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clarkwgriswold

2019-2020 Akron Zips Basketball- Looking Forward

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So going into next year we have a 5'7" PG, a backup PG (will probably be the best player on the team by far IF he stays).

No center

No forwards.

 

Yah, gonna have another GREAT year.

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1 hour ago, Illini Zip said:

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.

 

If for no other reason than to keep fan interest.  This isn't Kentucky where there's turnover every year.  Fans need to connect with players over time and that connection is built over seasons.    I went up to JImond's dad on senior night congratulated him and told him how much the Zips fans had enjoyed watching his son grow up at UA.  You don't get that connection with one and two year players.

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2 minutes ago, clarkwgriswold said:

 

If for no other reason than to keep fan interest.  This isn't Kentucky where there's turnover every year.  Fans need to connect with players over time and that connection is built over seasons.    I went up to JImond's dad on senior night congratulated him and told him how much the Zips fans had enjoyed watching his son grow up at UA.  You don't get that connection with one and two year players.

 

I agree with all of that. This turnover is insane and I bet he isn't even done for the year. But this is the exception, not the norm. Transition.

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4 minutes ago, Illini Zip said:

 

I agree with all of that. This turnover is insane and I bet he isn't even done for the year. But this is the exception, not the norm. Transition.

 

I sure hope.  Groce had to get things up to speed quickly which brought us JUCOs and transfers who tend to be short timers.  That should be coming to an end.

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Agreed. Also, let me add that Groce will have 2 full classes coming in back to back starting with the Fall signing period (Likely all high school recruits). And he has had more time to recruit these guys and build relationships with them. Consider the normal process takes around 3 years. It doesn't mean every player will work out. But it does mean that Groce has been able to size them up for longer in terms of their skill and temperament. And that usually leads to a much higher retention rate.

Edited by Illini Zip
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Losing our #1 scorer off a team that finished last in the MAC in offense certainly is going to hurt. Groce is going to need to turn water into wine to make us contenders next year. I don't know how he can do it, but for our sakes I hope he does it. He still has 4 years at 650k per year left on his deal. Like it or not we're pretty much stuck with him for the next 3 seasons as I can't see Akron buying out more than 1 year.

Edited by kreed5120
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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!

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9 hours ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

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!

 

Some very good points Let'sGo, but I did not see notable improvement in Riak.  I have no complaints about Riak.  He is what he is- a defensively focused, offensively challenged big man who plays hard and leads the defense.  However, he was the same guy against Cedarville that he was against Buffalo and the stats show that straight line consistency throughout the season rather than substantial growth.

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7 minutes ago, clarkwgriswold said:

 

Some very good points Let'sGo, but I did not see notable improvement in Riak.  I have no complaints about Riak.  He is what he is- a defensively focused, offensively challenged big man who plays hard and leads the defense.  However, he was the same guy against Cedarville that he was against Buffalo and the stats show that straight line consistency throughout the season rather than substantial growth.

 

He became much more physical as the season wore on, especially towards the end. Defensively he really came into his own as well, consistently gaining strong positioning on his opponents, playing straight up, smart, etc. Guys like Riak are going to be hard to judge when looking at a stat sheet. I was simply impressed by the improvement in effort & physicality throughout the season. 

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11 minutes ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

 

He became much more physical as the season wore on, especially towards the end. Defensively he really came into his own as well, consistently gaining strong positioning on his opponents, playing straight up, smart, etc. Guys like Riak are going to be hard to judge when looking at a stat sheet. I was simply impressed by the improvement in effort & physicality throughout the season. 

He did do a nice job of not fouling.  Until his senior year, even Zeke was in foul trouble more often than not.  

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50 minutes ago, Blue & Gold said:

He did do a nice job of not fouling.  Until his senior year, even Zeke was in foul trouble more often than not.  

 

By virtue of playing 23 minutes and not fouling out in that Buffalo debacle, he gets that distinction!

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He only fouled out twice the entire season. That's not bad for a starting C. He picked up some dumb fouls over the course of the season, who doesn't, but I never viewed that as a weakness in his game like I viewed it in Kostelac and E-Man. His weakness has been that his hands have been bricks this year. Even when he does catch it in the low post the ball has been either stripped or he misses a bunny or dunk. I actually like Riak for his defensive presence, but there is no mistaking he needs to work on catching a pass in traffic and finish at the rim.

Edited by kreed5120
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The official NCAA transfer list is already at 275.  College basketball is different than it was 5 years ago.  Most teams are going to have to adjust, especially the mid-major teams.  This could be where we find the PG we need.

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2 minutes ago, ZIPS96 said:

Also, E-Man is one of the 275.

 

Does this mean he is potentially transferring, or 100% transferring once he finds a new school?

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I like E-Man, but it's probably for the best. We didn't need to have 3 offensively deficient centers on our roster.

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Great kid.  He has dropped off as a basketball player, though I wonder if the dropoff has been in part to their inability to run a pick and roll.  

 

I do have to say that every player that moves on plants another seed of doubt in my mind.

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7 minutes ago, clarkwgriswold said:

Great kid.  He has dropped off as a basketball player, though I wonder if the dropoff has been in part to their inability to run a pick and roll.  

 

I do have to say that every player that moves on plants another seed of doubt in my mind.

Yes and no. I don't know the story here, but not every player that moves on does it on their own accord.

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I definitely feel there needs to be some sort of balance. You don't want to keep a bunch of players on the roster that aren't good enough to play on a top tier MAC squad, but if a coach isn't showing loyalty to his players it may lead to guys like Utomi asking why should they show loyalty to the coach or university by returning when they have better options available to them. Not to say that was the case in this situation or not as frankly I don't know. 

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53 minutes ago, clarkwgriswold said:

Great kid.  He has dropped off as a basketball player, though I wonder if the dropoff has been in part to their inability to run a pick and roll.  

 

I do have to say that every player that moves on plants another seed of doubt in my mind.

If we only had Pat Forsythe

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So who will get PT in Groce's third season that also got PT in his first?

 

Sayles maybe but he hasn't finished a season healthy yet.

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On 3/18/2019 at 5:47 PM, LZIp said:

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.

KD also recruited 8 freshmen for this year, almost all of whom went to one high school for their career from what I can tell. That is how you build a program instead of dominating it with multiple high school, prep/basketball academy, other school commits,  junior college etc. guys. You plug in the holes with those transfer guys. I'm not sure how stable a roster will ever be when the kids you bring in are already used to moving around so much. The only traditional freshman Groce has brought in the last two years is Ali. Heck, we just lost two guys who were loyal to the program and stuck around after the coaching change. Plus we lost 3 others during the year. I'm not sure how this compares to all the other schools, but things need to settle down real soon.

Edited by ewbrooman1
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For all of you KD deadenders, what do you want?  Do you want him back?  Do you want to win the MAC regular season or East division each year and then lose in the finals?  Do you want to lose your post season games by double digits?  Do you think the cast of players KD left Akron were going to take out Buffalo these last two seasons if only he were coach?  Or maybe you want to lose in first round if your conference tourney to a coach who then gets fired after 24 years. One program in the MAC right now is truly succeeding.  Another, BG, after 4 years with a new coach (not counting the year with Janz), is finally making a move.    The rest of the programs are status quo.  Like we all said, Groce can be a Saul Phillips or a Michael Huger.  Same with the Miami coach.  

Edited by NWAkron
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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.

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