2007 Akron Zips Basketball Preview
After finishing first in the MAC East last year, the Akron Zips (26- 7 overall, 13- 3 MAC) made no post-season appearance. Although coach Keith Dambrot (69- 27 in three years with Akron, 177- 97 overall in nine years) and company did not even get an invite to the NIT, due to their fairly easy non-conference schedule, no one could take away what was their best season in over five years which made for some interesting college basketball odds.
The Akron Zips averaged 35.1 RPG, which was second in the league. The club’s 15.2 APG and 75.3 PPG were both tops in the Mid-American Conference. Hitting .485 from the field and .393 from the three-point mark, the Zips led the MAC in both categories.
Senior forward Jeremiah Wood (10.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG) is the team’s main man upfront. He’s a tough guy in the paint with fine ball handling skills. But Wood’s free throw accuracy needs to be better than the 58% he shot last season. Junior Nate Linhart (5.9 PPG, 3.8 APG) and senior Quade Milum (6.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG) will round out the area around the basket. Freshman center Steve Swiech and frosh forward Brett McKnight are expected to contribute immediately and will likely influence NCAA basketball betting.
Senior guard Nick Dials (10.1 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.7 APG) will be expected to pump in even more baskets this season. Reserve guard Cedrick Middleton (11.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG) has a fine shot from downtown; he hit 43% of his threes last season. He can also drive inside with authority. The point will most likely go to one or two of the new guys. Expect either freshman Ronnie Steward or Steve McNees to start and the other to come off the bench. This is a versatile and exciting backcourt.
This year the Akron Zips could make their second NCAA appearance ever. The Zips are a very fine team with good chance of NCAA bracket inclusion-- better than last year’s. On this team that features fine mix of freshmen and vets, there should be a whole lot of wins and a real fine chance at a conference championship. If they take the overall league crown, then the Zips will definitely be dancing in the big tournament.