The Zips underachieved in 2003-04, finishing in fifth place in the
MAC East (7-11) after being picked by many to contend for the division
title. With just a 13-15 overall finish head coach Dan Hipsher was
reassigned within the athletic department to make way for new leader
Keith Dambrot. Dambrot has strong local ties and coached LeBron
James in high school. He inherits a young, but talented team that
welcomes back three starters in forwards Jeremiah Wood and Romeo
Travis and guard Dru Joyce III. Wood produced 9.6 ppg and a team-best
7.0 rpg as a freshman last season, while Travis added 7.6 ppg and
5.4 rpg in his first season at Akron. Rick McFadden, who averaged
7.6 ppg off the bench last season, should give the Zips a solid
frontcourt this year. As for Joyce, he is the only player on the
roster with legitimate experience in the backcourt, averaging 6.2
ppg and 2.5 apg as a freshman last season. The former high school
teammate of LeBron James improved greatly as the season progressed
last year and should break out in 2004-05.
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