By EVAN MEYER
HEAD COACH: Keith Dambrot (371-193 18th season overall…263-123 at Akron 12th season)
2014-15 RECORD: 21-14 (9-9 in MAC)
MAC TOURNAMENT: Defeated Northern Illinois in the first round 76-52, and Western Michigan in second round action, 58-45. The Zips edged rival Kent State in the quarterfinals, 53-51, before losing to to Buffalo in the semi-finals
LEFT THE BUILDING: F Deji Ibitayo (9.9pts/3.1 reb), G Nyles Evans (4.7pts)
BACK FOR MORE: G Noah Robotham (11.9pts), C Pat Forsythe (11.8pts/6.9 reb), F Isiah Johnson (11.5pts/8 reb), G Antino Jackson (11.5pts/4.38 apg), F Reggie McAdams (9.5pts/3.7apg), F Jake Kretzer (9.8pts/4.3 reb), F Kwan Cheatham Jr (7.5pts/5 reb)
NEWCOMERS: F Jimond Ivey (3.1pts/.7 reb). G Josh Williams (5.5pts/2.7 apg)
(CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE . . . )
►The Zips were picked to finish first in the MAC Eastern Division. However, they have played the non-conference schedule, as coach Dambrot sai,d ‘behind the eight ball’ due to injuries, especially Robotham coming back from an ACL injury late last season and Forsythe with an ankle injury.
► The Zips opened the campaign with a win over Division II Hiram and then went into the 2015 MAC Season Tip-Off, where they defeated Arkansas in Fayetteville before losing at Villanova and at Green Bay in a nip-and-tuck affair.
Since that loss to the Phoenix, UA has gone on a eight-game winning streak, which included victories at Marshall then over UC-Santa Barbara and Iona at the South Point Classic in Las Vegas. Akron finished the non-conference schedule with home wins over South Carolina State and Lipscomb.
► At 11-2, the Zips are off to their best start in the Division I era. In fact, one has to go back to the 1971-72 season for the Zips to have a better record after 13 games (also 11-2 playing in Division II).
► Senior center Pat Forsythe was a media preseason East Division All-MAC selection.
► The Zips are scoring 77.2 ppg (5th) and yielding 63.3 ppg. (3rd). Their scoring margin of +13.9 tops the conference.
► Akron is 10th in field goal percentage (42.9%) but tops the conference in field goal defense (37.5%). The Zips are hitting 38.7 percent (2nd) of their treys and 69.7 percent (5th) of free throw attempts.
► UA is fourth in rebounding margin (+4.2) and eighth in turnover margin (-0.58)
► UA opens conference play Tuesday night at Buffalo against the defending MAC Tournament champion Bulls before returning home on Friday to battle Western Michigan