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Game 31—@WMU [MAC Tourney Rnd 1]

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20 minutes ago, Hilltopper said:

Good thing Dean Wormer let Virshon off double secret probation.:nono:

 

... well, Virshon DID have that lame one-handed turnover. That SHOULD have been the last straw ... and I'm glad it wasn't.

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3 minutes ago, NWAkron said:

Looking at Bobcat Attack is sort of like "shame eating" for me.  Here's a good thread:

 

https://www.bobcatattack.com/messageboard/topic.asp?FromPage=1&ForumPID=1&PID=256752

 

It's almost an immediate reaction for me to go from here to BobcatAttack when something good happens to us and something bad happens to them. They all have their hands on their heads wondering what the heck they're going to do with SP tanking their program and Groce just getting start at Akron. One of their posts says, "#HeCanRecruit." Can we also say, "#HeCanCoach"? He's done an amazing job these last few weeks with this team, and completely out-coached Hawkins tonight. 

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2 minutes ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

 

It's almost an immediate reaction for me to go from here to BobcatAttack when something good happens to us and something bad happens to them. They all have their hands on their heads wondering what the heck they're going to do with SP tanking their program and Groce just getting start at Akron. One of their posts says, "#HeCanRecruit." Can we also say, "#HeCanCoach"? He's done an amazing job these last few weeks with this team, and completely out-coached Hawkins tonight. 

Groce wins when it matters.  We may not win on Thursday, but he and his team got us into the arena.  These freshmen get to play in the Q.  Also, so cool to see the non-playing guys so happy and enjoying themselves:  Sayles especially.  And very cool for the senior band members, cheerleaders, and dance team.  They get one more game as well.  Someone said we are playing with house $ now.  So true.

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6 minutes ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

 

It's almost an immediate reaction for me to go from here to BobcatAttack when something good happens to us and something bad happens to them. They all have their hands on their heads wondering what the heck they're going to do with SP tanking their program and Groce just getting start at Akron. One of their posts says, "#HeCanRecruit." Can we also say, "#HeCanCoach"? He's done an amazing job these last few weeks with this team, and completely out-coached Hawkins tonight. 

To be fair, my dog could out-coach Hawkins

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I am realistically not expecting us to cut the nets at the Q. However, having the freshmen experience playing under the lights of the Q will play dividends next year.

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Just now, zippy5 said:

To be fair, my dog could out-coach Hawkins

 

Shhhhh... Don't give WMU any ideas. They might fire Hawkins and hire your dog. 

  • Haha 1

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Bench points:  Akron 31 Western Michigan 5.  Which team had only 6 (7?) scholarship athletes available?  I forget.  Offensive rebounds:  Western Michigan 3.  Which team's missing post players?  I forget.

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Great game.....gutsy effort...great coaching...upset win in post season...freshman come up big.  Zips advance!

 

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3 hours ago, Z.I.P. said:

What was the clock reading at the 27-4 score point?  About 8 minutes left??

Yep!  Just looked at the play-by-play.  Wilder layed the ball in with EXACTLY 8 minutes to play in the half.  WMU 27  Akron 4.  We outscored them 27-8 the rest of the half to trail just 35-31.  Wow!

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Tonight Cotton reminded me of Antino his frosh year.  Antino had a great post season and probably played his best basketball of the year in the MAC tourney when he was a frosh.

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38 minutes ago, 1981 grad said:

Tonight Cotton reminded me of Antino his frosh year.  Antino had a great post season and probably played his best basketball of the year in the MAC tourney when he was a frosh.

 

I think everyone forgets that the 2015 tournament was under the OLD double-bye format, where seeds lower than the top 4 had to play 5 games in 6 days to win the tournament.

 

So, with Noah not available (and a hampered Forsythe) Antino as a freshman backup point guard was like Hercules leading us through games on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, until we ran out of gas against Buffalo.  Yes, we played 4 games in 5 days.  I understand why they changed it again.  But, that was an unbelievable tournament run to watch.  

 

I'd give anything to see that happen again (with one less game, thankfully).  

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5 hours ago, skip-zip said:

 

I think everyone forgets that the 2015 tournament was under the OLD double-bye format, where seeds lower than the top 4 had to play 5 games in 6 days to win the tournament.

No, we didn't forget. 

Someone said on Twitter that Cotton is Groce's next DJ Cooper. 

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6 hours ago, RootforRoo44 said:

That was definitely a Dambrot Zips free throw performance... But it was a Groce Zips strategy. 

 

The future is bright. 

 

You'd think by now we could celebrate and be happy for our team without having to take digs (especially nonsensical ones) at our former coach, yet here you are.

 

Take it to the KD thread.

 

Go Zips! 

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Did anyone turn on the radio and catch any Groce comments postgame?  I would like to hear a synopsis of what he said.

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1 hour ago, NWAkron said:

Someone said on Twitter that Cotton is Groce's next DJ Cooper. 

 

Well, then it must be true !!   I'll look forward to that.  

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His voice was very raspy from all the shouting during the game. He was running up and down the sideline coaching the heck out of the guys during those final few minutes. They also interviewed Utomi and Cotton. Daniel said the team never lost faith that they could come back for the win. That this is a new Zips team than the one that lost those games at the beginning of MAC play. Cotton said never in his basketball career had a coach drawn up a play at the end of a game for him to take the final shot. He also said he had never had a chance to win or lose a game at the foul line at the end like last night. Pretty heady stuff for a guy who a few members of ZN.o had written off as a lost cause. 

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I watched the replay last night after embarrassingly giving up on the team. Holy smokes we blew what...a 7 point lead in 30 seconds? You hate to see that happen, but both of the turnovers were more a result of WMU making great plays in my opinion. Then the WMU guy hits that insane falling down bank 3!!!!!! Then Wilder of all people bailed us out by fouling Cotton on his drive. Of cource Cotton had the stones to hit those 2 FTs (and a nice cross over/step back 3 with a few mins left). Finally, Patton makes a play on the in bounds pass and of course it goes out of bounds and gives them the ball in a good spot with time left. Nothing is ever easy with this team, but they sure make it fun to watch.

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It is a shame that Western only had around 900 people in attendance to watch that game.  It was a classic.  I said early in this thread that this team revolves around Utomi and he had another amazing offensive game.  The offense always seems to click when we play the ball through him.  This team outrebounded us by 10 in the first meeting and this game the rebounding was even with a much smaller lineup.  Like I said before, size does not matter.  Groce has these guys boxing out and hustling for the rebound.  Most of the defensive rebounds the Zips had 3 guys around the ball.

 

I was really surprised to see that Parrish only had 4 points.  I thought he played a great game.  Patton and Cotton supplied the scoring.  The Zips have now won 2 close games in a row with buzzer beater foul shots.  I cannot remember that ever happening before.  So much for refs swallowing their whistles at the end.  We should have a moratorium on ref complaints considering the last 2 games.  

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Did anyone else get the momentary panic when Virshon went flying into the basket padding on the last foul, envisioning WMU picking the last guy on the bench to shoot the free throws for an injured Virshon?

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16 minutes ago, 1981 grad said:

So much for refs swallowing their whistles at the end.  We should have a moratorium on ref complaints considering the last 2 games.  

 

Not surprisingly, this board was silent last night when I asked if anyone here wanted to reaffirm their belief that "referees shouldn't decide games" by blowing a whistle right before the buzzer. 

 

At least for right now, based on the evidence presented Friday and Monday night, I think I have to reluctantly side with those who insist that officiating evens out over time.  But I'm sure I will change that stance again if the situation warrants on Thursday night.  :lol:
      

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There were times in the middle of the season that I worried Groce may be on the cusp of losing them.  Just their body language looked bad when they were down.  From those slumped shoulders and rolled eyes, Groce rallied this team to where they've now won the two most important games of the year.

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