#124 Akron Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Akron Zips

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #124
Conference Rank: #3 Mid-American

Akron Team Page#124 Akron Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Akron Basketball Tickets

For the ninth straight season, Akron has won at least 21 games. For the seventh straight season, they made a trip to a postseason tournament. Those are a couple of very impressive streaks and Coach Keith Dambrot will once again have his Zips competing for a MAC title in 2014-2015. Demetrius Treadwell will again lead the way after topping Akron with 15.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in 2013-2014. The tough 6-7, 235 pound forward was a dynamic rebounder from day one and has only gotten better with experience. Few MAC defenders have been able to contain him in the paint and Treadwell spends a lot of time at the charity stripe. Many times the only thing the defense can do is foul him and hope for the best at the line.

2013-14 Record: 21-13, 12-6
2013-14 Postseason: CIT
Coach: Keith Dambrot
Coach Record: 231-107 at Akron, 339-177 overall

Who’s Out:
Treadwell will need to get used to playing without last year’s second and third leading scorers. Quincy Diggs has certainly had his ups and downs with the Zips, but he put together a fine senior season, averaging 12.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists. His versatility and 6-6 frame made him a tough matchup on both ends of the floor. Nick Harney, another forward, only started 11 games during his senior season, but he was fourth on the team with 21.0 minutes per game. Harney could step out and knock down mid-range jumpers, but he was also a decent defender in the paint.

Who’s In:
The three incoming freshmen are guards and do not fill the obvious need in the frontcourt now that Diggs and Harney are gone. Antino Jackson is a pure point guard who can get up and down the floor in a hurry and remain under control. Jimond Ivey can handle the ball, but is just as effective off of the ball. The 6-4 Cleveland, Ohio product can score in bunches and help out on the glass, on top of his ball handling skills. Noah Robotham was a late pickup and he could be the savior at the point. The reigning Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year, Robotham knows how to run a team. The slightly bigger newcomers are redshirt freshmen B.J. Gladden and Aaron Jackson. Gladden has a versatile offensive game and could make a big splash this year if his shot is falling. Jackson’s versatility comes on the defensive end. Coach Dambrot likes players who can defend anybody and Jackson should find himself filling in off of the bench when the Akron defense needs a boost.

Who to Watch:
The Zips had ten players start at least seven games last season and eight of them are back. That inconsistency in the starting lineup may have hurt a little last year, but right now it looks like a good thing. The Zips need players to step up and there are a slew of experienced options ready to jump right in. Nyles Evans and Carmelo Betancourt will not throw their names out of the point guard race even though the newcomers will be right on their heels. Evans is the better scorer between the two, but Betancourt has looked more efficient running the offense. Deji Ibitayo is a good shooter, but never really tried to take over a game. He averaged just 5.2 points per game and that number could increase significantly if Ibitayo starts taking more shots. Jake Kretzer and Reggie McAdams are both promising junior wings. Both are capable slashers and outside shooters.

Final Projection:
Even with Treadwell, the frontcourt seems to have less potential. Isaiah Johnson, a 6-10 sophomore, and Pat Forsythe, a 6-11 junior, could eat up just about all of the minutes at the five spot. However, Treadwell can play there too and this team could go smaller. That would especially be feasible in MAC play where Treadwell will have no problems dealing with opposing centers. And, by then, Akron will know what they can get from the newcomers. If all of that potential on the perimeter pans out, the Zips will have to play small in order to get their best five on the floor. Coach Dambrot has a surprising amount of options and that should scare every other team in the MAC.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Nyles Evans, Senior, Guard, 5.3 points per game
Deji Ibitayo, Senior, Guard, 5.2 points per game
Jake Kretzer, Junior, Guard, 7.5 points per game
Demetrius Treadwell, Senior, Forward, 15.2 points per game
Isaiah Johnson, Sophomore, Center, 3.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.6 (235th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.9 (88, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.8 (193, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.3 (161, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (97, 4)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.6 (152, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 62.3 (339, 12)
Rebound Margin: 1.4 (145, 6)
Assists Per Game: 11.4 (265, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.1 (246, 7)


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