The Akron Zips won their 18th straight game Friday night against the North Dakota State Bison of the Summit League. Outside the fact that the Zips are playing out-of-conference games in February, the most surprising thing about the game is that Zeke Marshall continues to be the most dominant, nonathletic player in these United States of America.
Marshall, a 7 foot senior, averages 12 points, six boards and 3.5 blocks per game. While those numbers don’t scream beast-mode 2013, they have been a pivotal part in Akron having the longest active winning streak in the nation. For those of you who have been lucky enough to watch the behemoth play, nothing about his game stands out with the exception of his consistency (Okay, and blocks). It is nearly a mortal lock that the big man will literally get you his average per night. He isn’t the type of player who will go bonkers one game then fall off the next (Thus, making an average box-score which really doesn’t represent the player he is). He is steady, never too high, never too low.
For the Zips, many consider them a bubble team despite their 22 wins and the impressive winning streak. Akron doesn’t really have any “good” wins but they don’t have any horrible losses either. Winning out the regular season, which they should, and making a strong run in their conference tournament might not be enough. Experts, those awesome people, still feel they need to win the MAC tournament to get an automatic bid to make the NCAA tournament.
Marshall is considered a second round NBA talent. Seven footers don’t grow on trees and people think he might be able to float around the professional level because of his consistency. Akron has been the most consistent team in the country, the 18 wins in a row are proof. It is no surprise that a Marshall led team has become not that great of watch (Not entirely true. They have a few heat-check players) but are continuing to win games in the most mundane of fashions.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone