Opponent Preview: Akron

On Wednesday night, the Gophers will take on the Akron Zips at home. Minnesota is coming off a dominating performance against Eastern Kentucky and will look to improve their non-conference record to 10-1. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. and the game can be watched on the Big Ten Network.

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Stadium: Williams Arena
Television: Big Ten Network (Dave Revsine and Greg Kelser)


The Gophers enter Wednesday's game after a solid victory over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. Minnesota started the game slow, up only three points at half. The second half of the game was a different story where Minnesota scored 43 points. Ralph Sampson had a dominant performance with 19 points and eight rebounds.

Sampson will be tested against the Zips who boast 7-foot tall, Zeke Marshall who is averaging 11.0 points per game as well as 2.7 blocks per game. The Zips will be a long opponent for the Gophers who will need to be on their best offensively if they want to walk away with the win.

Quote to Note: Ralph Sampson on getting the ball early in the game: ""I think it's very important. It gets you involved in the game. It gets you a nice little flow with your game, also with the team. Also just getting to the line puts there team on the defensive side, more reserved. You can attack more and get to the free throw line and get points for your team."

Season to Date: The Akron Zips are off to an above average start with a 4-3 record on the year. The Zips have impressive wins over Detroit, Illinois-Chicago and an overtime victory against Youngstown State. Akron is coming off a devastating loss to Temple by a score of 82-47. Minnesota will be the Zips' toughest test of the season, and the team will no doubt be hungry for a big time win.

Coaching Preview: Keith Dambrot is in his seventh season with the Zips where he has compiled a very impressive record of 143-65. Dambrot has had at least 23 wins in every season since the 2005-2006 season. Like many coaches the Gophers have faced this season, Dambrot is a great coach who will have his players ready to play.

Series History: Minnesota and Akron have only played once in basketball. During the 1991-1992 season, the Gophers won the matchup by a score of 86-59 at Williams Arena.

Random Fact: Keith Dambrot coached St. Vincent-St. Mary High School for two seasons while Lebron James was on the team.

Projected Starters:
C 44 Zeke Marshall 11.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
F 13 Nikola Cvetinovic 13.4 ppg 5.1 rpg
G 5 Brett McClanahan 12.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg
G 4 Steve McNees 6.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg
G 11 Alex Abreu 5.1 ppg, 1.0 rpg

Location: Akron, Ohio
Enrollment: 29,251
Conference: Mid-American
Nickname: Zips
Colors: Blue and Gold
Head Coach: Keith Dambrot (7th year)

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