what Akron coach Keith Dambrot said after Thursday night's 53-51 victory over Kent State in the Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinals at Quicken Loans Arena.

Q: Opening statement

A: It was like a trip to the dentist today. It's frustrating because both teams struggled to score. You're in there and the Novocaine is wearing off and you're just trying to get through the visit. We've been in a lot of those games and I'm proud of how our guys handled it at the end. We made some big shots that we hadn't made most of the year. Probably the thing that I liked the most was that Antino Jackson was 0 for 6 in the first half and had his struggles, but he just drove our car. He never quit and he had the heart of a lion and I think that's why we won the game.

Q. In the first half Kent State had more energy, second half you came out with more. Did you say something?

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