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Zips Basketball- Looking Back to 21-22/Looking Forward to 22-23


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Well, after processing for a few minutes I’ve got a couple thoughts. He probably is either believing in his own press, or knows that the likelihood of playing pro basketball in America isnt great when you play college ball in the MAC. I am more surprised that he would leave the program that gave him a chance when no others did, after an amazing title run and with the same group moving forward. Maybe he comes back, who knows what his intentions are. I haven’t seen anything from him on social media. 
 

If he does leave, that’s another open roster spot we can fill with a guy who is a good fit with a similar or better skill set. It’s not the end of the world, just a bit of a shock. 

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1 minute ago, LoyalZIP said:

Well, after processing for a few minutes I’ve got a couple thoughts. He probably is either believing in his own press, or knows that the likelihood of playing pro basketball in America isnt great when you play college ball in the MAC. I am more surprised that he would leave the program that gave him a chance when no others did, after an amazing title run and with the same group moving forward. Maybe he comes back, who knows what his intentions are. I haven’t seen anything from him on social media. 
 

If he does leave, that’s another open roster spot we can fill with a guy who is a good fit with a similar or better skill set. It’s not the end of the world, just a bit of a shock. 

If this were Freeman, I would be very upset for a number of reasons.  Ali Ali isn't a super star.  He's a solid MAC player.  Dead to me now :)

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Akron and Groce showed him a lot of faith when few others did, and subsequently delivered the goods in playing time and team advancement. Seems like bad advice to tell him to leave his present situation. Too bad...

 

Did being mentioned in the Kent rap song hurt his feelings?

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Meh, I think he's replaceable but to assume its a given is a stretch. For every year X Williams, LCJ, etc...there seems to be a Eric Hester, Jeremy Roscoe, Kdahim Gueye.

 

Losing your leading scorer isn't no big deal. Groce & Co has their work cut out for them.

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3 minutes ago, LZIp said:

Meh, I think he's replaceable but to assume its a given is a stretch. For every year X Williams, LCJ, etc...there seems to be a Eric Hester, Jeremy Roscoe, Kdahim Gueye.

 

Losing your leading scorer isn't no big deal. Groce & Co has their work cut out for them.

I'd rather lose my leading scorer than my best defender/rebounder.

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The thought that you can't make the NBA if you play in the MAC is a farce. If you're good enough the NBA will find you no matter where you play. Just look at Ja Morant who was drafted #2 overall out of a weaker OVC conference. It just happens to be the most talented players gravitate towards the P6 conferences.

 

Ali departure is certainly a loss. 6'8 players who shoot 40%+ from 3 and can guard multiple positions don't just grow on trees. I don't necessarily think it means next season is doomed, but just means Groce has more work to do.

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This never would have happened if he was still required to sit out a year. Don't agree with the decision at all, but it's not my life. Every season guys are drafted from mid-majors. Want to get noticed by NBA scouts? Play well and help your team make a run in the tournament. Be the next Steph Curry, CJ McCollum, Gordon Hayward, etc.

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I actually thought there was a chance Ali Ali would transfer from how he's been talked up by many like UCLA's Cronin ("KD like shots") and his decision-making in the UCLA game. I think this move for him has to do with big moments. Maybe he believes that if he's in more pressure games (a power conference), maybe he wouldn't struggle in the bigger games, like the UCLA game (especially that miss to the corner). 

I wish Ali Ali best of luck wherever he goes (outside of the MAC obviously), but I trust Groce and staff moving forward. 

EDIT: I just looked at a conversation I had with a friend after the Zips lost to UCLA. One of the messages I sent on 3/18 was "I think Ali will enter the transfer portal". It was a gut instinct, but it didn't shock me when I saw that move today. 

Edited by mes102
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Posted (edited)

This one pi$$e$ me off a little so I am not going to sugarcoat it.  Here is a kid that was recruited by a single D1 school.  That school allowed him to get on the court early and when he made obvious mistakes the head coach stood up and praised him to the press.  He's now obviously been sold a bill of goods by hangers on and other programs and rather than stick by those who have stuck by him he is buying the the unwarranted perception that he's an NBA prospect.  Let's be honest.  NBA prospects dominate the MAC as freshman or sophomores, they don't enter their 4th year in a MAC  program as a "nice" MAC player.  

Edited by clarkwgriswold
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51 minutes ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

Wow. Did not see that coming.

 

His attitude when things got tough was a turn off, and his production wasn't consistent. He's replaceable, but this does hurt. He seemed to be all in on ZFence.

I guess you got 1/3 of your wish.  Actually, 2/3 of your wish.

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26 minutes ago, akzipper said:

This never would have happened if he was still required to sit out a year. Don't agree with the decision at all, but it's not my life. Every season guys are drafted from mid-majors. Want to get noticed by NBA scouts? Play well and help your team make a run in the tournament. Be the next Steph Curry, CJ McCollum, Gordon Hayward, etc.

We also wouldn't have had Castaneda this year under the old rules therefore likely wouldn't have made the tournament. Embracing the transfer portal is the only way to succeed in college basketball as a mid-major. You have to take the good with the bad. You just have to keep bringing in more quality transfers than you lose. It's also why recruiting hs players IMO isn't that great to build a team. Why spend 2-3 years of scholarships on a player just for him to leave after 1 good year when you can bring in players that can help you win day 1?

Edited by kreed5120
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26 minutes ago, LoyalZIP said:

Next man up, in Groce we trust baby!!!

I need to hear from Coach Groce that everything is going to be OK. This team is ready to take off. 

 

The big challenge is for us to get a few more pieces with the Ali, Trimble and Kalle scholarships now open.  I hope Groce and his staff can work their magic.

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43 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

It's also why recruiting hs players IMO isn't that great to build a team. Why spend 2-3 years of scholarships on a player just for him to leave after 1 good year when you can bring in players that can help you win day 1?

How could Groce know a hs kid almost completely unrecruited would leave his program prematurely? 

 

We're had enough transfers that have been complete busts that I'm not sold on the portal to base my recruiting on it. 

 

There are evils either way. 

 

A shame a player in such a great situation would leave because he felt he was too good for it.

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This is what I posted on social media

But I'll be more blunt here. This hurts. This hurts for us and for him.  For us it hurts on a personal level in that Groce & Co. gave Ali his only chance and have poured 3 years into developing his game. Now some other program gets to enjoy the fruits of Groce's risk, faith, and labor, while we fans get yet another "what if" scenario.  But more importantly, this hurts for Ali because I think he's gotten woefully bad advice. He would have been a team leader here for the next two years on a young team with fantastic locker room and on-court chemistry, enjoyed a luxuriously long leash from Coach Groce, would have continued to have plays drawn up for him, and would have gotten 40-minutes of PT a game if he wanted.  He was a perfect fit for this culture and for this system.  Good luck getting that anywhere else.

 

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This is the type of portal move that turns me off to college basketball.  I don't blame the kid, and to be honest, would do the same in his position. 

 

Unfortunately, we must accept the following: We are cheering for the laundry.  Nothing more, nothing less.

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42 minutes ago, Captain Kangaroo said:

How could Groce know a hs kid almost completely unrecruited would leave his program prematurely? 

 

We're had enough transfers that have been complete busts that I'm not sold on the portal to base my recruiting on it. 

 

There are evils either way. 

 

A shame a player in such a great situation would leave because he felt he was too good for it.

I'm not faulting Groce nor saying don't recruit hs players at all. Just that you need to heavily rely on the transfer portal to succeed this day and age, which is what Groce has done. LCJ, Xeyrius, Cheese, Banks, Riak, and Castaneda were all transfers.

 

Sure there have been some whiffs, but at this point I feel Groce has whiffed far more frequently on hs players than he has transfers.

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Just now, zippypitt said:

This is the type of portal move that turns me off to college basketball.  I don't blame the kid, and to be honest, would do the same in his position. 

 

Unfortunately, we must accept the following: We are cheering for the laundry.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Yep. I cheer for anyone who wears AKRON on their chest.  But it's fun watching the young men develop & then tearing up for them on Senior Night.

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