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Report: Flu, back spasms could impact Akron’s rotation against VCU

Brian Walsh, D.J. Cooper

Akron’s Brian Walsh, right, drives past Ohio’s D.J. Cooper during the first half of an NCAA college championship basketball game in the Mid-American Conference tournament on Saturday, March 16, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)


Despite the suspension of starting point guard Alex Abreu a couple weeks ago the Akron Zips won the MAC regular season and tournament titles, earning their second NCAA tournament trip in the last three seasons.

Unfortunately for Keith Dambrot his Zips won’t be at full strength tonight against 5-seed VCU, as two players are dealing with the flu and another with back spasms as reported by Rachel Nichols of Turner Sports.

The symptoms for two of the players, guard Brian Walsh and center Pat Forsythe, were described by Nichols as being “severe.” Freshman guard Deji Ibitayo is battling back spasms that flared up after practice on Wednesday, and may not be able to play.

Walsh is the lone starter of the three but given VCU’s use of full-court pressure having two guards at less than full strength is the last thing Akron needs entering the contest.

VCU forces an average of 19.9 turnovers per game, and in Akron’s two MAC tournament games last weekend the Zips averaged 15.5 turnovers per game. That’s nearly two turnovers per game higher than their average for the entire season (13.6).

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.