Akron Men's Basketball 2017 NIT Tournament Capsule


Akron Zips

Mid-American (26-8, 14-4)

Akron had a few bad games in February, but other than that this was a Zips team that absolutely dominated the MAC…again. Coach Keith Dambrot has another team that can shoot the ball from just about every position on the floor and a team that is desperate for their first postseason victory since 2008.
Big Wins: 11/22 Georgia Southern (75-67), 12/17 Marshall (99-88), 1/17 Ohio (83-68)
Bad Losses: 11/12 at Youngstown State (82-90), 2/21 at Bowling Green (65-66), 2/28 Miami OH (75-79)
Coach: Keith Dambrot
Why They Can Surprise:
The only player who does not shoot the long ball is leading scorer Isaiah Johnson. The 6-10, 290 pound senior is a massive presence in the paint on both ends of the floor. On top of his 16.7 points and 7.3 rebounds, Johnson dishes out 2.9 assists per game. His ability to find his teammates when double teams come his way creates a lot of open looks for his teammates. And his teammates are not shy about hoisting up three-pointers. Every player in the regular rotation besides Johnson is a legitimate three-point shooting threat. Kwan Cheatham is the most prolific and just about every defender in the country will have difficulty stopping the 6-10 forward from shooting over them. On the perimeter, Antino Jackson and Josh Williams will take the most long balls.
Why They Can Disappoint:
If the three-pointers are not falling, the Zips will be in trouble. Despite the 6-10 frontcourt duo, this is not a good rebounding team. Those two are solid on the glass and Jimond Ivey helps from the wing, but everybody else, including the bench, is not doing much in the rebounding department. Johnson and Cheatham are not strong shot blockers either and so the opposition can get easy buckets attacking the basket and easy buckets from offensive rebounds. The defense also does not create turnovers and Akron rarely gets easy buckets in transition. That puts a lot of pressure on the shooters to keep the offense moving. Eventually the shots will not be falling and the Zips will be heading home.
Probable Starters:
Antino Jackson, Junior, Guard, 11.1 ppg, 2.7 apg
Noah Robotham, Junior, Guard, 8.9 ppg, 3.1 apg
Jimond Ivey, Sophomore, Guard, 10.1 ppg, 2.0 apg, 5.8 rpg
Kwan Cheatham, Senior, Forward, 11.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg
Isaiah Johnson, Senior, Center, 16.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg
Key Role Players:
Daniel Utomi, Freshman, Forward, 4.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg
Josh Williams, Sophomore, Guard, 7.4 ppg
Tavian Dunn-Martin, Freshman, Guard, 3.9 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.6 (77th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.6 (131, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.1 (49, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.1 (194, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.5 (5, 2)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.8 (58, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.2 (246, 10)
Rebound Margin: 2.0 (121, 7)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (90, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.6 (53, 2)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NIT      First Round loss to Ohio State
2014    CIT      First Round loss to IPFW
2013    NCAA Round of 64 loss to VCU
2011    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Notre Dame
2010    CBI      First Round loss to Green Bay
2009    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Gonzaga
2008    NIT      First Round win over Florida State
2008    NIT      Second Round loss to Massachusetts
2006    NIT      Opening Round win over Temple
2006    NIT      First Round loss to Creighton
*all team stats through 3/5