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  1. 17 points
    I'm dusting off an old thread based on quotes on other threads and my observations of Jimond this year. I have come to senior days of many seasons and stood to cheer the players I thought represented my alma mater in an exemplary manner. I won't cheer any player louder than Jimond. From that awkward out of control freshman to being a senior leader, Jimond has given 100% every minute he has been on the floor. He stuck with UA when KD left and others bailed. Last year, I watched him try to counsel and temper Virshon. This year, I have watched him taking younger players under his wing and offer them advice or words of encouragement. His impact on the team has gone far beyond his basketball talents. He has done the Zips proud. Good luck Jimond in wherever life leads you.
  2. 16 points
    Yes, I'm sad that we lost on Senior Night and upset my son foul out! But we should of still won even without him in the game. Basketball is a team game and when one goes down the next man needs to step up! As a mom I'm very proud of Kwan and I know he works his butt off to come out here and try to win games. He will continue on this journey on becoming a great player & and just a better man. He's still trying to figure this out. He is just a passionate young player who wants to win and make his teammates better. Trust and believe God has a plan for my son. At the end of day Kwan leaves Akron with a degree and a masters so with that being said I THANK Akron for giving my son the opportunity that most young men don't get. Thanks to all the fans that supported him through all his ups & downs and will continue to support him.
  3. 15 points
    On Thursday December 20th, new Zips Head Football Coach Tom Arth was kind enough to allow me a 30 minute interview. While I would have loved to garnered details such as recruit names and a detailed list of staff candidates, unfortunately neither was possible. Trust me, I tried. Until things are official, and contracts are signed, we all simply need to put the puzzle pieces together ourselves from Twitter and other similar sources. That said, I though he provided some great insight into his personal life, his football mindset and the DNA that will make up Akron Zips Football in the Arth Era. I hope you enjoy it. Note to Dr. Z: Regarding photography at scrimmages - Coach Arth was quoted as saying “Still photography is great.” Unlike the Bowden scrimmages, where only the initial 15 minutes of warm ups were open to photography, you should now be able to take plenty of action shots. Hope Santa got you a sweet new sports lens for Christmas this year! Coach Arth Q & A
  4. 15 points
    ”Who are these guys?!” was the question I kept asking myself regarding The University of Akron’s 2018 Football Recruiting Class. The local newspapers gave Akron’s February 7th, 2018 National Signing Day virtually no print space. Northeast Ohio television stations all but ignored the event. And the various internet recruiting websites again focused their columns on the Power 5 programs. Aside from the noble efforts of a couple local AM radio sports talk personalities, the Zips signing day coverage fell well short of what a real fan wanted to learn about the class, and certainly beneath the coverage it merited. 2018 has a chance to be a great year for Zips football, and the kids bound to these 25 letters of intent have some really interesting storylines. So I thought I would head down to the Zips football offices and see if Head Coach Terry Bowden would give me a little time to discuss the class. Here’s what he had to say. Program Growth Generating a Bright Future
  5. 15 points
    I stopped down at the EJ Thomas meet-and-greet last night. The downside was it was poorly attended. The upside was being able to spend a good amount of time talking to Groce. The guy barely knows where the JAR's located, so it wasn't really the time nor the place to ask who'll be the starting point guard next season, or who's going to round-out his staff. The conversation was "casual." He was very gracious with us. After talking to our group for an extended time period, Larry Williams had to pull him away to speak to some of the other attendees. I think he would have talked to us all night if Williams wouldn't have interjected. He said his #1 priority was getting to know the existing players, and trying to "recruit" them to stay with the Program. The signing day is April 12th, but he's giving the kids some extra time recover from the coaching changeover and make a well-thought-out decision...to an extent. He mentioned "three weeks" as the max time before he needed an answer. Based upon the tone of our conversation regarding Antino, there's a chance he sticks around once the emotions subside. He met with the team yesterday, and is meeting again with them today. I asked if he had any idea regarding the players abilities, and said he'd watched the Zips final two games in the MAC tourney. I assured him that the sparse turnout at EJ wasn't indicative of the Zips basketball following, and that we'd had 7,000 Zips fans at The Q only a couple weeks ago. He didn't seem concerned, as he knew of our respectable game day crowds from his time at OU. It was more of an event to make the guy and his family feel welcome. I think once the dust settles, he'll prove to be an approachable guy, The next 2 weeks will be fun...certainly the most intriguing basketball recruiting period since Zeke's. And the coaching staff formation will be fun to keep tabs on as well. It was fun to catch up with a couple other ZipsNation members that I had't spoken to in a while. And the University put out a really nice spread of food. Although it was a cold, crappy Thursday night I had a good time, and left with the feeling that our Basketball Program is in better shape than it was had Keith Dambrot stuck around for another season.
  6. 15 points
    K-Roo and Dr. Z get it. This is the time when strong leadership is required. Scarborough...Van Horne...whomever...needs to come out guns-a-blazin' and say: "How the F#*k does some wing nut faculty member's uneducated, self-serving opinions get any media traction whatsoever? We are D-1A, we'll always be D1-A, we have a great team this season that will contend for a MAC title. We have a great coach and great kids whom we support 100%. The last 6 years are ancient history. It is time to move forward and get the football program back on a Championship track. Our team this season will be great. Get your tickets now and come down and have some fun." "Furthermore, to address the issue of revenue - our last AD made a horrific football HC hire. We've been politically correct in ignoring this fact for some time....but in light of the shadow he cast over our program, it is time to call a spade a spade. At a time where it was critical to put our collective foot on the gas pedal he single-handedly set our program back 10 years. The hole he put us in was unprecedented, but we are finally out of it and moving forward. It is short-sighted and ignorant to look at the past 5 or 6 seasons of Akron football and InfoCision and say that is our fate. Instead, the football program and this 30,000 seat stadium are our way OUT of our financial bind. That stadium is a way to galvanize the local community, generate revenue, get alumni and prospective students on our campus...it is a sleeping giant that we are committed to awakening in 2015." "There is one reason to drop to 1-AA. That's to save 22 scholarships. But why would we do that? You can't tell me with the facilities you see on campus, the coaching staff, the student athletes...that Akron football can't compete with Bowling Green, K.e.n.t. State, Toledo, Ball State, etc? That's insane. We can compete at the 1-A level. We can, and should compete for a MAC Championship every season. And after enduring and overcoming what Tom Wistercill and Rob Ianello did to the football program, the winning starts now. If you want to discuss dropping to 1-AA, have an educated discussion with me after the 2015 season. Until then, discuss Cate Jenner or deflated footballs or Johnny Manziel or whatever other "sports" topics you "sports" guys discuss for 12 hours every day. Leave Akron Football alone, because, to be quite honest, you know nothing about it."
  7. 14 points
  8. 13 points
    Hello Zipsnation, Kwan ask me to post this on his behalf. As a family we would like to thank the University, fans , and coaches who supported our son through his 4 years here. Go Zips
  9. 13 points
    George Thomas interviews Larry Williams, Jeff Boals, Anthony Stewart and Lamont Paris about UA opening. GT has kicked it up a notch!
  10. 13 points
    Some final, random thoughts on the game... There will never be a bigger opportunity lost for the Zips to beat Ohio State in basketball. The Ohio State team I saw on Tuesday night was essentially Ohio U masquerading in Ohio State uniforms. In the MAC, that team would be 10-6. Maybe worse. I do believe the dead-legs excuse. I never saw 3-point shots careen off the backboard like I saw towards the end of that game. From guys like Antino and Josh, who are typically solid. The 4-games in 6 days...with all being do-or-die tourney games, and 4th going to OT was just too much. In hindsight I'm sure Dambrot wishes he'd have played Jimmond a little more, and rested McAdams. Buy I admire that he went with his seniors to win or lose the game. He didn't do that at the end of the Buffalo game (sitting McAdams for the final possession), and I bet it's a regret. And before anyone writes a sappy "please get of KD's back" post - if you ever were a successful head coach at any level, then you've coached in Championship games against good coaches and great talent. Those games are always dogfights. And you make calls that you, in hindsight, regret...but you make them and live with them. And if people question them...so what...it's part of the deal when you're a coach. The Zips had at least 12 opportunities to put pressure on OSU with a back-breaking 3-pointer, and came up empty every time. The Zips team I saw the bulk of 2015-16 should have won this game by 15+ points...but it didn't happen. The OSU fans were nice. I wanted to hate them, but they were all very respectful. The cheerleaders from both programs performed together at one point, and the arena even played the Akron fight song over the PA system during a break. That's unheard of in any road game, let alone a tightly-contested tournament game. Referees did a nice job. Absolutely no homer element. If those guys ref'd the MAC finals, we'd have won the game. No way Buffalo would have only 1 foul whistled in the first 17 minutes of the 2nd half. Big Dog has developed into a Big 10 talent. OSU really had no answer for him. I think he fouled 2 guys out? His free throw misses were brutal. But you can't knock a guy when he puts forth an effort like we've seen from him over the entire season. Zeke came to UA with the accolades, and had a very nice career. But a dominant senior season puts Big Dog as UA's #1 all-time best center. Who'da thunk that last season? Kwan had some big blocks. He's a good at-the-rim defender, but he's not a good on-ball defender. Especially so the further away he gets from the hoop. It will be interesting to see how he works on his game over the off season. We really need the redshirted kids to step up and contribute in 2016-17. There are plenty of game-minutes to be had for the kids that put in the most work this off-season. The coaches need to re-evaluate themselves, and the program too. What can be done differently to better prepare the Zips for post-season success? The scheduling mindset of the past decade appears to be in obvious need of re-evaluation. Is it better to play a freshman with upside than upper-classmen who may have maxed-out? Who redshirts? Who leaves? I don't have much more to offer that already hasn't been said. It was a fun ride, but an all-too abrupt stop. See you at InfoCision.
  11. 12 points
    Don't blame Groce for Mark's lack of ability to compete at the D1 level....disingenuous to suggest it was on Coach's back, if you ever watched him play at UA. No disagreement on Mark being a great kid, etc. but just wasn't a D1 baller. Walsh and mark will compliment each other.
  12. 12 points
    Written by @Captain Kangaroo Article linked here.
  13. 12 points
    After attending one team practice it's clear to me why we were able to keep at least SOME of our players from escaping to PA. Damn! This Groce guy is a motivational leader. Two hour full contact session at UH Gym 2 from 10:30 - 12:30, and there were a couple of elbows to the chops in the lane. Everyone came out no worse for the ware. Coach G is a totally positive force on his players -- the only words of criticism on the floor were from #0, who for good or bad -- and I think it's the former -- is the vocal leader of this club. I did wonder if the attitude is similar to some of us -- "We have nowhere to go but up.", but I imagine the team's expectations are higher than that, as I could sense a belief in their chemistry and confidence to compete vs a recent top 15 team on the court Friday. 'E' Olajakpoke was throwing down just like in game, and didn't even miss "bunnies". Steve French be warned. Want to hear a name to be looking out for in the future -- if not necessarily this weekend? That guy #13, the new JC transfer can play with a smooth presence on the court, and puts up three-pointers with more confidence than, e.g., Virshon who will be good but isn't quite there after just two months. BUT, I have to say he played tough hard-nose defense today, and that will be important vs USC's guards like McLaughlin who you HAVE to keep away from the ball. BTW, the reason #13's not on the GoZips.com roster is because he does not have a head-shot photo yet that is required for consistency with the rest of the players. I swear, that's what I was told was the reason! From the way Coach talked to his troops -- especially about errant passes underneath that the Trojans big man will mark "return to sender" -- it seems he expects USC to be at full strength personnel wise. One more shorter no-contact session tomorrow and a walk-through in the arena at the same time on Thursday. Coach Groce is attending a Coaches Against Cancer fund-raiser tonight with Hawai'i coach Aran Ganot and I guess the other tournament coaches. An opportunity to tell the Dan Peters Story to a wider audience. #ForPetesSake. Aloha and mahalo for reading!
  14. 12 points
    You came here at the absolute worst point in the 124-year history of the football program, and you leave us with the best season in Zips history. It's hard to believe and if I didn't watch it happen in person, I doubt I would ever understand the full impact of your careers at Akron. So, thank you. Thanks for believing in your team and yourselves when nobody else did, thanks for taking a huge risk in coming here, and thanks for sticking it through to the end.
  15. 12 points
    2001: Spicer Hall demolished at University of Akron 2016: Spicer/Hall demolished at University of Akron Have faith.
  16. 11 points
  17. 11 points
    Long time Zips fan and ZN.o member Go Zips peacefully passed away tonight as his beloved Zips dispatched hated KSU. Fred was a longtime volunteer assistant with the basketball program dating back to the Bob Huggins era. If anyone ever bled blue and gold it was Fred. He was very opinionated but he truly loved every kid that passed through the program. Fred had a stroke late last year and was sorely missed by the staff and team. He did make it to one final game on February 14th, a win against Toledo. RIP Go Zips!
  18. 11 points
    Hello to everyone. My name is Tiffany. I am Fred's daughter. There aren't words to describe how much your kind words about dad have lifted me up. He was extremely passionate about the Zips. I mean, I pretty much grew up in the JAR. If any of you have a favorite photo or anything you would like to share, please do. Even maybe loaning memorabilia... I am trying to put together some photo boards and items to display at the viewing. I will hopefully have a date and time set for services today. I will post them on here. Also, the obit will be in the Beacon Journal. Please feel free to contact me here. Thank you again for all the kind words and well wishes. My dad has been so blessed to have a great group of people to call his friends.
  19. 11 points
    To all ZipsNation members - I want to put in writing the following - This site was created to allow Zips fans an venue to discuss the various athletic programs. There's no other reason. Rather than sit around with our thumbs up our butts waiting for media coverage, a few of us banded together and did something about it. It would be very easy to drop out and move to a back page of the MACbbs board like K.e.n.t. But I think that would be embarrassing. We created something nice here, with high functionality and a higher standard for content. When opposing fans visit our site, I want them to be impressed and think we are legit. I pay to maintain ZipsNation. Happily. I deal with all the a-hole opposing fans attempting to post, and a bunch of stuff that's invisible to the general public too. I'll sit in a dark Subway parking lot at 10 pm, after a 14 hour work day, talking to some Marshall Podcasters/bloggers to help promote the Zips and ZipsNation. Whatever it takes. Dr. Z has done yeoman's work to ensure to make it look sharp, and install upgrades. He also gives us great pics, which you don't get on other MAC boards. This site has to be about Zips athletics, and fun. It can't exist to cyber-bully other fans. I do not want good people to avoid posting for fear someone will threaten, or just be downright disrespectful to them. Can you tweak someone's nose? Yes. Can you have a passionate debate? Yes. Can you say "The AD sucks!" Yes. But when it gets to the level of "Meet me behind the church after school..." or "Suck <insert something lame>", that's not acceptable. It can't be. One of our posters was a bit out of line the other day, and penned an apology. It takes a man to do that. It isn't easy. It's 100% accepted, and we move onward. I've got around 10,000 posts here. I'm pretty happy with most of them. A couple... I wish I hadn't posted. And I've had to apologize. It happens. I hope K'92 returns to posting. The backbone of this board is the guy that travels to Wisconsin and posts a trip recap complete with a humungous soft pretzel pic. I wish we had 100 more of him. Times are great for Zips football. We've won 7-of-8 games, with the lone loss coming at Wisconsin. Compare that to the Brookhart recruits on Bowden's first team - they won 6 games in their entire 4-year careers! This weekend should be a blast. Great weather and a great home opponent. And I look forward to seeing what that guy under the scoreboard has cooking in his smoker.
  20. 10 points
    When you get home from the game at midnight, you don't feel like posting any thoughts on it. Then you drive home for 6 1/2 hours the next day, and you don't feel like posting anything either. Then on Monday, you try to catch up on all the things you didn't do around the house because you were in Evanston all weekend. And here you are... There isn't much to be said that hasn't already been said regarding the game. Some people bemoan the lack of stars in the Akron recruiting classes, but there was no shortage of stars for the Zips on the field Saturday night. Bell...Nelson...Williams...anyone with the surname Davis or Brown... it was an amazing second half. Very reminiscent of the 1999 Akron @ Navy game, where the Zips were down 20 in the first quarter and rallied back for the win. The first half penalties were maddening, but even with the late second quarter TD drive, you never got the feeling that Northwestern was going to dominate. One play that stood out to me towards the end of the first half was the Zips 4th and 1 QB run. Kato took the snap and slammed into the line as hard as he physically could. He didn't get the first down, but it really stood out how badly he wanted it. I'd never seen a small (he's no Woodson) QB hit the line with such reckless force. It showed me how badly he wanted to win, despite how horrifically the bulk of the preceding offensive possessions had played-out. The Zips clock management at game's end was baffling. The chasing of points that began in the 3rd quarter was puzzling. The 48 yard FG attempt late in the 4th qtr was ummmmm thought-provoking? But all that said, the Zips gutted out one of, if not THE greatest wins in program history. Back in 2005 the Zips beat NC State. You really thought the Program had arrived. Then we stumbled to a 5-6 season record. The apparent breakthrough 2014 win at Pitt ended up a lone highlight in an otherwise forgettable 5-7 season. But this year seems different. You always win with defense, and the Zips have their best defense in memory. Sort of like 2015, but with the addition of Dwight Smith impersonator Alvin Davis in the secondary (for you youngsters out there, Google "Dwight Smith Akron" to see my GZOAT). Iowa State will be a much bigger test than Northwestern. Back-to-back Power 5 games always are brutal for MAC schools. But the MAC has done it before. Toledo beats Power 5's with regularity. NIU too. Remember in 2003 when NIU began the season with wins against Alabama, Maryland and Iowa State? Why not the Zips? It's about time another MAC school broke through the Glass (Bowl) ceiling! As lunch draws to a conclusion, here are a few closing thoughts on the Northwestern trip - * Great to put a face to the name of @LZip and @Ham. Fun meeting them, & their spouses/families! Very nice to meet the Reinke's too. * The Zips alumni had a nice party at the South Golf Course lot...coincidentally only about 100 feet from where we were tailgating. Thanks to Willie for stopping by and inviting us over. * The Golf Course lot was awesome. Just like the old Rubber Bowl grass lot. Corn hole...footballs flying...kids running around everywhere...it was a fun time. It was a little like Lord of the Flies as the kids took control of the green on hole #13. I wouldn't want to putt on it come Sunday morning. Here were a couple of Zips tailgates - And inside the stadium, here were some of the boisterous Zips fans: Nice people in Evanston. Very gracious in their defeat. Fun college town. Couldn't have had a better weekend. Thank you Akron Zips!
  21. 10 points
    I saw Brett Ekkins our OL coach a day after the spring game. We had a great conversation. We started talking about the spring game but progressed into the future of Zip football. I'm really impressed with him. His enthusiasm is infectious. He seems to be a guy who is in love with his job and more importantly loves being at Akron. I like having that attitude on our coaching staff. I told him i wasn't impressed with the run blocking in the game. he offered that they did not want to show anything but he felt good about our run game. He said he loved the bigger backs we have coming in like White and Alce (sp ?). Our line is evolving to more athletic guys which will allow us to run wider, something we haven't done much in the past. Coach E said the quality of our recruiting has improved so much because 1) players love our facilities, 2) they see the coaching staff as men who enjoy Bowden, each other, and are here for the long run, and 3) recruits feel Akron will win soon. I asked coach about RJ Kelly from Hoban. Specifically wondering how we beat out Minnesota and other power 5 schools for him. Coach said Kelly really appreciated what Akron could do for him in academics i.e. business school and the future opportunity to play for conference championships. Most of all he liked the culture that is building in Akron football. Finally coach said he has been assigned Columbus for recruiting. The feeling is that too many good players are coming out of there and we need to get our share. I also thought back to ex Pres Wilson when he remarked that we should cut scholarship/recruiting expenses by focusing on more Ohio recruits. Perhaps this is an outgrowth of that. I say fine as long as we are getting the quality we need to excel. I'm tired of losing. No breaking news here, but I thought some of you might enjoy hearing more about football.
  22. 10 points
    I made a solo trip to Toledo yesterday. I miss my bud Dr. Z's pics, and layout skills. No one likely wants to read about the Zips getting their butts whipped, but I went...and here it is. Toledo.pdf
  23. 10 points
    Short Interview with Zach Guiser Upon introducing myself, Zach said he was a big fan of ZipsNation.org. He said the guys on the team like the site, especially the game day photos posted by Dr. Z. Zach’s an awesome kid. You couldn’t ask for a better representative of The University of Akron and Zips Football. Question: “What does the Wuerffel Award nomination mean to you?” Zach: “I’m really excited about it, considering what the award represents. Beyond that, I’m really proud of what our team has been able do in regards to service to the community. I’m a member of the Student Advisory Committee (S.A.C) and we do an award every year for the Program with the most community service hours. I haven’t tallied up the numbers yet, but the football team is over 400 hours this summer alone. We’ve really made it a point to volunteer our time to the community as much as possible on a regular basis. I wasn’t always as heavily into community service growing up, but being part of the football program has opened up the door to do so. Coach Gildersleeve has a points system for the guys on the team regarding community service, and I think that brought out the competitive side in me to join in and try and do well. I found I have a real passion for it." Question: “With the rigors of Division 1 football, and school, and your personal life, how do you find the time to volunteer. And not just showing up…but volunteering at a level where you’re under consideration for a national award?” Zach: “Well…I have an amazing girlfriend that takes real good care of me…cooks me meals and things like that. I have an amazing support staff at UA, and…if you are really passionate about something, you make the time for it. Same with anything else in life, I guess.” Question: “How’s your health?” Zach: “I feel really good right now. I hurt my elbow in the Western Michigan game last year, and had to sit 4 games. But I was able to finish-out the season against OU. I’m in good shape…definitely the most athletic I’ve been in my career.” Question: “How is it different now being a senior/role model, as opposed to being a star-struck freshman of a few years ago?” Zach: “It’s a lot different. When I was a freshman, I got a sports-hernia surgery on my third day of camp. It took me a long time to recover. When I came back, I was probably one of the most non-athletic kids on the team. Not that I came in unathletic, but it was hard to recover. The seniors treated me pretty rough…I was the ‘low man on the totem pole’ for sure. But I try to remember that and be a role model for those lower-level guys, like I once was. The walk-ons that don’t know quite what to do yet…I try to be there for them. I remember one time, on your board, someone called me “Rudy”…that was a big inspiration for me. Someone was really upset that I was #1 on the depth chart…it was quite the insult…I don’t know who it was, but I didn’t forget reading it. You know…I can’t blame anyone for thinking that though…coming back from that injury, I just wasn’t near 100% and was playing pretty bad. It was a big motivation for me…but now I’m all healthy and ready to go.” Question: “What do you like about this year’s secondary the most? Coach Bowden says it’s the best it’s been since he’s been here. Zach: “We have a lot of experience. I’m the only senior back there, but we have Alvin Davis who started last year and is a really good football player, Jordan George has started a lot of games, and he’ll be at corner, Darian Dailey doesn’t have much experience yet, but he’s one of the fastest kids on our team. And Kyron Brown has a lot of experience, and some interceptions too. But what I really like the most is the personality of all the guys. We don’t have that guy that’s selfish…who gets upset with the coach’s calls. I’m just really excited about this group of guys and can’t wait to get started.” Question: “Although camp hasn’t even broken yet, is there anyone in the secondary that’s caught your eye as a “wow” sort of player? Zach: “Jordan Riley is a really good athlete…but it’s tough to say much right now because we haven’t played much football. You know Alvin (Davis) didn’t come it until the first day of camp last year, so we didn’t even know who he was, and he ended up playing a lot for us as a true freshman. You never know how things play out.” Question: “So what’s it like trying to tackle Warren Ball?” Zach: “We haven’t actually gone up against each other very often. We both didn’t play much in spring ball. But…man…it’s one of those tasks where you’re gonna go low…absolutely…just like tackling Sequon Barkley… Samaje Perine …I’ve played against some really good backs…Joe Mixon…” “You know that’s one of my biggest nightmares…the A-gap opens up and you’re playing deep-middle…and one of those guys is just coming at you full steam…it’s tough, but it’s fun. It’s a challenge. Sometimes you get run over, but as long as you make the tackle it’s all good.” CK 7-27-17
  24. 10 points
    I know this is tongue-in-cheek but I sense it will be a theme for many moving forward, so I'll say this and then move on: Akron was a mediocre program when Keith Dambrot took over. He and his staff built it into a consistently winning program with 3 NCAA Tournament berths along the way. When KD left, he left the program in FAR better condition than he received it. Even the biggest KD critic should be able to admit that he took the program to a higher level than it had been before. In fact, John Groce is not Akron's coach today if Dambrot didn't build it into a program with a winning reputation first. Dambrot took us as far as he could, and now I believe Groce will take us to the next level in finally getting that NCAA Tournament run. It's OK to be excited about Groce and what he's doing while still having great appreciation for 13 years of hard work KD gave us. Keith Dambrot will one day have a banner next to the one belonging to Bob Huggins in Akron. I think we can all agree on two things: #1- That banner better be hanging in a new or renovated arena, #2- It'd be perfect if John Groce fulfills what we all believe he can here to have a banner up there as well. Rant over, back to scouting awesome prospects. Go Zips!
  25. 10 points
    GT doesn't like when EA writes a Zip article because now he'll have to put down the Wendy's Triple just to cut and paste something.
  26. 10 points
    Inspired by recent events, I decided to update this for 2015: Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Zipsnation Not a ‘puter was stirring, not e'en a Playstation; The posts were all hung on each new thread with care, In hopes that the moderators would not strip them bare; And KD was nestled all snug in his bed, While visions of tournaments danced in his head; And Zippy in sweater, and I in my cap, Were jogging around the JAR for a lap, When far beyond Carroll there arose such a clatter, We sprang from the track to see what was the matter. Away to the circle I flew like a Zip, Jumped over some hedges and banged up my hip. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the luster of Lot 9 to objects below, When, what to my wondering eyes should unfold, But a beautiful field, no light poles to behold, With a lush brick facade, and no grass to mow, I knew in a moment it was the INFO. More splendid than all in this quirky conf’rence, I named them aloud as I leapt o’er a fence; "There’s, Yager! there’s, Peden! There's UB and Dix and! The Glass Bowl, Doyt-Perry! all suited for Blitzin'! Rynearson and Scheumann, Waldo in K-Zoo! Huskie, Kelly Shorts, now I think I am through." As dry leaves that within the December breeze fly, When they waft the scent of football to the sky, So up to top of the press box I flew, With Keener, ZipsWin! and Cap’n Kangaroo. And then, in a twinkling, I saw in my head the end of Zip losing and seasons of dread. And I drew in my hand, a most stunning portrait of Bowl vict'ries for Akron for 7 years straight. TB dressed in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all swollen with jewelry and loot; A bundle of trophies he flung on his back, And he looked like they proclaimed him King of the MAC. His line -- how they guarded! his QB how merry! His wide-outs caught plenty, e’en more than Matt Cherry! His halfbacks were tough, his returners could go! As they sped down the sidelines, they looked like Pat Snow; His defense was mean, taught by Coach Chuck the Chest, Of his players, Jatavis was clearly the best; They had a large line, lead by Cody and Coe, A progrum unmatched, not e'en by State-O. TB stood with pride, a dadgum jolly coach, A confident stare, beyond all reproach. A wink of his eye and a nod of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but I knew right away, That this place would be filled, on each Fall Saturday, With Zip fans aplenty, exhorting the team, Then TB glanced over to finish my dream; He sprang to his legs, to his team gave a whistle, And away the Zips ran like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘fore he fizzled from sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all Zips good-night."
  27. 9 points
    I haven't noticed anyone posting a greeting for this Christmas so I thought I'd send ya'll these best wishes for a blessed and joyful Christmas, even though I'm late. My first, and maybe best, present came when Zip_ME87 confirmed Jared was staying put. Other presents scattered around our Zip tree are the growth of Men's basketball, the turnaround of women's basketball, the high hopes we have with a new football staff, the excitement of baseball returning under coach Sabo, the fire Christy Mitchell seems to be bringing to our fledging LaCrosse team and the continued excellence of Track and Swimming & Diving. That's a lot to be grateful for. But I'm also grateful for the informative news and discussions that are presented on this board. I can even say I appreciate the occasional idiot because he/she makes me value the vast majority of posters who actually make sense with their opinions. To the mods who make ZNO possible.... Thanks!
  28. 9 points
    If anyone attended the scrimmage and wanted to share their thoughts, let's try it in this thread. Here's what I saw... The scrimmage began a little late, with the action starting a little after 9 am. Thankfully it was held indoors. Appropriately kicking things off was a session with the various kicking candidates who rotated attempts starting at roughly 30 yards, and extending out to 50. O'Leary and Gasser alternated, and then Fitschen and newcomer David Albert took turns. O'Leary looked strong. Gasser was short from 50. Fitschen is a lefty who's been around a while. Looks like he's got a really powerful leg. Albert hit one from 50. I don't know what that all will mean come September, but those are the names presently in the kicking battle. Kato and Alex Ramart split virtually all the QB snaps. Drew Hodgson saw very limited action. They wore red jersey's, so they couldn't be hit. The offense/defense portion of the scrimmage began with the offense basically at the 20 yard line, running 8(?) plays each, and then moving back to the 20 and re-starting with the other QB. The 2nd half of the scrimmage was devoted to red zone plays, again alternating QB's. Zips fans should be pretty excited about their 2018 QB situation. Both Nelson and Ramart looked eminently capable of running the offense. As expected, there were a lot of designed running plays with Kato. Ramart, while not the runner, acquitted himself well when he had to use his feet. Said Bowden after the scrimmage, "As much as we're excited about Kato, we haven't really talked about how excited we are about Ramart. He's 6' 3", 215 pounds and in addition to his passing, he runs the ball well. He's not a typical "Louisville type" running QB, but he's big and strong. I liken him to that Florida Atlantic QB (Jake Driskel). A smart runner with good size that drives you crazy if you don't account for him. It's exciting to have two guys who have now been with our program a little while, that can play the game like Kato and Alex." Both Ramart and Nelson showcased strong arms. Ramart threw a nice deep ball the MTB on his first possession that would have been on the money, had Traylor-Bennett not been held. He later had a deep one to Kwad that was dropped. Kato's best deep toss of the day resulted in a 30+ yard grab by Andre Williams. Williams took a big stem forward in solidifying a starting position. He showed sure hands, and looked comfortable catching balls along the sidelines and in the slot. He's also very elusive after the catch. Said Bowden, "We saw as a back up last season that Dre was going to be something special." Ramart threw the only INT of the day. Under pressure, he tossed a ball into traffic that was picked by Bubba Arslanian. A name to watch on the defensive side of the ball is Andy Jean-Baptiste. The 6' 5", 267 pound JUCO transfer looks like he'll make an impact in 2018. Dylan Meeks saw some time at defensive end. Jamal Davis had an active day. Said Bowden, "He's still learning to play with his hand down, but he's got as much talent as anyone on our team. He could've had two or three sacks today if the quarterbacks weren't wearing those red shirts. Sampson on the other side, he's got some real ability too. We've just got to continue to grow them." When asked about the goals of this scrimmage, and the spring overall, Bowden said "I told our coaches I want to find the top eleven guys on offense and defense. and then we need to find those next eleven. We're evaluating the talent level of the team, and identifying which guys we can count on in the fall." Bowden also said it was a good time to experiment with some different looks on both sides of the ball. "We're trying a few different things ...just throwing some plays and formations up against the wall and seeing what sticks." One of those trials looked to be lining true freshman Keyondre White in the wildcat as the potential successor to 2017 short-yardage specialist Manny Morgan. On White, Bowden said "He's 233 pounds...we haven't had a runner like that for a while. He's got those big hips and he's tough to tackle. He's got a place here for sure." Bowden also mention he's following the track exploits of Devanier Floyd, "He's 220 pounds and ran a 10.9 the other day." Abe Alce also enters the picture this summer at 250 lbs, so the 2018 Zips will definitely have a different, more physical look in the backfield. There were only two scholarship running backs available today. Keyondre White and Van Edwards shared the load on the ground. Former DB Caleb Green got a few carries at RB too. He actually looked pretty good. ZipsNation medical specialist Dr. Z reports Deltron Sands is 75% healed, and will be ready to go for the fall. The Coach spoke in general terms about the scrimmage when he stated "We saw some guys today that made some plays...we didn't know those guys could do what they showed." But it was clear he was caught by surprise at the physicality of Maverick Wolfley's (West Virginia transfer) play from the H-back position. With Kobie Booker out for a family commitment, and Newman Williams out with a meniscus issue, Wolfley took the opportunity for extended playing time to steal the early Saturday morning show and provide a rude awakening to multiple would-be tacklers. The biggest roar from the sidelines came when Wolfley steamed up the sideline and completely flattened a Zips CB. If you like hard-nosed, old school football you're going to love watching Maverick Wolfley play at InfoCision over the next four seasons. Another surprise was the play of former QB Nick Johns, who caught several mid-range passes (1 TD) from the H position. At 6' 3", 230 pounds he was a favorite target for both QB's today. Former Zips defensive coordinator (under Lee Owens) Joe Trecey was once again seen coaching along the sidelines? In addition to Akron, he's had stints as defensive coordinator at Cincinnati, UCLA, YSU and some other schools. Word on the street is he's not going to be the Zips DC, but will be a defensive position coach. Alvin Davis was a healthy scratch today. Jest is back and looks to be in better condition than his freshman season. So the overall takeaways from today's scrimmage? We have a deep, veteran defense. We're a little thin at WR, but reinforcements are coming. And MTB will shake off the rust at some point. We have two great young QB's. The depth at H-back might get the Zips playing some 3 WR + TE sets this year? Maverick Wolfley is a beast. We got out of the scrimmage healthy. Apologies if there are any errors above. The scrimmage was very fast-paced, with no time outs. The seating in the Stile Center is very low, and it's tough to see the action when it's far away. It was tough to keep up at times.
  29. 9 points
  30. 9 points
    I spoke with assistant head coach Todd Stroud, and head coach Terry Bowden after scrimmage yesterday. Can you tell me about the talent level of this team compared to previous years here? Coach Stroud: We’ve had some special players at the defensive line position here in spots. We have had a couple dominate ends in Nordly Capi and Jamal Marcus, but the biggest difference now, especially over the last four days of work, has been the evolvement of about eight guys that can play winning football in the MAC. We have a lot of healthy competition going on at the defensive tackle spot, especially with Camera and Darius Copeland. Brennan Williams is starting to challenge Brock Boxen, we have a great battle at the left end position with Deon’Tae Moore and Jamal Davis. Jamal has really come on in the past three weeks. Our former walk on Brian Reinke is starting at right end, and he had three sacks today, he is moving around really well, and he is getting pushed by Josh Ward. So we have eight guys that we believe there is not a whole lot of difference between these eight guys. It’s a good problem to have. We had players breaking records in the weight room this off-season, we have seen a Sports Illustrated workout article on Warren Ball, are we going to see a more physical team this season? Coach Stroud: I think so. The sole purpose of a good strength and conditioning program is injury prevention. I think the fact that we have had the same strength and conditioning coach here for three years, you will start to see obvious benefits this year. What can you tell fans to get them excited for this season? Coach Stroud: As a defensive unit I think we have identified who our guys are right now. Last year, we lost four of our front seven, now we have experience coming back at linebacker, and with our two deep in the front seven, with the exception of Jamal Davis, they all have game experience. Can you speak about the secondary? Coach Stroud: One of our corners in particular, Darian Dailey, we feel like he is going to be a special corner for us. Alvin Davis stood out again today, we have great leadership in Zach Guiser. This is probably the best backend we have had since we have been here, and that’s saying a mouthful because we were really good on the backend last year. They are all (secondary) doing great. ---------------------------------------------------------------- What was Tommy’s schedule like this week? Coach Bowden: Tommy has to go out and show that he is over his injuries. Every day he gets well, he gets better and better, he just needs to go out and show that he can lead this football team. So he is throwing? Coach Bowden: Yes, he is throwing. Was he able to go today in scrimmage? Coach Bowden: No, he wasn’t able to go today, so we held him out. Of the QB’s that played today in scrimmage, who looked good? Coach Bowden: They were all about the same. Defense dominated, we have a lot of injuries though, a lot of lineman out, a lot of backs out, and a lot of receivers out so the QB’s didn’t really have an opportunity to shine today. I don’t think anybody made any real mistakes, but they are all in a bunch. With the defense dominated today’s scrimmage, can you tell me who stood out? Coach Bowden: I can’t really name one person because they played so well, they just gave up no plays. The offense has been taking charge most of the early scrimmages, today was the first day that I thought the defense totally dominated the day. The offense never really moved the football, so it’s good to see, if we are going to be a good football team, it’s going to start with defense. What is the attitude as you prepare for PSU? Coach Bowden: The fact that PSU is our opening game is in the back of the their (the players) mind, and that motivates you to practice hard. But we are not doing any kind of game planning for our first game, we are still in our preseason. About nine days before the game we will start focusing on the particular plays both offensively and defensively. The fact that we play PSU early, the players know what an opportunity it is to go out and play in front of a big audience on national television and play the best they can play. Is your running game or passing game further along this preseason? Coach Bowden: When we scrimmage and we don’t play Warren Ball (which was the case today), because we don’t want to get him hurt, we are not as good in the running game. They are both coming along, but we need to get better and better at the running game and feature that more and more. We are fairly certain that Austin Wolf and Tra’Von Chapman will catch their fair share of balls this year, who else do you see contributing in the wide receiver group? Coach Bowden: AJ Coney has been a starter, so AJ, but yes Chapman and Wolf can play, then everybody else has a chance to contribute. How will you get pressure from your front seven this year? Coach Bowden: We have moved Jamal Davis to a defensive end, Josh Ward is a young guy that has skills at rushing the passer, and of course our linebackers, when they blitz, they have a great chance. Ulysees Gilbert was one of our best rushers from the linebacker position, so we’ll find the best, and most talented people and find ways to get them to attack the quarterback. What makes Ulysees Gilbert special? Coach Bowden: He’s a hard worker and he’s smart. He’s six foot two, and weighs two twenty-eight and runs a four four. He has great athletic ability, and besides that, he has great work ethic.
  31. 9 points
    No one ever understands Nostradamus' predictions before they happen, but they make a lot of sense after the fact.
  32. 9 points
    "We will immediately launch a national search for our new basketball coach, and we reaffirm our commitment to building our basketball program and all of Akron Athletics into a nationally recognized program across the board. In addition to finding a new coach, we are working to be in a position to upgrade the James A. Rhodes Arena" -- Larry Williams I'm staying optimistic that Larry and Matt will bring in a coach that reenergizes my enthusiasm for MAC basketball. I feel I've watched (listen and read) the same cycle for long enough, I'm ready to move forward. Start with a good hire, upgrade the JAR, and make the schedule better now that resume padding is finished. I'm sure there is somebody out there that can achieve the goal of winning an NCAA tournament game. Go Zips!!!!
  33. 9 points
    First 2 out of three to officially sign are QBs. Depth addressed. Follow along @ZipsFB on Twitter. I'll continue to add images to this post as they officially sign. Twitter: @CornerReggie @zairefinnesed @mightyy_jay @Suggs_33 @BeastMode330 @D_Brim2 @alexramart @gohardburkhart @Mightyy_Jay @nick5johns @e_bent56 @hcorne58 @dc_lubin4 @K_Booker_36 @BridgesMarquise @Sampson16J
  34. 9 points
    He knows so much about the program that Mrs. Dambrot had to come on here to correct him.
  35. 9 points
    Hello Zip Fans. I am new to this board because of a need to post a correction. It has come to my attention that there is a post regarding the recipient of the Courage Award at this years banquet. The winner was indeed Ashley K from Kent, but the facts posted about her on this board are inaccurate. Ashley is NOT the girl that sits with the band on the floor at the Kent games and Ashley was NEVER sent over to heckle our team / fans. Ashley is a beautiful, young woman and sits in the stands with her grandparents. They are season ticket holders for KSU. Ashley is as sweet as pie and has developed a very endearing friendship with Keith. I felt the need to post this correction as Ashley deserves to be shining in the bright light that she deserves Moderators, could you kindly delete the inaccurate post made by GoZips? Lastly, thank you to all of you great Zip fans for your continued support! Go Zips! Donna Dambrot
  36. 8 points
    Listening to French and Dunn’s call while riding a bus in Singapore. What an age we live in!
  37. 8 points
    I had the opportunity to interview Jabari Arthur last week prior to his UA Hall of Fame induction. Here's how it went: Jabari Arthur Interview Thanks as always to Dr. Z for the layout.
  38. 8 points
    "Don't see a future with Cotton here". My god. You guys act like he's been trafficking drugs or chucking plates at his girlfriend. The only negative I've seen from him is that he's an emotional player on the court. Seems like a good kid otherwise. He's got a personality similar to Ivey (who I noticed get physical with the staff this year..and nobody talked about that), and its logical that they clash. He should concede to the leaders of the team and needs to get the emotions under control some, however. The suspensions speak for themselves, but I'm not sure I recall any technical fouls this year. Quit acting like they are playing chess out there. I'll say it again - writing anybody off in their true freshman year is stupid, especially when its the 2nd best player thus far in a big class.
  39. 8 points
    How on earth did the Zips make it to the MAC championship this year? They have some of the worst stats in BCS football, they have no real notable names except for an inexperienced Re-read and A MAC preseason DPOY, and they have sustained injuries to the few players who seemed to breathe some hope into a team that was picked to finish 4th in the MAC East. If you have any familiarity with the Human Resources world, you might be familiar with Gallup's Strenthfinder model. The model relies on a study where 2 pools of people were taught speed reading. The first group was pretty poor at speed reading. The second group was decent at speed reading. Which group saw the biggest jump in speed reading proficiency? The group that was already decent at it. Gallup took these results and developed a model that helps people identify their strengths and encourages people to focus on developing their strengths, not their weaknesses. It seems that Terry Bowden and Chuck Amato have, at least to some degree, employed the Strengthfinder model and it has worked for them. They seem content to let stats be damned in favor of, "scoring one more point than the opponent" with a bend but don't break defense. They have won off of the efficiency of a few big plays by gaining enough of a small lead and playing to preserve that lead. We converted on third down, when it mattered, and our defense played good enough to stop the opposition on third downs and hold them to a kick. We had good enough kick return coverage to prevent run backs for TDs, but gave up a lot of field position in the process. The kicking game, pretty sketch at times, was good enough when we needed it to be good. From all accounts, the only player who really seemed to excel each week was punter, Nick Gassed, who's directional kicking ability and ability to punt with few touchbacks helped a Zips defense that seemed like a sieve, at times. The staff took some very fast receivers who seemed to have trouble catching the ball and somehow got them to a spot where they have started to make catches. We had a poor run offense but were able to run the ball at the end of big games when we needed yards on the ground. We did not rush the passer much, but when we needed to, we did so with a vengeance. And although we did give up points, we robbed more QBs with a tough secondary who seem to be ignored, all year. The Zips demonstrated a robust resilience in a whacky Sunday game against WMU and raw emotion with the MAC East on the line against Ohio where our defense got in the head of talented QB. We have had ugly moments, too. We had a stiff OOC schedule and it had yet to be revealed how good PSU and Iowa State would be when they soundly beat us. Toledo destroyed us, twice, and an improving Miami of Ohio beat us, taking advantage of our R-FR QB who was starting on 2 days notice. But, overall, the Zips did better than anyone thought they would. We won games we didn't expect to win and lost a game we didn't expect to lose. They clawed their way into the MAC title game, for the first time in 15 years in a year they were not supposed to and back to a bowl game, for the second time in three years, and only the third time, ever. The 2017 Zips are not your prototypical successful team and perhaps, that makes their season all the more glorious. We won and we defied the odds and now, suddenly, no one is discussing whether the coaching staff has a future in Akron as they defied the odds and are savoring the beaches and warm weather in South Florida and a chance for one more win. Go Zips!
  40. 8 points
    I'll post photos in the morning, long day, I'll leave you with one for tonight...
  41. 8 points
    Hello Zips Nation, I am first and foremost an Illinois Fighting Illini basketball fan. However, I am still a believer in John Groce, the man and the coach. In all of my time following sports I have never seen anyone or any team experience such lousy breaks as he had here. And through it all he fought with grit and grace. You have a decent man running your program. You will never have to worry about NCAA violations and his family is an asset to any community. You also have a fighter who will have your teams playing their best basketball at the end of the year when it matters. I am personally frustrated because I didn't get to see his vision come together so I have decided to adopt Akron if you will allow me. I know absolutely nothing of the MAC Conference and even less about Akron basketball, but I intend to learn. I can share my experience watching the Groce system for 5 seasons for those with questions, but remember I am just a fan like yourselves. Go Zips!!
  42. 8 points
    Here is the last installation of my MAC Media Day interviews. I was able to speak to Coach Bowden for 10-or-so minutes. The event was much more well-attended than I anticipated. With so many different radio, TV, print and blog reporters vying for everyone's time, it was pretty difficult for a reporter to get an uninterrupted audience. I'd have prepared, and handled it differently if I did it again. This interview started in the hallway...then went into the TV studio...then we went back out in the hallway...and then back in the main ballroom. 10 "interview minutes" took roughly an hour and 15 minutes "real time" to complete. Coach Bowden Also - a few people said they had difficulty with the Warren Ball interview. Here is an embedded link that should be easy for anyone to open (same interview as before, just in a more user-friendly format). Warren Ball
  43. 8 points
    Freshman Dustin Burkhart sets new Zips record for WR's: This vertical mark would have been good for fourth place among the WR's at the 2017 NFL Combine
  44. 8 points
    Johns started spring semester, the rest of new players reported in early June. Freshman have to live in dorms (they are in them already for summer stuff) & after your freshman year you can live in house just off campus. NCAA schollies have changed significantly, Freshman & players who live in dorm have all expenses covered for education, room & board & food plus a few hundred a month for other expenses. If you elect after your freshman year to live off campus you lose the room & board & food part of your schollie & instead of a few hundred a month for expenses you get a little over 1k a month for your expenses. Hope that answers your ? They did 3 weeks of conditioning & lifting in June. I don't think coaches are allowed to coach during this time but coach Sleeve & his group work them pretty hard & from my understanding the upperclassmen lead drills on the football field. They are in summer 1 classes, they were off the football grind last week & returned this week. This week is the last week of summer 1 classes. In August camp starts & it is an all day job. i know some of the local players from coaching in area and always ask a bunch of ?'s when I see them around.
  45. 8 points
    Duly noted. Groce/Ford went to the NCAA tournament twice but they NEVER secured that automatic bid to the NIT.
  46. 8 points
    It would be really risky, IMO. Sometimes you get Rodney Coe, and sometimes you get Jelani Hamilton... AD's don't give you 5 years to build a program now-a-days. If your program is at some level of being decimated (there are varying shades of decimation), then you go for the JUCO's & transfers. There's no alternative...3 bad/marginal years and you're gone. If you're a good HS recruiter at an established program, you should focus on the 4-year kid, while cherry-picking the one or two "non-traditional" kids that happen to fall in your lap every so often. On a scale of 1-to-10, KD's departure...,maybe not just the departure, but the last 2-or-so years of his tenure...rated a 6 on the Decimation Scale. Not only did he bail after the eligibility of the team's top 2 players expired, he also obviously had a large mix of either dissatisfied players (Noah, Antino, and I think you can lump Josh Williams in that group too), and ultra-loyal ones like Hughes and TDM. Misfires on kids like Agba and Gladden hurt too. It had been been a couple years since he recruited a "stud." I think Keith Dambrot saw the disenchantment... the graduation losses...and the lack of "impact" returning talent...and got the hell out of Dodge before "12 years of 21+ wins" turned into "14 years of 13+ wins." I really wonder how Joe Akron will evaluate Year #1 of the Groce Era. Will he be intelligent enough to realize Dambrot bailed on him when his program's stock was at it's low point? Can he deal with a Zips basketball team that might uncharacteristically struggle for a while? Was Joe an "Akron Fan," or a "Dambrot Fan?" I love the incumbent guys that have stuck with the Program. Bench guys like Utomi and Ivey have a fresh start and their chance to shine. I'm really intrigued to see what Groce and his staff can do to utilize Olijapoke's freakish athleticism. I look forward to seeing all the new faces taking the court @ the JAR. Dambrot's time had expired. I don't think an entrenched coach of 13 years could bring the program back from where it was when the 2016-17 season's dust ultimately settled. Keith Dambrot's departure was exactly what he wanted, and exactly what the Zips Basketball Program needed. Off we go! Go Zips!
  47. 8 points
    My long-winded thoughts regarding John Groce if he is our coach: There were two "high profile" names brought up on this thread in the early hours of our coaching search. Tom Crean and John Groce. The fact that we are coming away with one of them, to me, is a home run! We could have hired Anthony Stewart, Jamion Christian, or even the McDevitt guy Mes has been gushing over, but all of those guys have never been a head coach in the MAC and cannot be looked at as anything else other than high risk and high reward candidates. There is no guarantee they would have had any success here and they do not have names to generate buzz for instate players. I do not know all of the intricacies as to why Groce was fired at Illiniois. I did look at his record and he had one losing season, one season with 19 wins, and then had 20 or more wins in the other 3 seasons, including this season. I know how much this board likes our 20+ win season streak! The only difference is that Groce was doing this against the 1st or second best conference in the country in any given year. Now it isn't great, it just apparently wasn't up to a program like Illinois' standards, which is fine. It is certainly not bad I would argue his results were average to slightly above average for a P5 coach. What I do know is that there is quite a bit more politicking at large programs than there are at mid-majors. Some coaches can handle the change, others can't. Exhibit A - Charlie Strong. Charlie Strong was a failure at Texas even though he was a great coach at Louisville and put them on the map. Most probably thought it was a no-brainer that he would succeed at Texas, but the outside influences were apparently a change he had trouble managing. Does that make him a trash coach? Hell no. I would take him in a heartbeat over Bowden and most probably agree considering he was hired immediately at South Florida and I bet he does great things there. Speaking of Texas, our beloved Shaka Smart is down there for basketball and isn't doing too hot. As a matter of fact, he is coming off of a worse season than Groce ever had at Illinois. Now I will call bullshit to any of you and nothing you can say will make me think otherwise if Texas fired Shaka and you said you didn't want him here because he failed at Texas. I've seen Indiana fans want him on their staff. I've seen OU fans pissed about us probably getting him. They now think we will dominate the MAC for another decade. Do the fans on here who are unhappy think we know better than everyone else? Well you probably are smarter than the hillbillies down in Athens, but you all are going against the grain so much that it just looks questionable. I think the irrational dislike, whether some want to admit it or not, is because of the success he had at OU. Point out his regular season all you want. He still had a winning record (6-4) against the regular season king in Dambrot in his 4 years. Groce has great connections all throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Groce is a low risk and high reward hire. We know what he did at Ohio. Its hard for me to hold anything against whatever happens next season as the cupboard was already pretty bare and KD poaching players and other player leaving only makes it worse, but besides from that, AT WORST, I cannot see how we are just a step lower than KD's consistent regular season success. Meaning most seasons you get your 20+ wins, maybe a 19er here or there, but the upside is so much more. He has a history of NCAA tourney success while coaching in our conference and is the only coach to achieve that success in the past 15 years! Better yet, he has done it multiple times! The powerhouse he was on the verge of creating down in Athens before he bolted has been well noted on here. That can be us! What I additionally like is that he has already jumped to the big school and failed. 1) There is plenty for him to learn from that and make himself a better coach and person. 2) Him failing there will make him less likely to jump up again at first chance if given the opportunity. I'm sure he will want to make a calculated move up, if any, to best ensure success. 3) Him failing there will make bigger schools LESS likely to target him if he has similar success here as he had at OU. They have a sample size and it may make them hesitant to pull the trigger on him. All of this means more Groce for a longer period of time, which is a good thing if its all going good. A young up and comer like the names mentioned above could be here for only even a year or two and then gone and then we are back at this point. Now that wouldn't be a bad thing, but if I had to choose I would take the continuity over risking a new hire every few years. While I like the hire, I don't root for coaches, I don't root for players. I root for the name on the front of the jersey no matter who is playing or coaching. I hope you all do the same. Put your personal vendetta that exists because he owned our best coach in history aside. We were all concerned about being able to at minimum maintain the status quo and that is very reasonable with him, and his known upside is obviously a huge plus. Go Zips!! (hopefully this negotiations don't fall apart and I typed and thought of all of this for nothing).
  48. 8 points
    I was able to get a close-up look at Saturday's epic match up. With no Dr.Z available for photography, I tried my best to get some shots to go along with the story. Here's how it went... Akron-Kent Game Day
  49. 8 points
    Congrats to KD for COY....Well deserved As a parent I'm so Blessed to have KD and the rest of his coaches coaching my Big Guy Kwan. KD has a way with our young men and I thank him for all he has done with my Big Guy... Thanks Coach D
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