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clarkwgriswold

2019-2020 Akron Zips Basketball- Looking Forward

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To enable us to have a discussion about what we expect for next season separate from the conversation dissecting the season that just ended, I have opened this thread.

 

I don't see a lot of changes in the starting lineup next season.  I think Utomi slides over for Ivey at the three and Williams comes in at power forward, leaving the Zips with LCJ, Cheese, Utomi, Williams and Riak in the starting 5.  I wish we had another PG we could start and use LCJ in a change of pace role as I think he could really excel there, but I don't see another solid PG on next year's roster.  Of the incoming kids, I see Reece having the biggest impact.  Cheese should develop into a top 10 or 15 MAC player.  Hopefully Banks re-discovers his shot.  Sayles being healthy would be a big help in the post.  Roscoe should develop into a nice piece off of the bench.  E-man looks to slide even farther down in the rotation with a healthy Sayles and Williams coming in.  If E-man is the 10th man, that's not too bad.  Toles remains a mystery.  Hopefully the depth helps them finish games with more energy.

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PG: LCJ           ???

W: Cheese      Toles     Roscoe

W: Utomi        Banks    Mikal Dawson

P: Reece         Sayles

P: Williams    Riak

 

Redshirt: Ali Ali

 

Hopefully in the next couple months we'll find a good solution for backup PG.  Losing Cotton last year after already signing the '19 class hurt.  Badly.

 

I think Reece & Williams will make immediate impacts.  I list them as starters, but it may take till after Christmas.

 

Toles will have to get his D-1 legs, but if/when he does, he's an all-around, versatile player.  A bit less athletic (& confident) than Ivey, but a better shooter.  

 

Crossing my fingers that over the summer Banks finds his outside shot.  He was a good shooter in JUCO (All-American).

 

I'm hoping Mikal Dawson comes in & is that special freshman everyone always wishes for.  As everyone here already knows, he scored 1,000 points at Huntington Prep Post-Grad this year.  Idk what the level of competition he faced was, but 1000 points in one year is impressive at any level.

 

We're still going after 6'3 lead G Javohn Garcia of Pickerington Central.  He was 1st Team All Central Ohio District Division 1 & averaged over 20 PPG.  He could be the solution to backup PG (though true freshmen running the point always make me nervous. Lol).  Anyway, My twitter bio makes it pretty clear I'm a Zips fan.  I subtweeted (I think that's what it's called) him when he tweeted he'd received an offer to Akron.  I said something like, "You'd look great in blue & gold!  Go Zips!"  like I tweet to a lot of the young guys who pick up basketball & football offers.  He started following me on twitter.  It's a small sample size, but in my limited experience, that's a pretty good sign that he's strongly considering UA.

 

Go Zips!

 

 

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3 hours ago, Blue & Gold said:

PG: LCJ           ???

W: Cheese      Toles     Roscoe

W: Utomi        Banks    Mikal Dawson

P: Reece         Sayles

P: Williams    Riak

 

Redshirt: Ali Ali

 

Hopefully in the next couple months we'll find a good solution for backup PG.  Losing Cotton last year after already signing the '19 class hurt.  Badly.

 

I think Reece & Williams will make immediate impacts.  I list them as starters, but it may take till after Christmas.

 

Toles will have to get his D-1 legs, but if/when he does, he's an all-around, versatile player.  A bit less athletic (& confident) than Ivey, but a better shooter.  

 

Crossing my fingers that over the summer Banks finds his outside shot.  He was a good shooter in JUCO (All-American).

 

I'm hoping Mikal Dawson comes in & is that special freshman everyone always wishes for.  As everyone here already knows, he scored 1,000 points at Huntington Prep Post-Grad this year.  Idk what the level of competition he faced was, but 1000 points in one year is impressive at any level.

 

We're still going after 6'3 lead G Javohn Garcia of Pickerington Central.  He was 1st Team All Central Ohio District Division 1 & averaged over 20 PPG.  He could be the solution to backup PG (though true freshmen running the point always make me nervous. Lol).  Anyway, My twitter bio makes it pretty clear I'm a Zips fan.  I subtweeted (I think that's what it's called) him when he tweeted he'd received an offer to Akron.  I said something like, "You'd look great in blue & gold!  Go Zips!"  like I tweet to a lot of the young guys who pick up basketball & football offers.  He started following me on twitter.  It's a small sample size, but in my limited experience, that's a pretty good sign that he's strongly considering UA.

 

Go Zips!

 

 

 

Keep up the good work on those recruits B & G.

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5 minutes ago, ZIPS96 said:

Utomi leaving as Grad transfer :unsure:

Thought that might happen, but hoped it wouldn't.  Bummer

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This one really hurts. With Utomi I was thinking we'd have a chance to be a top 2-3 team in the MAC next season. We'll see how the roster shapes up, but my new expectation as of now is something along the lines of 7-11. I'm going to hold out judgement until after the start of my season, however, I'm going to begin to sharpen my pitchfork. 

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I wish Utomi the best of luck wherever he ends up. I'm sure when he committed to Akron in 2015 he wasn't expecting a coaching change and a complete team rebuild. I hope wherever he ends he has an opportunity to make it to the big dance.

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I had a funny feeling he could be the next one out.  It may just be his demeanor, but his heart just didn't seem to be in it this year.

 

I just got this email from the Athletic Department today.  This little piece of info should brighten our days-

 

 

mail (4).jpg

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Noah finished up at UNLV and his coach promptly fired.  The Weathers brothers formerly of Miami: one went to Ok State and became a criminal.  The other is slogging around at Duquesne.  For Utomi, maybe he has a certain degree in mind he won't get at Akron.  He gets a fresh start at a new school and maybe some better weather.  This will.be first year Groce will be completely paid by Akron.  Time to earn that pay check.

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Well that answers that. 

 

This might be a blessing in disguise. I am very thankful Utomi decided to stick around post-Dambrot. 

 

However, based on who we have been offering, I don't think Utomi was the right fit for Groce's offense and I think we have the potential now to open the offense even more. A lot of board members' projected depth charts had question marks at the backup PG position - go get one. 

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1 minute ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

Well that answers that. 

 

This might be a blessing in disguise. I am very thankful Utomi decided to stick around post-Dambrot. 

 

However, based on who we have been offering, I don't think Utomi was the right fit for Groce's offense and I think we have the potential now to open the offense even more. A lot of board members' projected depth charts had question marks at the backup PG position - go get one. 

 

As I pondered next year's lineup, I often saw him ideally as a 6th man, instant offense kind of guy.  Not diminishing his loss by any stretch.  He will be missed.  Kudos to him for sticking it out when others left and his dedication in hitting the weightroom.  Good luck to him.

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Always been a big fan of Utomi, but I can admit he didn't step up the way I thought he would this year. Still hurts. I hope we get some good news, and soon. Tough to feel good about our program when we are losing likely our best player.

Edited by LZIp
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1 minute ago, clarkwgriswold said:

 

As I pondered next year's lineup, I often saw him ideally as a 6th man, instant offense kind of guy.  Not diminishing his loss by any stretch.  He will be missed.  Kudos to him for sticking it out when others left and his dedication in hitting the weightroom.  Good luck to him.

 

Bingo. He was recruited to Dambrot's system, starting off in that 6th man role, and really fit in as a pure shooter in the inside-out system Dambrot ran. Groce likes to run, drive, move, and I felt at times it was bogged down when the ball got to Utomi. 

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Call me a homer as I am a big St. V fan, but I believe Scott Walter will be able to play 6-8 min a game as a backup PG next year. He can come in, run the offense, not turn the ball over and defend. Not sure what else you need from a backup point 

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11 minutes ago, jjackson123 said:

Call me a homer as I am a big St. V fan, but I believe Scott Walter will be able to play 6-8 min a game as a backup PG next year. He can come in, run the offense, not turn the ball over and defend. Not sure what else you need from a backup point 

 

Yes, you are a homer but that's OK!

 

Scott Walter is exactly what you say.  Unfortunately, the Zips need a starting point guard or a guy who can play 15 minutes and start or play significant minutes when LCJ is hurt or having a rough game.

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nothing wrong with homers! I wish Graves was here!! Maybe Mc Day will reconsider with new coach at OU

Edited by infofan

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We Homers gather on Thursday nights to provide fellowship and support through a 12 step program. Remember, admitting it is half the battle.  :wave:

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Keep LCJ and Cheese and get rid of the rest.

Recruit a great freshman class.

Expect to take our lumps but build a team.

The first two years of Groce have built NOTHING and aside from the two players mentioned above the roster is a joke. NOTHING built for the future.

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Utomi leaving.  I did not see that coming.  I agree that he had an off year.  Now you have to wonder how much of that was that he wanted to get out of town.  I think Groce has done a good job with what he had but what is going on when players constantly leave the program.  If he is a good coach and great guy, why leave?  With Kd, we had stability.    With Groce, we have had anything but stability.  The more turnover we have each year, the angrier I get at the AD for not keeping KD.   

 

Parish left program

Cotton left program

Patton left program

Kostlec left program

Gueye   left program punched Kostlec

Hester  left program Never played

Utomi  Left program

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28 minutes ago, 1981 grad said:

Utomi leaving.  I did not see that coming.  I agree that he had an off year.  Now you have to wonder how much of that was that he wanted to get out of town.  I think Groce has done a good job with what he had but what is going on when players constantly leave the program.  If he is a good coach and great guy, why leave?  With Kd, we had stability.    With Groce, we have had anything but stability.  The more turnover we have each year, the angrier I get at the AD for not keeping KD.   

 

Parish left program

Cotton left program

Patton left program

Kostlec left program

Gueye   left program punched Kostlec

Hester  left program Never played

Utomi  Left program

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.

Edited by LZIp
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2 hours ago, 1981 grad said:

Utomi leaving.  I did not see that coming.  I agree that he had an off year.  Now you have to wonder how much of that was that he wanted to get out of town.  I think Groce has done a good job with what he had but what is going on when players constantly leave the program.  If he is a good coach and great guy, why leave?  With Kd, we had stability.    With Groce, we have had anything but stability.  The more turnover we have each year, the angrier I get at the AD for not keeping KD.   

 

Parish left program

Cotton left program

Patton left program

Kostlec left program

Gueye   left program punched Kostlec

Hester  left program Never played

Utomi  Left program

 

I share your concern with guys leaving, more with some that others obviously.  However, KD resigned.  Not pushed, not coerced.  Went off for greener pastures, following a family tradition to a conference that would give him a better chance to get to the big dance.  

Edited by clarkwgriswold

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Even I have to admit that this is quite the list of departures. And if this rate continues long-term it would be impossible to create stability and a winning culture. That said, each of these cases fall into their own camp. I really wish Parrish worked out, he has tons of potential. And Lord knows we could use another center next year. Others were either not talented enough, had attitude issues and in the case of Utomi not the best fit for the system (though I can't say that's why he's leaving). I agree with LZlp that a lot of this is the nature of a program in transition, but attrition happens regularly anyway. Also, I would like to add that it is my opinion that coaches are now much quicker to part ways with players. I am witnessing it with the rebuild at Illinois as well. Right or wrong, new recruits may very well only have a single season to show their potential.

 

The exodus should slow down, it will need to.

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