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What is your concern level?


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2 hours ago, kreed5120 said:

What's the story there?

Zach the Zip was an avid ZNO poster who thoroughly hated Groce from Groce's stint at OU & couldn't stomach the fact he was named HC @ UA.  A few times he got into it with a few ZNO posters who were trying to urge him to give Groce a chance but ZtZ eventually stopped posting entirely.

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Groce really galvanized my support for Akron Basketball! I was a student and fan during the Dambrot era but when JG got to Akron things felt different (and better) maybe that can just be chalked up to mannerisms and enthusiasm but Groce seems to 'get it.'

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44 minutes ago, Blue & Gold said:

Zach the Zip was an avid ZNO poster who thoroughly hated Groce from Groce's stint at OU & couldn't stomach the fact he was named HC @ UA.  A few times he got into it with a few ZNO posters who were trying to urge him to give Groce a chance but ZtZ eventually stopped posting entirely.

Some people feel the need more to be right than they care for their team to suceed.

 

I was probably the biggest Bowden critic on this board(or at least one of them) because I felt settling for 5-7 season with a random 6-7 win season here or there wasn't what Akron should be striving for. That never stopped me from being a fan and still enjoying some of the highs, like beating Northwestern.

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1 hour ago, Blue & Gold said:

Zach the Zip was an avid ZNO poster who thoroughly hated Groce from Groce's stint at OU & couldn't stomach the fact he was named HC @ UA.  A few times he got into it with a few ZNO posters who were trying to urge him to give Groce a chance but ZtZ eventually stopped posting entirely.

 

I thought Zack the Zip was funnier when he was UAkronkid.

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When you have a coach as obviously good ad JG, there has to be concern. His getting hired by someone else presents a level of complexity at his age for him and another school that you may not get with a younger coach. 

 

For the school, is a 52 year old coach what they are looking for?  I don't know. He's sort of on the edge. 

 

For him, how appealing is the location of the next place?  NE Ohio is a good place to live, especially at his income level. He seems like a happy guy. I also believe he has school age kids. The schools around NEOhio are very good and disrupting his kids schooling may not be something he wants to do. 

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Maybe if we restart inane debates like an arena on campus or downtown we can lure them both out of retirement. On second thought, I don't know if I could take it. 

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3 hours ago, GP1 said:

... I also believe he has school age kids. The schools around NEOhio are very good and disrupting his kids schooling may not be something he wants to do. 

 

I think you hit on a major factor here. This might also be the case with the assistant coaches.

 

 

Edited by Illini Zip
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3 hours ago, GP1 said:

When you have a coach as obviously good ad JG, there has to be concern. His getting hired by someone else presents a level of complexity at his age for him and another school that you may not get with a younger coach. 

 

For the school, is a 52 year old coach what they are looking for?  I don't know. He's sort of on the edge. 

 

For him, how appealing is the location of the next place?  NE Ohio is a good place to live, especially at his income level. He seems like a happy guy. I also believe he has school age kids. The schools around NEOhio are very good and disrupting his kids schooling may not be something he wants to do. 

52 I don't think is old enough to be a concern. Coaches usually coach until early to mid 60s before they voluntarily retire. That would give whatever program that would be interested 10 years with him. That's much longer than the average coach stays at any program. If we was 57-58 I can see his age being a deterrent.

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I can think of millions of reasons why other schools might be hesitant to hire JG away from Akron. I think the type of program he runs is a perfect fit for a quality mid-major. He isn't greasy enough for the average P-5 up and comer. Hopefully improvements to the JAR and other enhancements to the program keep him around. He is a perfect fit for Akron.

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28 minutes ago, Hilltopper said:

I can think of millions of reasons why other schools might be hesitant to hire JG away from Akron. I think the type of program he runs is a perfect fit for a quality mid-major. He isn't greasy enough for the average P-5 up and comer. Hopefully improvements to the JAR and other enhancements to the program keep him around. He is a perfect fit for Akron.

Agreed. Just wish Akron (general community) would support him better. Seems like a sect of fans disappeared when KD did and never came back.

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1 hour ago, Hilltopper said:

I can think of millions of reasons why other schools might be hesitant to hire JG away from Akron. I think the type of program he runs is a perfect fit for a quality mid-major. He isn't greasy enough for the average P-5 up and comer. Hopefully improvements to the JAR and other enhancements to the program keep him around. He is a perfect fit for Akron.

Akron has been a success for the past 25 years because we have had 2 quality coaches who know how to run a program, find quality recruits who want to improve their game and are willing to be coached, and are content to coach at the mid major level.  There were weird circumstances that forced KD to leave and I do not believe it will happen again with JG.  I think he will stay with the program and even with the rebuild next year we will be competitive in the MAC.

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Warning: I got long-winded late at night, sorry.

 

When it comes to recruiting, there are few better than Groce. A saying at Illinois was "Mothers love Groce" for the way he was able to alleviate their concerns during the process. And the guy's work ethic is off the charts. Also, I think he (and Dustin Ford) have proven to be solid at player development as well as game planning at each of their stops. As long as the Akron administration continues to meet him half way the sky is the limit. I believed that on day one and nothing has changed. Groce has the ability and the patience to continue to grow this program incrementally. And I believe we would be even further along if not for COVID.

 

It's my opinion that injuries and the unethical side of the business is why Groce failed at Illinois. Nothing more. You lose your 4 star point guard 2 years in a row to season ending injury it's going to have ramifications. And today, if Illinois gets into that 2 way battle vs. Villanova for Jalen Brunson they would send in the CEO of the NIL Collective to try to seal the deal. Groce didn't want any part of that crap. I don't have first-hand knowledge, but the evidence was clear then. Groce ended up the "recruiting bridesmaid" way too many times on the high level recruits for it to be pure misfortune. Groce always talked about "not taking any short cuts". I took that statement to mean he had no intention of buying a championship. Now thanks to NIL, all of those seedy dealings are legal and part of the standard operating procedure. The other aspect of the P6 racket that I don't think people quite appreciate is the pressure to win immediately. I know from following Illinois that P6 fan bases can be entitled and insufferable. And their donors can be even worse. I don't see any of that appealing to him anymore.

 

There are many factors that motivate a student athlete to attend a university; prestige, promises of going pro, immediate cash payouts, specific educational goals, family legacy, other relationships such as girlfriends, favorite team growing up, etc. Some of those might not apply to Akron, but here are a couple that might. Guys from the Cleveland area can play for their local team and their friends / family can attend many of the games. Freeman's family is a great example. And this is the pitch I believe Groce is using more than any other; come to Akron and you can be a part of building something special, something bigger than yourself, create your own legacy and the players that follow you will stand on your shoulders to reach even higher. This approach appeals to a certain personality and it's not for everyone. But Groce can sell that.

 

I truly believe Groce is just getting started. Go Zips!!

 

 

Edited by Illini Zip
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5 hours ago, LZIp said:

Agreed. Just wish Akron (general community) would support him better. Seems like a sect of fans disappeared when KD did and never came back.

I feel covid was equally to blame. You had people get out of the routine of going to games and they never returned once things returned to normal.

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7 hours ago, Illini Zip said:

Warning: I got long-winded late at night, sorry.

 

When it comes to recruiting, there are few better than Groce. A saying at Illinois was "Mothers love Groce" for the way he was able to alleviate their concerns during the process. And the guy's work ethic is off the charts. Also, I think he (and Dustin Ford) have proven to be solid at player development as well as game planning at each of their stops. As long as the Akron administration continues to meet him half way the sky is the limit. I believed that on day one and nothing has changed. Groce has the ability and the patience to continue to grow this program incrementally. And I believe we would be even further along if not for COVID.

 

It's my opinion that injuries and the unethical side of the business is why Groce failed at Illinois. Nothing more. You lose your 4 star point guard 2 years in a row to season ending injury it's going to have ramifications. And today, if Illinois gets into that 2 way battle vs. Villanova for Jalen Brunson they would send in the CEO of the NIL Collective to try to seal the deal. Groce didn't want any part of that crap. I don't have first-hand knowledge, but the evidence was clear then. Groce ended up the "recruiting bridesmaid" way too many times on the high level recruits for it to be pure misfortune. Groce always talked about "not taking any short cuts". I took that statement to mean he had no intention of buying a championship. Now thanks to NIL, all of those seedy dealings are legal and part of the standard operating procedure. The other aspect of the P6 racket that I don't think people quite appreciate is the pressure to win immediately. I know from following Illinois that P6 fan bases can be entitled and insufferable. And their donors can be even worse. I don't see any of that appealing to him anymore.

 

There are many factors that motivate a student athlete to attend a university; prestige, promises of going pro, immediate cash payouts, specific educational goals, family legacy, other relationships such as girlfriends, favorite team growing up, etc. Some of those might not apply to Akron, but here are a couple that might. Guys from the Cleveland area can play for their local team and their friends / family can attend many of the games. Freeman's family is a great example. And this is the pitch I believe Groce is using more than any other; come to Akron and you can be a part of building something special, something bigger than yourself, create your own legacy and the players that follow you will stand on your shoulders to reach even higher. This approach appeals to a certain personality and it's not for everyone. But Groce can sell that.

 

I truly believe Groce is just getting started. Go Zips!!

 

 

 

From your mouth to the basketball Gods' ears!

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1 hour ago, Zippy87 said:

Whatever happens, I just hope if he does choose to leave that we wish him well and appreciate his time here. I'll never understand the KD-haters.

Meh, I appreciate KDs time here very much. And I'm not a "hater," but taking our players and recruits wasn't really the way to go about it imo. Groce had a very large hole to dig out of, and luckily he did. We could have been that year's version of current UB

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3 hours ago, zippy5 said:

Meh, I appreciate KDs time here very much. And I'm not a "hater," but taking our players and recruits wasn't really the way to go about it imo. Groce had a very large hole to dig out of, and luckily he did. We could have been that year's version of current UB

 

It's not uncommon for players to follow the coach who recruited them. Michael Hughes and Tavian Dunn-Martin, who were both freshmen, were pretty much it. Antino Jackson, Noah Robotham, and Aaron Jackson went elsewhere. Isaiah Johnson and Kwan Cheatham had just graduated. It was going to be a retooling year no matter what. 

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8 hours ago, Zippy87 said:

 

It's not uncommon for players to follow the coach who recruited them. Michael Hughes and Tavian Dunn-Martin, who were both freshmen, were pretty much it. Antino Jackson, Noah Robotham, and Aaron Jackson went elsewhere. Isaiah Johnson and Kwan Cheatham had just graduated. It was going to be a retooling year no matter what. 

 

True. 

 

According to Groce, when he was considering taking the job they thought that they could quickly get up to speed as they'd have a nice core of returners but by the time he arrived in Akron for the presser nearly everyone was out the door.    That makes the fact that he made a competitive team that first year out of a bunch of last minute recruits even more impressive.

 

At the end of the day, if you're still sore about the KD situation it's well past time to move on.

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10 hours ago, Zippy87 said:

 

It's not uncommon for players to follow the coach who recruited them. Michael Hughes and Tavian Dunn-Martin, who were both freshmen, were pretty much it. Antino Jackson, Noah Robotham, and Aaron Jackson went elsewhere. Isaiah Johnson and Kwan Cheatham had just graduated. It was going to be a retooling year no matter what. 

Kwan is now playing in Grenada and has played on a number of teams across Europe.  Glad to see a former Zip playing professionally.  His mom used to post on this board and was very nice.

Edited by 1981 grad
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7 hours ago, clarkwgriswold said:

At the end of the day, if you're still sore about the KD situation it's well past time to move on.

 

He's getting paid more money to coach a worse program with a non-existent fanbase. I think the Zips hit their ceiling with KD and it was time to move on. I couldn't care less that he took players with him. But his comments about having an easier path the the NCAA tourney with the Dukes rubbed me the wrong way. How many times has he made it since leaving Akron? Also pretending like they are Lebron's school now is hilarious. 

 

Add on that I'm a lifelong Cleveland fan wired to hate everything Pittsburgh and the fact that I dated a girl from Duquesne when I was at UA. I have personal reasons to hate that school 😂

Edited by akzipper
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1 hour ago, akzipper said:

 

He's getting paid more money to coach a worse program with a non-existent fanbase. I think the Zips hit their ceiling with KD and it was time to move on. I couldn't care less that he took players with him. But his comments about having an easier path the the NCAA tourney with the Dukes rubbed me the wrong way. How many times has he made it since leaving Akron? Also pretending like they are Lebron's school now is hilarious. 

 

Add on that I'm a lifelong Cleveland fan wired to hate everything Pittsburgh and the fact that I dated a girl from Duquesne when I was at UA. I have personal reasons to hate that school 😂

 

Maybe his wording wasn't great (I don't remember the exact quote) but at the time he was 100% correct that the A-10 historically had much better odds of teams getting selected for at-large bids than the MAC. Even in our best conference years, we're always a one-bid league. It's been BS some years, but it's been reality.

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