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  1. 8 points
    Jason Carter is leaving? Fire Jeff Boals. Program is a joke. Total disarray.
  2. 7 points
    Here are some images from this mornings practice. Notes to follow.
  3. 7 points
    I had the opportunity to interview Josh Ward after last Saturday’s practice. Yet another great representative of Zips football! Thanks as always to Dr. Z for the nice layout and great supporting photos! Article
  4. 6 points
    Not sure that's a fair statement. The landscape of college basketball and recruiting is changing. Groce has been tasked with stopping the bleeding, and 4 year players don't exactly do that at this level, especially when some of your initial 4 year players aren't locker room fits. Get me a winning product. I don't care if that's 10 4 year players, 10 1 year players, 10 JUCOs, or a concoction of everything. Win.
  5. 6 points
    KD once explained to me the plight of the mid-majors. If you want to field a team that has a chance to make some noise comprimises have to be made when recruiting players. The P5 schools gobble up all the sure bet players. Some of them may never see the floor, but hey they played for Duke, NC, etc... That leaves guys who have talent but also some baggage that scared away the big schools. Guys like Tree(bad temper), BigDog(weight issues), Harney(weed, attitude), etc... For a mid-major coach to be successful he has to juggle all these guys with problems and find enough other role players to put together a winning team. Sometimes those combinations just don't work out. With the advent of the transfer rules it has made it easy for players and coaches to get a divorce.
  6. 6 points
    6 years ago tomorrow the season ended for KD’s best team with a 44 point loss to VCU. Some of the best players on that team (Aberu, Tree, Harney) left Akron/ we’re kicked off the team, eventually quit on the team (Pat F) or should have been on the team, but were suspended for the year (Diggs). This day started the decline of Zips basketball. Williams & Noah were leaving whether KD stayed or left. The program has had problems the last 6 years not 2. Lets support what we have instead of wishing we had something the we don’t.
  7. 6 points
    We're lucky to have CK and Dr. Z! Appreciate all the info.
  8. 5 points
    ...and his mommy didn't have to pretend he was on the crew team and pay half a mill to get him in!
  9. 5 points
    It was tough to get to my keyboard this weekend. Here are some belated practice notes - As per usual, there were group practice drills, interspersed with a few scrimmage periods. Lots of work in the red zone. We are going to have a lot of red zone options this upcoming season. It will be tough for anyone to cover Dre, Boogie, Nate and Jonah when we go 4-wide. Someone's going to be open. It doesn't seem like there's any doubt that this is Kato's team. In comparison to last season, he seems much more mature and poised. An Achilles heel of his has been letting his emotions get the best of him. Maybe Arth's calm demeanor is rubbing off on Kato a little? Speaking of Arth, he's definitely coaching "harder" in week 4 of the spring. In the first two Saturday practices there weren't very many critical assessments. Everything was positive. Today you heard a little barking at guys that lined up in the wrong spot, or who didn't know the play. Expectations are higher than one month ago. Reggie Corner was on the sidelines. Apparently injured. Ditto Dre Williams. Sampson and Keyondre White also didn't play. If the number of practice reps has anything to do with the QB pecking order, it looks like it's Kato, then Kelley, then TJ Deshields and then Ramart. Deltron is definitely bigger. Hopefully that helps his durability...staying healthy has always been a struggle for him. He had a really nice 35 yard TD run in one of the scrimmage sessions where he made a couple inside juke moves, then broke it outside and outran everyone to the endzone. Jonah Morris looked very good yesterday. Made some nice catches in the endzone. Nate Stewart continues to impress. He's had an excellent spring. There's no way diminutive RB Brandon Lee isn't seeing meaningful snaps on offense this season. He has the height of Franshon Bickley, but the comparisons end there. Tough runner with great speed. Jerry Fitschen got a couple opportunities to kick the ball through the uprights instead of just kicking off, and acquitted himself very well. He hit a 37 yarder to end the practice. Kato hit Dustin Burkhart on a long 50+ yard TD bomb late in the day. It was fun seeing Shawn Featherstone back in action. That's all I've got. It was more drills than scrimmaging today, so there weren't a lot of "sexy" happenings to report on. The biggest positive I walked away thinking about is - A more mature, improved Kato, plus 4 high level WR's in Josh Boogie, Nate and Dre means our offense is going to be a lot of fun to watch next year. We have a nice jab and punch combo in the backfield, where we can go small/fast with Sands and Lee, and power/big with White and Alce. Floyd has looked good too. And, I think Arth will find a way to feature Wolfley. He was underutilized last season.
  10. 5 points
    I'll start some notes, but I know @Captain Kangaroo has more. It's difficult to photograph, and be very attentive while keeping an eye on multiple footballs and players, but here are a few. ◙ The most positive thing I witnessed, in my opinion, is to see our quarterbacks go through progressions. I saw Kato look off receivers and go to his second option multiple times. ◙ Speaking of "options" I like to see the the team practicing red zone offense for good amount of time. Lots of options for the QB in the red zone passing game. ◙ I think it's unfair to judge an offensive line right now. I would have to watch individuals multiple times. As coach mentioned to Joe Dunn yesterday after practice, I think our run game is behind some. But there were multiple good runs by Deltron. I didn't get to speak with him after, if I did, I would have asked if he put on some weight. He looks bigger to me, but maybe thats because he was wearing #41 with a lot of space between the four and the one. ◙ Coach Arth, and staff, are constantly teaching, he will either tell someone what they did right, or what they did wrong after ever snap. He seems to really enjoy it, and every player and parent that I talk to says the same. ◙ Coach Arth held a breakfast with University faculty and staff before practice, going around to each table for a meet and greet. I think the phrase "he just gets it" is overused, but I wouldn't argue with anyone that said that about him. ◙ Referees attended the practice. There were also refs that were in training. Once in awhile they would throw a flag. Kind of interesting to hear some of the teaching, I hesitate to write what I heard. I'll just say it confirms a lot of what I thought about particular calls. The refs also mentioned a few things to the group after practice. ◙ Nate Stewart made a great case for himself seeing the ball often. He fights hard in one on one situations, and was very successful yesterday. If I'm the QB, and he has one on one coverage, he has my attention. ◙ I wish I could give you more detail about the defense, but I'm only coming up with a few things. Dylan Meeks stood out on a few short yardage plays. I noticed Michael Scott with multiple successful stunt blitzes. Alvin was at corner, and playing well. ◙ Lots of area recruits there. Many from Canton McKinley. ◙ I'll be interested to read other valued ZipNation member's notes next week at the spring game. I will be out of town, so please post something, even if it's just one thing you noticed. If you question something you saw, post it, I'll try to get an answer if there is one. I was told there will be no score or stats at the spring game. I think you will be entertained by this team, because they seem to enjoy practicing with this staff. I'm thinking it will translate on the field this fall.
  11. 5 points
    Height helps, but ... So does quickness. So does shooting. So does intelligence. So does desire. So does knowing how to play together. Has anyone seen the lineup that the NIT finalist not coached by Shaka Smart is putting on the floor? (http://www.lipscombsports.com/mbasketball/roster/?view=list) I'd take that team over any MAC team other than UB. Someone else mentioned Texas Tech, which is a great example of how "measurables" aren't necessarily determinative. (Given how well TTU played against Villanova last year and then how they've marched through this year's tournament, UB's loss to them doesn't seem so bad.)
  12. 5 points
    Can someone explain something to me? Texas Tech started a 6'8 center and ran a 8 man rotation. The tallest player they had coming off the bench was 6'5. Based on some comments I've seen on this board, I was under the impression that you can't win meaningful games unless you have multiple 6'11 bigs. How was Texas Tech not only able to beat Buffalo by 20, but also able to make it this far in the tournament with such a small lineup? Is it possible that there is more than 1 way to win a basketball game?
  13. 5 points
    Mikal Dawson’s Huntington Prep team beat Spire 74-71. He was the game MVP with 25-7-4 playing against high level future D1 talent. Hopefully he can give us some good minutes next year.
  14. 5 points
    A few points: 1) KD was successful at US and...people b!+ched...offense is too predictable...they don't play enough zone...they can't stop dribble penetration...they have no out of bounds plays...there are players of questionable character on the team and kids getting into trouble...the OOC schedule is weak...they can't win the big game...he can't win in the tournament...yada...yada...yada... 2) Groce came into nothing, the team improved in year two and...people b!+ch...players are transferring...the big men are offensively challenged...their shooting is awful...there was a fight between players...the OOC schedule is weak...yada...yada...yada... 3) People will b!+ch no matter what. 4) Groce is going nowhere. Love him or hate him the University of Akron does not have the financial resources to dispatch him.
  15. 5 points
    Shhhh... Don't let facts get in the way of their misery. _______________________________________________________________ The Zips this past season were 8 deep. Even with the departures, I'm looking at a roster that's 9 deep and that doesn't include the incoming freshman or the 2 open spots. It's ridiculous to say there are only 2 DI players on the current roster, when the rag tag group of 8 were consistently competitive against teams like Clemson, Buffalo, and Nevada, and finished in the middle of the pack in the MAC, while blowing out the #2 team in the MAC (BUGS). Scoring is a fixable problem, and probably the best problem to have, especially for a rebuilding team. I'm going to keep pounding this point. We have the right system in place to be successful. We focus on the key fundamentals - defense, effort, rebounding, free throws - and have built that foundation. Dambrot's system was and still is entirely flawed. It ignores nearly every basic principal in the sport of basketball. This very board had people constantly talking about the lack of ball movement, defensive breakdowns, free throw shooting problems, etc. We eeked out a lot of close victories against sub-par MAC squads despite being more talented (usually). Those issues have carried over to Duquesne. Read their board; "will this team ever emphasize defense" and "free throws are an issue". I'd be curious to see the opinions of the Dambrot apologists when looking at the Duquesne roster. Is it full of so-called DI players? If so, what was the cause of the early 1st-round exit in the A10 tourney and not dominating/being more competitive in a weaker A10 Conference as a whole? In the first round game, they scored 86 points, shooting at a 47% clip. How can you lose a game when you make shots?! You don't play defense, give up 92(!) pts, and shoot 68% at the line. What's going to be easier to fix: having gym rats hit the gym and practice shooting (including free throws), or getting a team to buy into 40 minutes of tough-nosed, heady defense? My vote is the shooting, which again, gives me hope for this next season. Lastly, let's stop crucifying this team and Groce for a 40 pt. loss to Buffalo and 24 pt. loss to a motivated O-BooWho squad. Of the 16 losses we had, 11 were single-digit losses, and an additional 2 losses were closer than their final score (@ Buffalo and @ Toledo). That means there were 3 games we simply weren't competitive in. Heck of an accomplishment for a team with only 4 DI players at the time. I wonder if Arizona had the pitchforks out for Sean Miller for losing to Buffalo by 21 last year, or Boeheim for losing by 12 to Buffalo this year. Do BUGS and Miami want to fire their coaches for losing to a team with 4 DI players by 24 & 29 respectively? The Clown lost to a team with only 4 DI players by 19. We had 1 extreme off-night (O-BooWho) and one off-day that was aided by being inferior to one of the better teams in the entire country (Buffalo at The Q); clearly that's not the norm. So much good to focus on. The sky is not falling. In fact, I feel as if the ceiling is higher than ever before, considering our previous ceiling had a MAC Finals record similar to LeBron's Finals record (oh look, another similarity between Dambrot and LeBron, to add to the excuses and now neither of them making the postseason), and arguably 0 marquee wins (unless you include the few NIT wins against Houston, FSU, and Temple).
  16. 5 points
    E-Man leaving is an opportunity to upgrade
  17. 5 points
    I'm optimistic that with a full year under their belts and another full off-season to improve their craft, our offensive base will be much more solid. Throughout the season we saw growth tremendous growth from numerous players - Riak & Cheese were the two most notable - and I trust the individuals on the team will put the work in to improve for the betterment of the team as a whole. It needs to be noted the system Groce has implemented on offense and defense. They are very fundamental. They require personnel that will dedicate themselves to the fundamentals, something AAU has largely killed off. We have lots of movement now when executed properly, and that goes for both sides of the ball. Two factors have led to the exodus - players not buying into the system, and players simply not fitting in. It happens, and it has been magnified by the state of the program when Groce took over. All season I had next year and the year after next circled because those are the seasons that start to feature the core of Groce Ball with the majority being his personnel. Whatever we accomplished these first two seasons would be whatever, and I was simply hoping to see the basics implemented. I've seen that and way, way more. With the departure of Utomi, it accelerates the roster turnover to becoming mostly Groce guys. As I mentioned, a lot of the fundamentals in basketball have been killed off by AAU ball. It was very encouraging to see so many guys this year buy into those fundamentals again, especially on defense. Seeing that gives me a lot of hope this off-season will yield big improvements all the way around. Also, are we forgetting the MAC is about to potentially enter the stage it was at when Dambrot took over? It depends on what Buffalo does; otherwise, it's completely up for grabs. Fret not. Go Zips!
  18. 5 points
    They got an at-large because VCU failed to win their conference tournament. The same would have been true for the MAC had Buffalo lost to CMU or BG. Both conferences had 1 at-large caliber team. If you don't believe me, just look at Buffalo's seed compared to VCU, dumbass.
  19. 5 points
    A couple of things I noticed from yesterday's practice. Practice is so up tempo and organized. I am amazed at how smooth and quick everything seems to run with coach Arth being in his first year. Coach Arth is very hands on. I see him running defensive routes while teaching receivers how to get out of their breaks, I see him teaching defensive players hand technique. He distributes his time all over the practice field. You can actually see how much he enjoys the teaching process. I’m starting to believe the "we are going to keep local kids local." It was junior day yesterday, I have never seen so many high school kids and coaches at a practice. They gave everyone a presentation on a big screen after practice. Coach Arth is not going to get out worked. I was told Kelvon Blackmon is new (walk on) to the roster. I saw Wofley and Alce make nice one hand catches on swing pass out of the backfield. I can't see why both won't play a part in any offense that the Zips run. For those that like the 3-4 defense, I can see the versatility that some on this roster have to offer in the scheme. Lots of different players rushing the QB from different angles. It seems like this scheme has the ability to pressure a QB with athletic ability and confusion. A sidelined Keyondre White and Deltron Sands gave Devanier Floyd a chance to run the ball, he sure was shifty in the open field. If I’m a QB, one of the first things I do when I get to line, is find #1 on defense, he still has the uncanny ability to get his hands on the ball. I thought Kato and Rob looked good many times today. Some quick decisions were being made in the seven on seven drills. I'm sorry to say I will be out of town for the spring game, I am depending on some good ZipNation reports to catch me up. I think ZipsNation will enjoy watching these guys. The buzz around practice is that the players are very excited about the staff, and have enjoyed #OurWay thus far.
  20. 4 points
    A couple weeks ago Zips redshirt sophomore receiver Jeremiah Knight was nice enough to answer a few questions from me and Dr. Z after practice. Here's his story - Catching On As always, thanks to Dr. Z for the great supporting photography and layout!
  21. 4 points
    I thought we could compete for a MAC title next year had Utomi returned. Watching Cheese and LCJ progress along with knowing we'd be adding Williams gave me hope we could make strides to improving our offense enough to win in a very weakened MAC. We already had the best defense in the MAC. Fast forward to now and I don't see a real plan. We have 4 graduating seniors on next years team and an additional 5 the year after. The goal should have been to try to win this upcoming season while the MAC is down and before he have to rebuild. Instead of going out and adding a grad transfer that could help replace Utomi's production, our prized off-season acquisition can't even play this season and we now have to spend 2 years worth of scholarships to get 1 year of eligibility. Looking at the scholarship chart @Illini Zip kindly tracks I just don't see where in the next 4 years that we'll be a serious contender for a MAC title. I'm expecting us to hover around mediocrity. I'm not ready to call for Groce head, but I'm certainly losing faith in him.
  22. 4 points
    It is so hard to separate the good news from the bad news in Iowa City. For the record, Dailey is a very good player. Very underutilized in Iowa City, partly because Mad Fran would try to use 10-man rotations. I don't think he ever got a fair shot. He doesn't seem like a disgruntled kid, even though he has good reasons to be. He is very articulate and thoughtful. I think he will bring maturity, not baggage.
  23. 4 points
    I'm getting extremely itchy for recruiting news. The 1st day of the signing period is next Wednesday, but lasts for a month.
  24. 4 points
    Hey guys and gals, remember when the Western Michigan match was cancelled due to an electrical outage at FES-CCF? Remember how mad we all were, how outraged at the U and the Athletic Office? Remember some were even moved to e-mail and write letters about the situation? Well, I know all of your are soccer fans, but I also know you are Zips fans as well. I don’t know if you follow the other Forums on ZNO, but there’s a grave situation happening to one of our 3 Nationally ranked teams, the track and field squad. The outdoor facility has degraded to a point where it is unsafe to host meets, and so, the two outdoor meets that Akron hosts annually are actually going to be hosted - at Youngstown State. Embarrassing? In a nutshell, the team has been asking for repairs but they have not occurred, and the reigning MAC men’s indoor champs and women’s defending outdoor champs have to go to YSU. Also, some of the athletes have revealed they don’t even have locker room facilities, and have to change in a public restroom! The coaches and athletes obviously deserve better, and are trying to make the best of a bad situation, but if ALL Zip fans would voice that same displeasure we felt on that Saturday night last Fall to the administration, it will at least let them Know someone cares and that the program, which by the way is a net revenue producer, is important enough to do something so next year this doesn’t happen. Thanks for “listening”.
  25. 4 points
    Here are some photos from this morning.
  26. 4 points
    Nope, we need only incoming freshman who are at least 6'10"!
  27. 4 points
    Kimani Binder has been offered a scholly to Akron Juco transfer 6'3 180# 2 star SG prospect From Orlando FL
  28. 4 points
    I like E-Man, but it's probably for the best. We didn't need to have 3 offensively deficient centers on our roster.
  29. 4 points
    Pay to play tourneys for both genders. One step closer to gender equality.
  30. 4 points
    You might want to look at how many players have transferred out of Duquesne since KD got there. Nature of the beast in a transition period. KD left on his own, was the highest paid coach in the MAC, and might as well have had a lifetime contract. Enough with acting like it was Williams' fault.
  31. 4 points
    Scrolling through Dr Z's photos, one thing that sticks out is the youth of this staff compared to Bowden's. Some of these guys are 30...40 years younger than some of those in the Bowden/Amato crew. There's a different form of engagement with the players during the drills, and a different level of energy. When I watch a practice I try to look at things from the Coach's perspective and see who really stands out. In one drill there were 20 guys running through cones, then tackling a dummy. Maybe 15 of them looked identical. A few showed techniques and speed that stood out, and a couple guys...probably won't be bucking for a starting position this fall. Guys like Alvin Davis, Josh Ward, Boogie and Bubba can be fun to watch, even in drills, because their technique stands out. If you are looking for a great stock to buy low, with huge upside, get in early on Freshman fullback Abe Alce (ALL-cee). With Deltron Sands and Keyondre White sitting out, Abe got a lot of reps. He's big, fast (for his size) and consistently shows soft hands when pulling in those almost-out-of-reach swing passes. I expect he's going to be a big part of our offense this upcoming season. Saturday was the first time the kickers were showcased under rush conditions. Cory Smigel is a tiny kid with a big leg. His ball gets in the air quickly, and in the difficult-to-gauge environment of the indoor practice facility, showed good accuracy from 40 yards-in. Sophomore Jonah Wieland (Hudson) also had a couple nice kicks, but had one blocked. Keyondre White and Andy Jean-Baptiste didn't play. Likewise, no Reggie Corner was seen in the secondary. Redshirt Freshman Jaylen Hooks (Warren Harding) got some reps at cornerback. Another redshirt Freshman, Rich Hall, got some reps in the secondary. Physically, Hall looks like he can step in and play immediately. In scrimmage situations, Kato gets the "first team" reps. As of March 16th, Robbie Kelly seems to be the leading candidate for the #2 QB position. @Dr Z mentioned Kelvon Blackmon as a player who tried-out as a walk on and was given a roster spot. Another is 5' 6" 165 lb Brandon Lee. Brandon played WR last week, this week he was in the backfield. He's REALLY tiny, and REALLY fast. It will be interesting to see if he can find his way on to the playing field this upcoming season. Liking what I've seen from Bubba Arslanian at LB thus far. He's a strong kid with a nose for the ball. He runs all his drills with great technique, and at high speed. Yet another guy that will be fun to chronicle once the tackling begins (all drills and scrimmage situations thus far are non-contact). It was nice to see so many high school kids attending the practice. The Ignatius HC and Maple Heights HC were there. Probably also several HC's that I didn't recognize.
  32. 4 points
    The NIT will tell you that they like to limit travel and create regional matchups when possible. They never publicly say that the bigger arena or more perceived ticket sales get preference but it is clear that they do. ... as far as the Akron-OSU game a few years ago goes there were nearly as many akron fans there as OSU fans. The NIT missed a chance at a boisterous crowd in Akron and opted for a less than half full arena in Columbus.
  33. 3 points
    http://verbalcommits.com/players/jonathan-dos-anjos
  34. 3 points
    Zips T & F soldiers on...out west at Mt. St. Mary's Tevin Brown breaks school record in the 10,000 meter and Mackenzie Andrews sets new school record in the steeplechase! It's been a while since we've had strength in the long distances....way to go Tev and Mack!
  35. 3 points
    Couldn't agree more with GJ. I left the Akron area in 1989 and love living in Columbus, but no one here has a clue about the Zips. They think we are lucky to be in the MAC and are like a YSU w/o the winning football tradition. They know nothing of Soccer, Basketball, W. Swimming or Track and Field. Most think we have a Cleveland State-type campus = no grass or trees. The news on Akron is mostly negative, that is, losing teams, financial crisis, rust belt economy, axed programs, poor leadership (Scarborough). We would do well to recruit this area. The population base will soon be the biggest in the state and the athletic programs are outstanding, like NE Ohio in the 70's and 80's. We will never, ever pass OSU, but we can build a better rep by getting athletes to go to Akron and have them play on winning teams like Will Trapp, Abdul Salaam, Christie Smith and many more, all from Columbus.
  36. 3 points
    ...he's also not 6'11".
  37. 3 points
    HA! Found my old media guide and...December 1993, 3rd game of the season. lost 71-43....
  38. 3 points
    Wow. Would be rough to have to deal with a max exodus of players this late in the game huh? Sounds familiar for some reason..
  39. 3 points
    Fire Jeff Boals already. Enough is enough!
  40. 3 points
    You're welcome, Capt Oblivious!
  41. 3 points
    Being tall is all important in the MAC. EMU had a huge front line this year (6'9"; 6'10"; 6'11") and it led them to...15-17. Oops. Sorry.
  42. 3 points
    Buffalo lost their Oats.
  43. 3 points
    Where's Lori Loughlin when you need her? Just offer her enrollment for her grandkid(s) and she'd buy that contract out in a heartbeat! Only $200k more than her last purchase!
  44. 3 points
  45. 3 points
    That was their only DI player. Roster is a total joke.
  46. 3 points
    Anyone leave the program today? Asking for a friend
  47. 3 points
    Zips were offered, said no thanks. According to French on WNIR this morning. I think Kent accepted because the opponent (ULM) footed the entire bill. Most of the time these tournaments are "pay-to-play" whether home or away. I'm hearing ULM forked over around $40K for the home game and Kent's travel expenses.
  48. 3 points
    But their main center is only 6'8".
  49. 3 points
    ABJ (GT): Local high school teams, players get reacquainted with Zips program
  50. 3 points
    @Captain Kangaroo and I went, we will have photos and notes later.
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