Vivid imagery tells this season’s story


We congratulate all the student-athletes on our men’s and women’s basketball teams, and the coaches who work with them, as they head into tournament play.

Along the way, much has been written about their success. We’ve collected some of the most creative, poetic and original prose used by reporters to describe our beloved Zips.

Thanks to student Nick Nussen for mining the archives and compiling this list. Enjoy the read.

Zeke Marshall“With his mantis arms and kangaroo legs, Marshall's 7-0, 235-pound frame had six double doubles this season.”

Zeke Marshall determined to keep Akron standing tall at end of NCAA opener vs. VCU, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Elton Alexander, March 20

“Sitting on the sidelines, Akron Zips freshman Carmelo Betancourt looks like a deer in the headlights. On the court, he is a cat on the prowl.”

Point of poise: Freshman guard Carmelo Betancourt finding his stride for NCAA-bound Akron Zips,
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Elton Alexander, March 19

Treadwell“In the two years since 7-foot Zeke Marshall and Akron last played in the NCAA Tournament, the Zips have grown a forest around him that could be big for them in the Big Dance. … The emergence of 6-foot-8 Demetrius “Tree” Treadwell…”

MAC Preview: Zips hope to stand tall in the tournament, The Columbus Dispatch, Tim May, March 19

“For the Zips, the game proved to be a cathartic cap to a chaotic week and allows them to breathe a little before finding out whom they will face in the NCAA Tournament this evening.

MAC Tournament/Akron 65, Ohio 46: Zips run away with MAC championship, Akron Beacon Journal, George M. Thomas, March 17

“Apparently, he (Dambrot) will be alternately kicking and massaging the Zips for some time.”

Zips coach gets most satisfying NCAA trip, Akron Beacon Journal, Marla Ridenour, March 16

“A season that began with promise, stalled, then appeared doomed still flourished at the end for the Akron Zips Saturday night.”

Akron Zips roll in second half to win MAC Tournament over Ohio University, 65-46, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Elton Alexander, March 16

“When Cooper slipped by, here came the 7-foot Marshall with a wing span long enough to touch the Milky Way.”

“They may have set an arena record for floor burns as they almost tackled loose balls.”

Akron delivers a most improbable dominating MAC championship, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Terry Pluto, March 17

Behind the scenes: MAC Championship Game

“After the coaching job he put together in Friday’s Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinal, some might want to consider coach Keith Dambrot a wizard as the University of Akron defeated Kent State 62-59.”

MAC Tournament semifinal/Akron 62, Kent State 59: Zips hold off Flashes, advance to title game against Ohio, Akron Beacon Journal, George M. Thomas, March 16

“But something else was obvious -- Akron had an amazing run this season. Run is what the aptly named Zips did, right until the final horn.”

In defeat, a triumphant season continues for Akron women's basketball, The Plain Dealer, Terry Pluto, March 16

“There would be a flurry of near-misses and almosts and would've-could'ves by the Golden Flashes after that, as the ball kicked off and crawled off and rolled off the rim.”

“This was a basket decided by bumping, bulling and backing in, a basket in which might made right, not height, not highlight, not starlight, not space flight.”

Demetrius Treadwell drives Akron Zips into MAC Tournament title game, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Bill Livingston, March 16

Rachel Tecca“They’re certainly not living on a prayer, but the University of Akron women’s basketball team apparently likes living on the edge.”

Women’s MAC Tournament: Akron 70, Ball State 61: Zips continue their season of firsts, Akron Beacon Journal, George M. Thomas, March 16

“Making free throws with the game on the line is easy -- from the couch. For those at the line, the basket can feel as if it is 20 feet away and the floor underneath is quicksand.”

Zips' Luburgh calms nerves in the clutch: MAC Women's Tournament Insider, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Dennis Manoloff, March 14

One has to go to Krispy Kreme to find a bigger doughnut hole than what Kent has in the pivot.”

Don't count the Akron Zips out just yet: Local Colleges Insider, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Elton Alexander, March 10

“It was Dambrot at the bat, translated to basketball. When he was a team captain and the Most Valuable Player on the Zips baseball team three decades ago, he brought to the territorial in-fighting between pitcher and hitter a willingness to crowd the plate relentlessly and take the consequences without complaint. Twenty-eight times, a school record at the time, he was hit by pitches.”

Akron Zips' coach Keith Dambrot will not be down for long, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Bill Livingston, March 9

“If you want a measure of this team's strength, consider its ability to come back, and I'm not just talking about from broken bones and sprained ligaments.”

Akron's big streak comes to an end; do Zips still have at-large case?,; Matt Norlander, March 4

“In this game, with Marshall swatting shots like flies, Witherspoon wanted his Bulls to take it to Akron, even as the Zips took it to them.”

Javon McCrea's big night powers Buffalo to 81-67 upset of MAC-leading Akron, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Elton Alexander, March 3