#128 Akron Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Akron Zips

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #128
Conference Rank: #4 Mid-American

Akron Team Page#128 Akron Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Akron Basketball Tickets

Once again Akron dominated the Mid-American Conference. The team ended the year with a 26-7 overall record and lost just two games to conference foes…and those two came in March. The Zips earned a program best 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but a tough matchup against VCU made their tournament trip forgettable. Yet once again Akron and Coach Keith Dambrot are ready to reload and stay towards the top of the table in the always competitive MAC. The Zips focus will stay in the frontcourt despite the loss of center Zeke Marshall. Demetrius Treadwell, a 6-7 senior, averaged 11.5 points and a team high 7.9 rebounds last season. He is a crafty scorer in the paint and will always be tough on the glass. Having Marshall in the paint certainly made life easier for Treadwell, but he has the skill to make his own way. But he will get help from senior Nick Harney. Harney is more of a versatile power forward who can step out and shoot a little and that scoring punch will be needed this year.

2012-13 Record: 26-7, 14-2
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Keith Dambrot
Coach Record: 210-94 at Akron, 318-164 overall

Who’s Out:
Marshall, who averaged 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.7 blocks is a huge loss. He is not the only one however. Fellow starters Alex Abreu and Brian Walsh are also gone. Abreu wrapped up a great collegiate career by averaging 10.3 points and 6.0 assists. It was the absence of Abreu that spurred Akron’s late season slip and now they have to find a full-time solution at the point. Walsh was often overlooked on a talented team. He was never the most potent scorer, but Walsh was a decent shooter. Chauncey Gilliam started 13 games during his senior season. The 6-5 forward averaged about 15 minutes per game and he always gave a good defensive effort on the wing.

Who’s In:
Akron has five talented newcomers to throw into the mix this season, most notably junior college transfer Nyles Evans. The 5-11 point guard is the first junior college transfer to head to Akron during the Coach Dambrot era. That says a lot about how much the Zips need an experienced point guard. Evans is not just a floor leader. He can lead the defensive effort and do plenty of scoring as well. The four incoming freshmen will not need to do much this season, but guards B.J. Gladden and Aaron Jackson will compete for quality minutes off of the bench. Both are capable ball handlers, but are better suited to play off the ball. Jackson’s 6-7 frame and ability to shoot the ball makes him an interesting prospect and Gladden is a tough 6-6 wing who can help out on the glass. The frontcourt adds Kwan Cheatham and Isaiah Jackson. Cheatham has sprouted into a 6-9 power forward. He plays like a guard, but now looks like a power forward. Once he learns how to play up to his size, Cheatham will be a tough matchup. Johnson, at 6-10 and 285 pounds, will likely see some minutes this year as the backup center.

Who to Watch:
Carmelo Betancourt did not prove much during his freshman campaign, but he will be right in the mix for the starting point guard spot, especially if Evans needs time to adjust. Betancourt is not much of a shooter or a scorer, but if he can keep the turnovers down and get the scorers involved in the offense, the Zips will be happy. Last season Harney had the ball in his hands quite a bit and Quincy Diggs could handle the ball too. Diggs missed all of last season due to a suspension, but the 6-6 forward averaged 8.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists back in 2011-2012. Ideally Diggs will use his versatility from the wing, but if push comes to shove he can handle the ball. Jake Kretzer, Reggie McAdams and Deji Ibitayo will bolster the backcourt. Kretzer and McAdams are both 6-7 sophomores who showed plenty of potential as freshmen. Both are good outside shooters and their size makes Akron a very tough matchup for most teams in the MAC.

Final Projection:
With their size on the wings, Akron could start Harney and Treadwell in the frontcourt most of the time. Yet, Pat Forsythe could be a fine replacement for Marshall at the five spot. That would allow the Zips to play big like they have been used to over the last few years. Starting Forsythe, a 6-11 sophomore, would put pressure on players like Johnson who would need to provide quality depth off of the bench. Forsythe is a decent interior scorer and a capable shot blocker, so he will be playing quite a few minutes whether he starts or not. But this team will come down to point guard play. If Evans is ready to go from day one or Betancourt emerges from a relatively unimpressive freshman campaign, the Zips will be at the top of the MAC standings. Even with some struggles at the point, Akron will not drop too far down the pecking order.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Nyles Evans, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Jake Kretzer, Sophomore, Guard, 5.7 points per game
Nick Harney, Senior, Forward, 9.5 points per game
Demetrius Treadwell, Senior, Forward, 11.5 points per game
Pat Forsythe, Sophomore, Center, 3.4 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.8 (63rd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.8 (71, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.5 (67, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.5 (36, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (94, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.2 (205, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.3 (308, 12)
Rebound Margin: 5.6 (27, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.7 (48, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (222, 6)


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