“When the University of Akron men’s basketball team takes to the court Friday night it will be more than just another fierce game against their rival. Akron (22-8, 12-3 MAC) will play against Kent State (22-8, 12-3 MAC) for the regular season Mid-American Conference championship and the top seed in the MAC tournament next week.””
When the University of Akron men’s basketball team takes to the court Friday night it will be more than just another fierce game against their rival.
Akron (22-8, 12-3 MAC) will play against Kent State (22-8, 12-3 MAC) for the regular season Mid-American Conference championship and the top seed in the MAC tournament next week.
The Zips have never won the regular season MAC championship and a win against Kent would be the perfect place to accomplish such a feat.
First and foremost it’s a terrific rivalry, Dambrot said. I haven’t been involved in anything better than that and Kent has been such a tremendous program over the last 10 to 12 years. We’re just fortunate to have our program rise to a level to be competitive with them..
The Zips defense will have to contain one of the most dominant players in the MAC in forward Justin Greene.
Greene has averaged 14.1 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore.
Also Kent State has senior leadership that most schools do not possess. The Flashes have six seniors that have all made their mark during their college years.
Those players are Chris Singletary, Rodriquez Sherman, Mike McKee, Tyree Evans, Brandon Parks and Frank Henry-Ala.
MAC coaches have talked about how Kent State is the team to beat because of all of their senior leadership.
They’re a terrific conference team and always tough to compete against. It’s going to be a tremendous game and it’s been a game that has mattered every year, Dambrot said. (Head coach) Geno Ford has done an unbelievable job of keeping that program and its tradition going and getting his team to play better than anybody in the league, so far.
For Akron both Brett and Chris McKnight have to have big games.
When both of the McKnight’s have had big games, Akron has been successful.
Brett McKnight leads the team in scoring an average of 10.5 points and Chris McKnight has averaged 9 ppg.
Jimmy Conyers who has also stepped his game up to another level this year will need a big game.
Conyers has averaged 9.6 and a team high 6.8 in his final season with the Zips.
The rest of the Zips team has been an important role as well. Although Brett McKnight has taken the role of the go-to-guy as of late, the rest of the team is up in the air.
We’ve done a terrific job at putting ourselves in a position to win the league, Dambrot said. What we have to do now is enjoy the ride and relax and play.
A win will also guarantee Akron a spot in the NIT tournament if they do not make the NCAA tournament.
We’re just looking forward to playing, it’ll be a fun game, Dambrot said.
The game on Friday night will be another chapter in the Akron – Kent State rivalry, but this year the implications have contributed to having this game being termed the biggest game in Northeast Ohio history.