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LoyalZIP

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Posts posted by LoyalZIP

  1. 10 minutes ago, Blue & Gold said:

    It doesn't.  It never has felt like we're just milking clock (except, of course, at the end of the KSUcks game when we actually were intentionally milking clock).  We do a great job of working the ball around for a good shot & making the D maintain intensity for the entire 35 seconds.  That can be both exhausting and demoralizing for a defense.

     

    Not to create a rabbit trail (I was going to wait until our season is finished to bring this up) but I do hope that next year, after adding two-to-four guards, I hope we run out and attempt the fast break when we get a rebound to try and get an easy shot before the defense sets up and to use our depth to our advantage.  If there's no easy shot to be had on the fast break, we can always pull the ball out and set up our more methodical half-court offense.  

     

    I certainly love winning... but I'd prefer to not become known for a "slow" offense. 


    The offense playing this well at this pace is absolutely incredible and is a testament to how good of a coaching staff we have. The Zips’ pace numbers are significantly quicker over the first few Groce seasons. But if this team tried to play at those paces, they would’ve been much closer to .500 in MAC play and wouldn’t have made it to the title game most likely. You have to do what you need to do to give yourself the best chance, whether it’s the way you predicted or wanted to do it or not 

  2. Good morning and happy potentially Biggest Day in Program History! I've loved having my dancing shoes on all week, and I'm not ready to be done yet! As I write this post, we're about 12 hours on the nose to tip. I'm so excited. I've missed meaningful March postseason basketball so much. This team has been an underdog almost from the jump this year. They've had to go through so much garbage, put up with so much adversity from the schedule, to COVID stoppages, to seeing Kent go on a huge run, to getting swept by Kent, to losing to NIU at home. After one of the most impressive MAC tournament runs ever, HERE. WE. ARE.

     

    Let's briefly talk about the idea of a "giant-killer." There's a new podcast that's only a few episodes old called "Underdogs," and it's a Meadowlark Media podcast. It's a bunch of sports/math nerds that use numbers to justify underdogs and predict upsets. It came out right in time for tournaments! In their first episode a few weeks ago, they talked about potential underdogs and giant killers in the upcoming conference and NCAA tournaments. They talked about a few teams from high and mid-majors, but not Akron. Obviously, they can't talk about everyone so that's fine. They talked about teams like North Texas, La Tech, UAB, St. Bonaventure, etc.

     

    They have a few metrics to look at when predicting upsets. A few of the biggest ones are pace, 3pt. rate, 3pt%, FT rate, FT%, turnover defense, offensive rebounding. First of all, a slower pace means fewer possessions. To make an analogy, if you had to play Michael Jordan in a game of 1-on-1, you'd rather play to 3 than 21. The Zips play super slow, and that's a big advantage when you're an underdog. Also, when you take and make a lot of 3s, you tend to have more efficient possessions. Couple that with a slow pace, and the math does itself. The Zips get to the line more than just about everyone in the country, and they cash them in relatively well. They are also top 60 in eFG% (valuing 3pt% more than 2pt%). The more turnovers you create, the more chances you have to score. The more you offensive rebound, the more chances you have to score. These metrics jumped out to me before the MAC tournament, and gave me some more hope.

     

    If Akron was playing any other 4-seed, I would predict an outright win. Of course, in true UAMBB fashion, they get paired up with an underrated Final Four participant from last year with pretty much the entire team back. It's almost all too perfect for the Zips to pull this one off, right?? We'll see. I think they will be out-talented, but if they simply stick to the blueprint and gameplan of being a giant killer, they have a decent chance. Looking at UCLA's numbers, they are really, really, really good all across the board. They score efficiently and force a lot of turnovers. They've got a few guys who can really shoot the three as well, which has been UA's achillies heel most of the year. They can't let UCLA get hot, or it could be over quickly. And Freeman/Wynn must block out and not foul too much. We need their athleticism at all 5 positions on defense for 40 minutes. Ali must not be a turnover machine, and we'll need a few threes from Dawson and Clarke.

     

    Like coach says, it takes EVERYBODY. Today is no different. This team has something special, and it could become even more special than anyone has ever imagined. The message is one possession at a time, one play at a time, win in the margins. Preparation trumps pressure. Believe, Akron! BELIEVE!!! GO ZIPS!!!!!!!

    • Like 5
  3. Carry looked so disinterested. As if he was too good to be playing in that game. He transferred down from the A10, got hammered in the biggest game of his life, and just didn’t play hard tonight. He missed a 14-footer and sulked down the floor like his puppy died. Dude is a straight up loser. I can’t wait to play them again next year. 

    • Like 1
  4. 7 minutes ago, Illini Zip said:

    How about we pool our questions, comments and concerns on an open thread and designate someone as the Zips Nation correspondent to sit in the post-game interviews with Coach Groce and players. Do we have any Communications Majors on here willing to become a member of the press? Just an idea.

     

    Knowing Brian Dennison (SID) and Chad Welker (Zips Digital Network), I'm sure they would welcome this with open arms. Also, assuming the questions aren't basic and cliche, I'm sure coach would love it too.

    • Like 1
  5. I did a little math on our numbers post-Trimble. I don't have the splits on what they were before he got booted, but I still found some of these to be pretty telling.

     

    FG%: Akron--48.6%   Opponents--43.2%

    3PT%: Akron--40%   Opponents--30.7%

    PPG:  Akron--73.9   Opponents--62.5

     

    I'm not entirely sure how different they were before, but in this stretch, the Zips have shot over 38.5% from three in 5 of the 8 games in this run, including two games of 50+%. 

     

    We were also routinely getting beat by teams and letting teams stay in games by staying hot from the three point line, but the Zips have locked down the perimeter. They have traded for more drives and layups for opponents, or so it feels, but they lost two games to Kent because of bad perimeter defense and it almost cost them a few others. What a team and what a run! Why not keep it going?!

     

    • Like 4
  6. 4 hours ago, NWAkron said:

    Agree.  This regular season doesn't count schtick is a risky maneuver.  That 4/5 game was inches or a bank shot away from ending all this on Thursday.  I think this year Groce and Ford needed to adapt on the fly.  Next year probably wont need to do that.  Between 2010 and 2012, was 2011 and DJ Cooper and friends were a 5 seed and lost in the quarters to Ball State a 4 seed in OT. I would love to see a replay of that game.

     

    I vaguely remember this game. It was a very late game when that side of the bracket used to play in the evening. There was a handful of Ball State fans that had a box of pom poms that were red and white. My buddy and I went up to them and asked if we could have some and they were gracious enough to give us some. We cheered our butts off against OU that night!

    • Like 2
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  7. I also expect a transfer or two. It wouldn't be the end of the world, as nice as it would be to bring back every single guy that has been working together for so long now. It's just not really realistic in 2022.

     

    I wouldn't be surprised if it was indeed Wynn, maybe Kalle and a guard as well. There's a lot of cooks in the kitchen, and Wynn still hasn't necessarily become an integral part of the program. On top of that, he's a fouling machine. I could definitely see him wanting to graduate and finish up somewhere he can see 25+ minutes a night. But he really did change his whole attitude and the staff used him perfectly down the stretch. 

  8. 3 minutes ago, Blue & Gold said:

    Can't stand Senderoff?  I wasn't aware of that dynamic.

     

    I am around a ton of Kent people and know a lot of their season ticket holders that have been for a long time. They are tired of garbage that happens off the court. Many of them are obviously eternally grateful for the 2017 title, but my very best friend, who is me if I was a Kent State fan, feel that the 2017 title doomed the future because they will not move on from him unless he gets a bigger job. Are they spoiled and probably off-base? Yeah, probably. But after over a decade at that program, he won a title as a 6-seed and then lost one as the two seed and hasn't really sniffed any other major success. He's like 11-16 against Akron, went 3 years without winning a MAC tournament game at one point, has lost to a 12-seed, and had so much drama off the court. It's not been the most fun for them.

    • Like 1
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  9. Nice statement from Sendy on Jacobs, it needed to be stated. He's a guy I respect immensely. And he's one of their most important players from a standpoint of being an all-around player.

     

    Blaming the fans is so dumb, every team gets MF'd, Sendy. You reap what you sow, dude. It's not the first time you or your team has done something stupid and it probably won't be the last. There's a reason so many die-hard Kent fans can't stand him.

  10. There's a video on ESPN that's 30-seconds in length of Joe Lunardi's thoughts on Akron. He says the MAC is far past the days of Shaq of the MAC, Ron Harper, and Dan Majerle. He then says the league hasn't had an at-large in over 20 years. He then says the Zips aren't going to end that streak (WTF is he talking about?) and they will struggle with the Bruins.

     

    Okay, I don't give a crap what he thinks but this is just poorly made. Does he not know that it's been 5 years since the MAC lost a first-round game? I don't think we're going to win, but come on.

    • Like 1
  11. Just finished watching the replay. Wow, that defense was incredible! If you take away half of the completely unforced turnovers the Zips had in the first half, that think would have been over before the U4 media timeout. On top of that, nice jumpshooting and a heroic effort from Hamilton really saved them from this one being a 30-point blowout. Aside from some bad unforced turnovers, the Zips played pretty much a perfect game. Kent had their runs early in each half, but that happens in any game. The Zips didn't panic either time, and the culture won out.

     

    I will laugh for eternity at Carry skipping to the camera after getting the deficit to 1. Literally, an all-time Akron vs. Kent moment. Honestly, one of my favorite Akron wins of all-time, if not THE favorite. Love this team!!!!

    • Like 2
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  12. 2 hours ago, kreed5120 said:

    Who knows if we even make the tournament had we beaten those teams. Those losses led to Trimble and Walton leaving. The team jelled after those departures. I do agree in a normal year we need to beat those teams, but this year I think we needed to hit rock bottom in order for us to achieve what we did.


    Agreed. The stars have aligned in such a strange way. With 350+ programs I obviously know little of college basketball history in the grand scheme of things, but where else has a team ever gotten so much better after losing players of those caliber? I’d be surprised if that list included more than just a few. 

    • Like 1
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