Men’s hoops team prepares for 2015 NIT Season Tip-Off


Terry Rabbitts

Pat Forsythe (middle) battles two Hiram defenders for the ball.

The University of Akron men’s basketball team, fresh off of their 100-30 thrashing of Hiram College on Monday, are testing their road legs with four games in the next nine days as part of the 2015 NIT Season Tip-off.

The Zips will face Arkansas, Villanova, Wisconsin-Green Bay, and Charleston Southern in that time span with the first three games on the road in just six days.

The Arkansas (1-0) game marks the first meeting between the Zips (2-0) and the Razorbacks ever.

In 2014-15, Akron posted 2-2 record against Power Five Conference  (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) opponents, marking the first time in program history that Akron has posted at least two wins over Power Five Conference members in the same season and the fourth-straight with at least one win over a Power Five Conference opponent

The Razorbacks defeated Southern University in its opening game, 86-68. Forward Moses Kingsley posted a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds on a perfect 8-of-8 from the field. Guard Dusty Hannahs followed with 21 points that included a 5-of-6 showing from three-point distance. Guards Anthlon Bell (14) and Jimmy Whitt (12) rounded out the double digit scoring.

For the Zips, balanced team play has been successful in the first two games and must continue for Akron to continue winning during this stretch.

In the two games for Akron, every player that has played not only found their way into the scoring column, but also in another statistical category such as rebounds, assists, or steals.

Through the two games the Zips have eight players averaging between seven and 11 points per game led by Reggie McAdams (11.0), Pat Forsythe (10.5), and Jake Kretzer (10.0). Isaiah Johnson (10.5), Forsythe (8.5), and Kwan Cheatham, Jr. (7.5) are the chairmen of the boards to start the season. Antino Jackson averages five assists a game so far.

After the game against Arkansas, Akron travels to Villanova, Pa. to take on the Wildcats Sunday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. before heading to Wisconsin to take on the Phoenix on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

The Zips then return home to finish of the 2015 NIT Season Tip-off by hosting the Buccaneers of Charleston Southern on Friday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.