News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Don Drumm Studios


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us


Pluto: Akron's remarkable basketball season is no fluke
Coach Dambrot's nine seasons at Akron have been peppered with success but this season is special 
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Pluto says 7-foot center Zeke Marshall picked Akron to play basketball because he was impressed with the school's computer program.
Courtesy of The University of Akron
Download (WKSU Only)

The University of Akron men' basketball team is making history this season. This week, the Zips got their first national ranking in team history – No. 24 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. And tonight, they look to extend their nation-leading winning streak to 19 games.

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says coach Keith Dambrot has led the team to 20 wins in seven of his nine seasons, but there are several factors that make this season remarkable. 

Terry Pluto on UA basketball success

Other options:
MP3 Download (4:18)


Terry Pluto talks about Akron's crop of transfers

Other options:
MP3 Download (0:50)


Terry and Amanda talk about the NFL combine and Browns QB update

Other options:
MP3 Download (6:56)


Dambrot's passion for Akron
Keith Dambrot came to the University of Akron by way of St. Vincent St. Mary High School just down the street, where he coached LeBron James. He’s been at the university for nine years, and Pluto expects he’ll stick around for at least another nine years or so. After all, he already turned down nearly twice the pay at Duquesne University and, says Pluto, “This is his dream job.”

“I think his goal is to put together a team that frankly could win a game in the NCAA tournament. He’s hoping this is the one.”

Key Cleveland-area players
The reason for his hope rests in part with Demetrius “Tree” Treadwell and Nick Harney, two Cleveland area juniors who had to sit out their first year at Akron until they got their grades up to NCAA levels.

But it’s a third player that seems to have really cemented things – 7-foot center named Zeke Marshall, who came to Akron from McKeesport, Pa.

A 7-foot computer nerd
“Usually, if you have a 7-footer in the MAC, he’s a guy who can barely take three steps without falling over the line painted on the floor. Seven footers who can do anything just don’t end up in the Mid American Conference, Pluto says.

But what drew Marshall to Akron wasn’t the basketball court. It was its computer major.

“He’s a 7-foot computer nerd.  … That’s why he’s here instead of at Pitt or one of these Big East schools or Syracuse.”

Adds Pluto: “Having Zeke Marshall, at 7 foot who blocks a ton of shots, is the reason I really think they have a chance to do something at the NCAA.” He also thinks Marshall will be a second rounder in the NBA draft.

Winning the MAC is the goal
But first, comes the MAC tournament. That’s important because Pluto says even making it to the NCAA tournament without winning the MAC tournament is a long shot;  it hasn’t happened since 1999. And getting to the MAC tournament means overcoming teams like Ohio University, which Akron faces tonight.

MAC getting respect?
Meanwhile, Pluto says the Mid-American Confeerence itself seems to be getting more respect, in large part of the performances in football, basketball and baseball of two of its schools just 15 miles – Kent State and Akron.

“Not to knock the minor sports, but this is playing with the big boys. To me that’s really been remarkable.”

Though Pluto acknowledged Akron’s long-time dominance in soccer has boosted the MAC as well. 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook





Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio becomes first in the nation to dump PARCC testing
Best test to use for elementary schools is the old pre common core Iowa test of basic skills. This test measures apples to apples and tests the skills appropri...

Ohio is moving forward with new standardized tests
Mr Chow, Nice piece on testing. Should not Ohio go to an open bid process for the new assessment contract? Ohio has stayed with a "connected" DC non-profit fo...

The Surpreme Court gay-marriage decision plays out in Ohio Amish country
Keep in mind that the majority of the people residing in Holmes County are Amish, a church people who do not vote because they do not believe in governmental ru...

Akron council committee recommends Forney for its opening
Which committee member voted for Wilhite?

Nearly a dozen Cuyahoga gay couples get licenses to marry after the Supreme Court ruling
Presiding Judge Anthony J. Russo a graduate of Chanel High School and supposed member of St. Francis Parish in Gates Mills has just excommunicated himself. As ...

Canton Youth Symphony is named orchestra of the year
This is what makes CSO the hippest small town orchestra in America!

What can be expected if Ohio's tobacco taxes increase?
let's face it! The increase has little to do with smoking cessation

Rare Cleveland Indians photo from 1911 hits the auction block
Paddy Livingston, who cut his teeth on a Louisville Slugger in Kent, Ohio was one of the immortals that played in that game. He was the catcher. Ty Cobb actuall...

Nexus denies Green's request to relocate its planned gas pipeline
These people have so much power. Too much. They could care less about the people they leave when it is done. Spectra does not, and admits, they do not do the...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University