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Everything posted by LoyalZIP

  1. Good luck Sekou! I met his host parents once, they are very sweet people and he’s a good kid. He’s got a fan in me. Now, it’s a huge opportunity to fill a roster spot with a meaningful contributor. Come on, Coach!
  2. Eric Parrish couldn't get out of his own way. He's a good kid that means well, but he couldn't get his head out of his you-know-where. He had a pretty decent ego, and just wasn't committed to living up to his potential. He'd get lazy with classwork, lazy during practice, and he didn't make good choices. As a freshman, you could see he was going to be really good. He eventually found himself to one of the best mid-majors for Musselman at Nevada, and he fell down the same hole. What a shame, what could've been.
  3. Hmm.. I can usually remember these kinds of things, but this one I can’t quite picture. One of them may have been Geoff Vejsicky if my memory is correct. If I do some digging I may be able to find it. Terry Wymer did the UCLA game, he’s a fine ref that’s a great guy and retiring soon. Matt Potter called the foul on Aziz down the stretch, he’s a terrible, arrogant ACC ref. Edit: nice memory, @NWAkron . It was indeed Buddy Mayborg, Vejsicky, and Dambrot’s arch nemesis Rob Kueneman. After the Mayborg thing in Buffalo, I think he’s had maybe 2-3 Akron games since, and I believe recently retired. Assigners are smart enough (sometimes) to know where to send what guys, it was best for Buddy to not get Akron games anymore.
  4. Absolutely fell in love with Groce at this moment. He wasn't going to let Buddy Mayborg and Bill Ek leave without hearing what they needed to. A win over Kent and a MAC tournament win @ WMU followed. AKRON CULTURE.
  5. I have heard on good authority in the last couple of weeks that Groce got rid of his agent during the beginning of COVID, and hasn't hired one again. Good news for us, as nobody is showing him off and negotiating on his behalf with search firms at other schools. Let's hope it stays this way. While I would be fairly surprised if Groce was still here in 2-3 years, he talks a lot about how he's changed throughout his career. The first time I noticed this was in '19-'20 after clinching a share of the title after the comeback win over OU. He had a Super Soaker water gun in the locker room and was celebrating with the guys after a win like that even though they hadn't clinched the 1 seed and hadn't even beaten Kent yet. In his presser that night, he mentioned that in the past he would've been much more calm and focused on the next step and the next game, but he's learned to appreciate it more in the moment. I'm glad he did then, little did anyone know, that was the true championship celebration that year. Since then, and especially in these last few weeks, you hear him talk about appreciating and enjoying the smaller things. The regular season wins, the wins in the tournament in the first couple rounds, even his daughter's birthday. He said something along the lines of he wanted to focus more on enjoying things in the moment instead of always strictly being on to the next game. You can tell he genuinely enjoys coaching at Akron, at no point has it felt like his foot is out the door. The P6 money will most likely inevitably lure him away eventually, but I think he is starting to see that coaching at a good mid-major for $650k isn't too bad after all. To bring it back to MAC discussion, it's all about the culture. You can't win with culture alone, but I'm giving Akron Culture a lot of credit for these last three years, especially this one (Team 121). I have said numerous times, no other program in the MAC could overcome 2 no-shows from starters at the beginning of the season and do a single thing of significance. They would've given into Walton wanting to be Walton, they would have kept forcing it with Trimble (see: Pinky allowing Carry to lose them a title game), the teams would have fallen apart. It would have been easy to get cocky and let the noise get to you in the midst of a big winning streak going through the conference tournament. It would've been easy to let Kent get under the skin, it would've been easy to fold and pack it in during a trip to the Ypsilanti black hole in the midst of a 3-game losing streak. But Groce got his program of high-character guys to buy in and simply trust their process. They may as well have played NIU in the title game. They just played their butts off regardless of who the opponent was. That was one of my favorite things from the title game, they didn't give a s*** about Kent. They just went out and took what was theirs, and they celebrated for themselves. It was a thing of beauty. Akron Culture. It's a very real thing, that could be dangerous for the rest of the MAC.
  6. Owens out at Miami. First couple years showed promise, then as the team got older they got worse. They finished a distant 7th place, far behind the top 5 in the league. A team full of very old and experienced seniors should be much much better, and the future could only get worse.
  7. The Horizon League has become quite the stepping stone league. It’s the bottom-tier of mid majors before you get to low major. Good coaches have a hard time actually building a program beyond a 15-16 seed and players don’t have much in the way of pro prospects. If Akron were in the HL with a coach of Groce’s caliber, he would’ve inked a bigger job by Friday afternoon last week. But Akron (most MAC) can pay a guy enough to stay a bit longer and the good players don’t feel shame in sticking around a league of this level.
  8. The Zips would not qualify for the MAC tournament with Zakia Rasheed starting at guard and floor general at this time. I’m glad she got minutes this year and she did the most with it, but this team will have many struggles with the loss of Dawson. A year of an experienced and established good MAC guard would do wonders for the younger guards on the roster. Rasheed is absolutely the future, just don’t see her being the answer yet.
  9. Very well said, Captain. Guthrie will be here for a couple of years, as CK said, he’s done some great things so far that don’t necessarily add much to the resume…yet. While he did land JoeMo, JoeMo’s wife and agent had a lot to do with that, however Guthrie used his connection with Dave Roach, Fordham’s former AD, to really move that forward. He’s got hundreds of similar connections, it is quite impressive. It seems that he knows or has a connection with every visiting coaching staff that comes to play against Akron across multiple sports. And if he doesn’t already have a connection, he introduces himself and tries to start one His plan for UA looks to be about 5 years. Once Miller is retired in a few years, I think he will follow suit. If football and basketball really catch fire, he could be out of here sooner, but either way I think possible P5 suitors are going to wait and see how things play out first. The alignment we have at UA is something he talks about a lot. While he didn’t hire Groce, they are still very much on the same page. Miller likes and supports athletics, he hand picked Guthrie, who did well for him at Green Bay, and Guthrie has put together a senior staff with a few people who have been around for a while and some fresh minds. It wasn’t an easy transition for everyone, but people are starting to see the vision play out. It feels like a special time to be an Akron Zip. The whole Moorhead hiring process and the months following, combined with being back in the basketball championship in a packed Pizza 216 for a pep rally have given me new life as a Zip fan after it was difficult for a few years. Hopefully, it’s just getting started and those are a drop in the bucket compared to what we’re about to experience.
  10. Zips shut him down, but he was a beast against pretty much everyone else. Averaged 18 points per game this season.
  11. I believe Akron has a good chance here. I was told at the tournament that she would be interested in UA so she could be with her boyfriend, who is none other than Ali Ali. Could Melissa Jackson be looking to bring in her own Sincere Carry?
  12. Spring Ball gets started in a week! Next season starts now! I'm hoping to see a couple in person, but we'll see how my schedule works out. Is @Dr Z planning on taking the camera to any? I haven't been this excited for both Zips football and basketball's upcoming seasons in at least 5-6 years. We've got something special building at UA! GO ZIPS!!!
  13. https://twitter.com/uakron_ad/status/1505648288682463232?s=21 At Meijer in Stow. Just left, they’re $7.50 on clearance!
  14. In the age of the transfer portal, there are coaches who do well with it and coaches who do poorly. We've been pretty fortunate to have a coach and a program who seem to do pretty well with it. Assuming that the core of Ali, X, Freeman, Tribble, Dawson stick together, we will have one of the older and more experienced teams in the MAC and in the country. I don't have comparable numbers and can't seem to find a list anywhere, but looking at all of those guys' career numbers, I'm pretty impressed. X, assuming he is returning (God forbid any of these guys don't) has played in 123 games in his career, starting in 58, playing 25 minutes per game Ali has made 66 starts in 88 career games, playing 23 minutes per game. He started 11 games for the 2020 championship team, and has gotten significantly better each year he's been here Freeman has made 54 starts in 64 career games, averaging 23 minutes. He started every game of this past season, has a 68.8% FG% for his career, and is a two-time All-MAC performer. Was a big scout teamer for the 2020 team as well Tribble has made 32 starts in 85 career games, averaging 20 minutes a game. Another member of the 2020 championship team going into his 4th season at Akron. Shot 70% at the free throw line this past season, coming up big in the Buffalo QF game. Dawson has made 10 starts in 74 career games. He was also a member of the 2020 championship team, and shot 36% from three last season, becoming a fairly reliable shooter. The college basketball landscape has teams turning over the rosters significantly year-to-year. While X is still newer to the program, he's an example of an old and experienced guy bringing a lot of value to a program, and you could definitely see that as the season went on. While Dawson and Tribble haven't been top-tier contributors, they've been a part of Akron basketball for a very long time in today's standards, and that holds a ton of value as well. Mid-Major Madness did a nice piece on Richmond's "Last Dance" with an old team full of seniors Also, when you look at Buffalo and Groce's OU teams, they were the same, old, experienced teams that were there for a lot of winning. OU had Cooper, Kellogg, Baltic. Buffalo had Massinburg, Perkins, Graves, Harris, Jordan, Carruthers. I am not guaranteeing a sweet 16 run, a 30-win season, or an appearance in the NCAA tournament for that matter. It should go without saying, but old and experienced teams that have been together for a long time have much more potential to do some amazing things. Let's hope this group can do the same. Strike while the iron is hot.
  16. Man. Imagine if that was us. A big crowd to meet the guys at the JAR followed by a week or anticipation and then a convoy of Zips fans to Philly.
  17. Very disappointed they're not playing today. It would have been perfect. Matched up against a more similar team skill wise, playing at 7:10 pm so fans could easily gather to watch, a shot at the sweet 16, a trip to Philly for the sweet 16, which I would imagine most Zip fans would make the trip. It would have worked out nearly perfectly. With that said, while I do feel a slight pressure on the program still having not won a tournament game, we get to have the bragging rights in the league all summer, specifically over Pinky and his fans. It had been way too long since we've been to the dance, so again definitely not upset. Still got many thoughts and feelings over this last week. The one I haven't talked about the most is my underlying sadness and depression when I think about the 2020 team. The feeling of sadness I've gotten when thinking about their tournament hopes and chances is pretty much gone. While still bummed, I now know that this is an even stronger program that's capable of continuing to make history. I'm so thankful for these last few seasons, it's been special and it has been the most fun I've had being a Zips basketball fan.
  18. We should get an idea in the next few weeks what could happen with the transfer portal. Of course, things can change in there all the way through summer. But I’d assume in the next couple of weeks that the staff will have their exit interviews with everyone on the roster and ultimately 1-2 will be gone. As long as it isn’t X, Ali, Freeman, Dawson, Tribble, I think I could live with it. I’d love to keep everyone around, but repeating is the hardest thing to do in sports and when you’re the best, you still need to try to get better. With that said, I expect Wynn to be the one. While he fit in well with the rotation during this late season run, you could tell that he was pretty much just out there to take Aziz’ minutes as a threat that simply won’t turn the ball over and can catch. If I’m Wynn, do I want to spend my final year of college ball at the end of the bench for Akron after I was once an ACC recruit? Who knows. Tavari Johnson seems to have a lot of hype around him, so I expect him to compete for a spot in the rotation immediately. Mitchell and Johnson are sort of unknowns. Mitchell is a small town baller that can shoot (hopefully) and Johnson is a highly recruited combo guard. Again, both could play roles on this team, not sure how big. If we do end up going after a transfer, I would like a 3&D guy. Not sure if there is one in the portal or will be, but a Spencer Littleson/Channel Banks type is pretty much the biggest missing piece from the roster now. A true slasher/scorer is on the wish list as well, but I feel that Tribble can become that as he continues to refine his game further. If you do add a 3&D, even if off the bench, you add another critical piece that opponents will need to glue a defender to, while the three other All-MAC players are running around the floor for the Zips. In Groce we Trust!
  19. Enrique Freeman: 24 minutes, fouled out, +5 Aziz Bandaogo: 12 minutes, -8 Dare I say, that's the difference. It really felt like Freeman was barely in the game. And when he was in the game, it felt like the Zips were going to win. In the end, there were simply too many empty possessions that ended with an Ali or Tribble stinker and almost zero that ended with a good shot attempt for a guy like Dawson or Clarke. At the end of the day, the Zips missed their fair share of shots while UCLA hit a bunch of tough ones down the stretch. Of the big ones, the one that worried me the most at the time was the three that Jules Bernard hit with a hand in his face with 5:16 to go. The Zips were up 49-42 and Freeman had just been taken out with his 4th foul. That's when I said "uh-oh." Ali tried to force too much for pretty much the whole game, and it's fitting that it ended the way it did. Lord knows if Wynn would have made that shot, but it would have been nice if he would've had the chance. It just be that way sometimes. Officiating was fine, but far from good. I don't expect the Zips to get any calls on that stage, but about half of Freeman's were awful, plus a few pushoffs missed, and that block on Aziz was absolutely shameful and Matt Potter shouldn't get another NCAA game. Pathetic and embarrassing. the $3500 or whatever he got paid last night should go to charity. I'm really crushed for these guys. They were the better team for most of the game, and just couldn't make 1 or 2 more plays or we'd be talking about our second round game. Damn it damn it damn it. Feels just like the Ohio State game, but 1000000x worse. As far as the future goes, repeating is one of the hardest things to do in sports. We got everyone back, but so does a certain school making their way back from Southern Utah. Next season could be a big one for the Zips. I'm excited! Go Zips!
  20. So painful. Everything about it. The foul(s), the missed shots, the bad breaks. So painful. Love my Zips. Talk to yall tomorrow.
  21. Wymer needs to step in and fix this crap. Unbelievable. Gotta rebound boys.
  22. Come on boys. We need good possessions and quality shots. Can’t have Tribble taking the air out of the ball and attempting a turnaround.
  23. Tribble needs to have a plan when attacking. Spray and pray isn’t working against these guys. Also worried about their press. Will be interesting to see how we answer.
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