The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

Struggling Zips know they must improve

“When the University of Akron’s men’s basketball team took to the court for the 2009-10 season, they knew a few things were certain. These certainties included an emergence of a seven foot center in Zeke Marshall as well as the return of many players from last year’s roster.”

When the University of Akron’s men’s basketball team took to the court for the 2009-10 season, they knew a few things were certain.

These certainties included an emergence of a seven-foot center in Zeke Marshall as well as the return of many players from last year’s roster.

However, what some fans thought was certain ended up being questionable.

Despite what people think, we’re not the best team in the league, said UA head coach Keith Dambrot. It’s not the best team we’ve ever had. But it’s a team that can develop, because the big boy [Zeke Marshall] is gonna get bigger.

So far this season Marshall has not been the top notch defensive center that everyone expected. Fans expected too much from Marshall too soon.

We’re very pleased with where our freshman Zeke Marshall is, Dambrot said. He’s not ready to win championships yet, but he’s certainly getting better and better every day.

Marshall has averaged 3.8 rebounds per game and has accumulated a team high 33 blocks through the near midpoint of the season.

A pleasant surprise for the Zips this season has been forward Jimmy Conyers.

At this point last year, Conyers was not in a position to be in the starting 5. Through hard work and determination, Conyers has become a certainty that no one expected.

So far, Conyers has averaged 9.3 points per game and a team high of 6.7 rebounds per game.

The play of Conyers has put him in a position to be in the starting five night in and night out.

I’d say that right now we have two guys who we think have earned a starting spot by working on a consistent basis and they are Jimmy Conyers and Steve McNees, Dambrot said. The rest are pretty much up in the air.

McNees averages 8.4 points per game and has posted a .394 percentage from three-point range.

As for the returning players from last year’s roster, it is still uncertain where every players fits in.

The rest have to battle and when you talk about [Anthony] Humpty Hitchens ,Darryl Roberts, Nikola Cvetinovic, Chris McKnight, Brett McKnight, or even Mike Bardo they’re pretty much the same, but they give you different things, Dambrot said. We’re just looking for one of those guys to step up and take a spot just like the other two have.

Sitting in second place at 3-2 in the MAC, the Zips are in a typical place for the East Division.

I think right now it’s the typical East [Division], you know we’ve been beating each other up and everybody’s having a hard time on the road for the most part, Dambrot said. Everybody’s competitive and pretty much the same.

With 11 regular season games left in the season, it is important for the Zips to win to achieve the best seed possible in the MAC tournament.

It’s an important stretch for everybody obviously, with the West [Division] also, Dambrot said.

Akron is now on a 6 game stretch with the West Division, starting with a game at Western Michigan tonight.

I’ve always said that I don’t think there’s much difference between the West and the East because it comes down to who’s playing well, Dambrot said. It’s a tough stretch for us because we’re trying to get through the West, but once we get past Western Michigan we’ve got three home games, so we’re looking forward to that.

The Zips beat the Western Michigan Broncos 77-70 Jan. 27.

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