Akron Zips!

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Akron Zips!

Postby Commissioner » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:09 am

[font size="4"]Akron![/font]
When: Saturday, December 1, 5:00 p.m.
Where: Akron, Ohio
TV: ESPN 3
Radio: AM 910 Superstation

The Titans, coming off a disappointing loss to Kent State, face Akron in a non-conference game on Saturday. Let's face it--the Titans blew it on Wednesday, when we had a good Kent State team on the ropes. Hopefully, it's a worthwhile lesson. Hopefully, we will start replacing such lessons with wins.

Akron has, like it's local rival Kent State, become one of the most solid, year-in, year-out programs in the MAC. Under Coach Keith Dambrot, the Zips had 13 straight seasons of 19 or more wins, the last 12 of those 21 or more wins. Dambrot took several of their better players when he went to Duquesne after the 2017 season, and under former Illinois coach John Groce, the Zips fell to 14-18 last year. But they may be back, entering Friday with a 5-2 mark. I say "may" because it's a most unimpressive list of wins: D-II Cedarville, Horizon doormat Youngstown State, Division I doormat Chicago State, SWAC doormat Alabama State, and a struggling 1-6 St. Bonaventure squad. All at home or on neutral floors. On the other hand, they've won those 5 games by an average of 27 points. Their losses--to MVC favorite Illinois State (by 5 on a neutral floor) and Clemson (by 3 on a neutral floor)--may be more impressive than their wins.

It looks like the Zips will play this one without their 6-10 center, Deng Riak. Riak appears to have reinjured his shoulder, an problem that kept him out of most of the 2016 season, and caused him to miss all of Akron's last game, against Alabama State. I can't find any update on his status, but while it always hurts to lose a starter, he's not the key guy on this team. Riak had been averaging 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in a bit over 20 minutes per game.

Assuming Riak is out, Akron's starters look like this:

PG: Loren Jackson, 5-8 RS Soph. (13.6 ppg, 3.9 apg, 34.0% 3PtFG)
SG: Jimond Ivey, 6-4 RS Sr. (11.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.0 apg)
G: Channel Banks, 6-4 Jr. (9.0 ppg, 40.6% 3PtFG)
F: Daniel Utomi, 6-6 RS Jr. (14.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 35.7% 3Pt FG)
F: Jaden Sayles, 6-9 Soph (2.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg).

Sayles started the Alabama State game, but before then he was neither playing nor producing much, and he played just 18 minutes in that romp. He's also said to be soft in the lane. So it's quite possible Groce will go with some else. That else would likely be my favorite name on the Akron roster, 6-5 junior Tyler Cheese, who had 19 points and 5 assists against Alabama State, and averages 10.0 ppg. Whether he starts or not, he'll play starter minutes. Other key bench players include Jeremy Roscoe, a 6-2 junior guard (3.3 ppg) and Emma Olojakpoke, a 6-8 junior forward (3.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg). Olojakpoke might start if Groce wanted try someone other than Sayles but stay with a bigger lineup.

The Titans are 4-5 all-time against Akron. We played the Zips 4 straight years from 2011 through 2014, with Akron taking 3 of 4. Before that you go back to a 1992 season match up that the Titans won, 55-54, in a tournament in Hawaii.

Akron was picked to finish 5th in the MAC East this year, two spots below Kent State. This is a winnable road game, but it will be a tough game, and as the Titans hopefully learned on Wednesday, we lack the raw talent to afford mental lapses and even short energy lags of the type that cost us the Kent game. It might tickle Titan fans, though, that the Akron forum seems kind of excited to welcome the Titans--"At last, a decent team, the Detroit Mercy Titans, comes to the JAR" reads one post. And of course, Antoine and his 30 ppg scoring average is generating some buzz. It's nice to be a desirable road attraction again.

Go Titans!
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby Resurget Cineribus » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:57 am

Thanks Commish and Go Titans!
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby titanmac » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:47 pm

we are being given 11 points. take them.
In Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power! Well that basketball court out there tonight, that's our universe. Let's rule it like Titans! (with apologies to coach boon)
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby TitanVoiceofReason » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:39 pm

tied at half now down by 4 with just under 9 to go. Don't like the tempo of the second half.

Ivey is killing us
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby titanmac » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:15 pm

the 9-0 run sealed it.
In Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power! Well that basketball court out there tonight, that's our universe. Let's rule it like Titans! (with apologies to coach boon)
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby Rogobob77 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:16 pm

titanmac wrote:we are being given 11 points. take them.

ESPN showed the gameday line as 13.
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby TitanVoiceofReason » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:18 pm

titanmac, the Zips covered the spread...….rats.....hey rogo, just saw the ESPN 13 point spread you posted, we split the difference

We need another guard who can score off the bench and take some of the heat off of AD and McFolley. It appears the other team plays them aggressively and wears them down. Hopefully Riley will be that player. He averaged 37.6 his senior year in high school.

We need one more off the bench who is a pure scorer.

The team is playing hard. The effort is there. Good things are happening.
Last edited by TitanVoiceofReason on Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby TitanVoiceofReason » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:36 pm

The 3 Stars of the Game
chosen by Tony Paul ;)

1. Ivey
2. Davis
3. Utomi
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby titanmac » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:47 pm

did you go to the game tvr?
In Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power! Well that basketball court out there tonight, that's our universe. Let's rule it like Titans! (with apologies to coach boon)
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby TitanVoiceofReason » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:23 pm

titanmac wrote:did you go to the game tvr?


tmac, no I watched the game on ESPN3 feed. Were you there?
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby ptctitan » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:06 am

On the radio after the game, Coach Davis did not sound pleased with how the officials called the game.
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby titanmac » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:10 pm

no just the statcast. was disappointing. but sometimes there's more to it than you can see?
In Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power! Well that basketball court out there tonight, that's our universe. Let's rule it like Titans! (with apologies to coach boon)
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby TitanVoiceofReason » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:35 pm

ptctitan wrote:On the radio after the game, Coach Davis did not sound pleased with how the officials called the game.


The tv announcers were Akron people. They did not shed any light why Coach Davis was upset with the officiating. They didn't understand why Davis was upset when the refs gave him a technical. Overall, these announcers liked both coach Davis as well as AD. They often mentioned that AD is the #2 scorer in the nation.

Also, during the 1st half the tv announcers kept getting Blackshear and McFolley mixed up. They would say Blackshear with the 3 point try or Blackshear drives the lane when it was McFolley taking these shots. At first I thought the clock shot was winding down and Blackshear was taking a desperation 3. Then I noticed it was #23 McFolley taking the "Blackshear" shots. A humorous moment.....the old game inside of the game, at least inside the heads of the announcers. :lol: Overall, I was satisfied how the announcers broadcasted the game
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby 1975SHjoe » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:38 pm

Something is wrong with an offense when you manage 4 assists in theAkron game, 3 of which happened in the first half. The defense went out of sync in the second half surrendering 46. We desperately need another consistent scorer. With Davis playing 40 minutes a game you have to wonder if he is beginning to wear out. His shooting percentage is not what it was earlier in the year Maybe he is just trying to do to much. Couple that with three games in five day, not much time to improve the situation. League play should help.
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby ptctitan » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:54 am

1975SHjoe wrote:Something is wrong with an offense when you manage 4 assists in the Akron game, 3 of which happened in the first half. The defense went out of sync in the second half surrendering 46. We desperately need another consistent scorer. With Davis playing 40 minutes a game you have to wonder if he is beginning to wear out. His shooting percentage is not what it was earlier in the year Maybe he is just trying to do to much. Couple that with three games in five day, not much time to improve the situation. League play should help.


Even the Golden State Warriors endure shooting slumps. They get more pronounced when you rely upon the long jump shot. The lack of a strong inside player hurts us this year because the defenses can focus upon Davis and McFolley without much fear of an inside scoring threat. If King is on, then we have the 3rd outside shooting threat and this opens up the floor.

Reading between the lines of Coach Davis' postgame comments: He thought the Akron defense was vulnerable to the drive. He wanted us to drive the hoop. However, the ref's let Akron play a more physical defense by permitting them to hand-check and arm-bar our drivers. He thought that we were fouled in almost every attempt to do so. As a result, we could not get to the basket, the FT line, or drive and dish.

We are vulnerable to physical play because our two best scorers are quick guards and we do not have a countervailing physical player inside. When we encounter an officiating crew that permits more defense according to the pre-2015-16 rules, then we will struggle until our roster becomes more balanced. Blackshear and Long are not physical inside players. Chris Brandon and Boe Nguidjol have a chance to develop into such players; but, as freshmen, they will be inconsistent this year as they adjust to the D-1 college game. Marquis Moore has the body to be a strong rebounder, but at 6'6", he is a swingman with a 3-pt shot - a valuable asset down the road as he develops.

I've watched every game on TV. This is the reality that I see. What I also see is a coaching staff with a good tactical game plan plus the ability to adjust correctly to the in-game situations.

Finally, I also accept that Coach Davis is using these games to test various player combinations. Therefore, although he wants to win these games, he has a co-equal goal of developing his squad into a strong unit for the HL season. The only certainty now is that Davis and McFolley will play lots of minutes. The other 3 spots are open for any player who has the ability and desire to go out and grab those minutes. The one good thing this year is that our points allowed are down significantly versus the past 2-3 seasons. We are getting a much more effective effort on defense - even when we lose.
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby Resurget Cineribus » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:04 am

Which I find amazing (the improved defense) considering I don’t think we’re built to be a good defensive team. But that zone (usually) works to confound the opposition for stretches at least (sometimes we are vulnerable to a high post to low post easy basket). It’s all in the coaching!
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby Tacitus651 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:32 am

The defense has been a clear improvement. One thing I worry about is the wear and tear on Davis and McFolley. They are playing the basketball equivalent of soccer midfielders, constantly trying to be everywhere and do everything for nearly 40 minutes.
"Anything that can be done in college basketball can be done from right here.” - Coach Davis
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Re: Akron Zips!

Postby NC Titan » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:03 pm

I hope Willy gets the OK to play and can do some damage inside.
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