Updated Sat, Jan 11, 2014 4:25 pm
Ohio will welcome a familiar foe to the Convo Sunday when it takes on the Akron Zips.
Few teams in the Mid-American Conference have been as successful as Ohio and Akron have the past few years. They’ve met in three of the last five MAC Tournament championships with Ohio going 2-1 in those matchups. However, Akron beat the Bobcats all three times they faced each other last year.
It’s difficult to get a grasp on this Akron team. Fourteen games into the season, the Zips still don’t have a starting point guard. They only have two players that consistently score in double figures. Yet, Akron is 9-5 (1-0), which is good enough for second place in the MAC East.
The largest issue for the Zips is inconsistency at the point guard position. Last season, Alex Abreu provided Akron stability, averaging 10 points and 6 assists a game. However, he was dismissed from the team because of his involvement in a marijuana possession case.
Nyles Evans has received the majority of the minutes at point guard, but he is inexperienced. With an inexperienced floor general, turnovers have been a problem for Akron. The Zips average 14 turnovers compared to only 11 assists.
The absence of Abreu also puts more weight on the shoulders Demetrius Treadwell, the team’s leading scorer. The junior forward averages nearly 13 points per game while shooting about 45 percent from the floor. He also averages nearly 8 rebounds a game. Treadwell does most of his damage inside, and at 6-foot-7 and 235 lbs. he is a lot to handle.
Quincy Diggs is the other player that averages double figures for Akron. The 6-foot-6 forward averages about 12 points. However, Diggs is not particularly efficient, as he is only shooting 42 percent from the floor this season.
Ohio’s last game wasn’t pretty, but it was a win against a MAC East contender in Kent State. The Bobcats defeated the Golden Flashes 59-53 thanks to a stellar defensive performance.
Ohio did a good job of contesting Kent State’s shot attempts, and as a result of that, Kent State only shot 28 percent from the floor and 18 percent from 3-point range.
Nick Kellogg had another impressive night for Ohio with 19 points and six rebounds. Kellogg’s contribution on the boards was a welcomed sight, as the Bobcats will need several players to step up their rebounding efforts with the absence of Ricardo Johnson for the rest of the season.
Tipoff for this matchup of MAC East heavyweights is set for 6 p.m. Sunday.