Cavs win over the Nets

The Cleveland Cavaliers withstood a determined Brooklyn Nets at the Q to win 129-123 on Tuesday, February 27th. The game was tight throughout, with the lead changing hands 25 times before the final score would be tallied. Lebron James had an evening worth remarking. He became the first player ever to reach 30,000 points, 8,000 assists, and 8000 rebounds. Also, James recorded a triple double both on the night and as an average for the month of February. Should James be named the player of the month, it will be the seventh consecutive February in which he has received that honor.

Elsewhere on the court, coach Lue toyed with a number of new lineups with the latest trade-deadline additions. George Hill started and scored 26 points, which was only outdone by LBJ’s 31. The rest of the newbies combined for 38 off the bench.

The Cavs will be back in action agains the Philadelphia 76’s on March 1st at 8 PM.

A Breakdown of the Cavs’ Trade Deadline.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have surprised the NBA on trade deadline day with a series of moves.

The most notable transaction sent away the increasingly problematic Isiah Thomas to the Los Angeles Lakers. Recently, Thomas has been the center of scrutiny because of his poor relationship with Cavs big-man Kevin Love, which has led to several on-court displays of contempt from Thomas directed towards his former teammates. Thomas, who spent most of this season benched from injury, had high expectations upon his return. He averaged nearly 30 points a game last season, and was included in the surprise Kyrie trade last summer. Channing Frye was traded with Thomas.

The Cavs received Larry Nance jr. and Jordan Clarkson from the Lakers. These players bring some much needed youth and speed to the game. Clarkson, a point guard, will be a strong bench choice for Lue to call on. Nance is a dynamic big-man, who can play power forward or center. He is the type of player that could bring rebounds and defense to the team, and the Cavaliers have been limping on defense for most of the season.

Elsewhere, the team was involved in a bizarre three-way trade that seems sweeter the more you look at it. The Cavs involvement in the trade shipped Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder, and Iman Shumpert. They received George Hill and Rodney Hood.

Hill was once a defensive force, but his form has been poor this season. He is a decent shooter, which can be a great asset with Lebron James. This season he averages 45 percent from the field and just over 46 percent from beyond the arc. Hood brings youth to the team. He may also be expected to bring a defensive presence, which would be a godsend for this team. He also has the ability to stretch the court and provide three-and-d play

Elsewhere, the Cavs sent Dwayne Wade back to Miami for a protected second round draft pick, which was part of the deal for Hill. Reportedly, the move was mutual, and Wade is happy to join Miami.

The Cavs also freed up roster spots for potential signings after the deadline. Kendrick Perkins is expected to sign on to fill one of those roster seats.

You can see this new team hit the court for the first time tomorrow, Friday at 7:30 against the Atlanta Hawks.

Listen to analysis from the WZIP Sports Department.


Eye Spy a Breakthrough in Neuroscience at the University of Akron

Photo courtesy of Dr. Jordan Renna


When most people think about science and research coming from The University of Akron, they tend to think about polymers or plastics. We are the once “rubber capital of the world” and still labeled the city of invention, but that is not all that The University of Akron is limited to.

Recently, from our department of biology, Dr. Jordan Renna has made a breakthrough discovery in neuroscience. He had originally started working on this project with Dr. Maureen Stabio, the lead author, and several other researchers when he was at Brown University’s Berson Lab. It was with their research and gathered data that, while at the University of Akron,  Dr. Renna was able to discover a new relationship with a melanopsin ganglion receptor, known as the M5 cell, that was never before understood. Yet, to understand its importance, one must understand what these are. Most people have heard of the concept of rods and cones in the eye. These photo receptors are what most people are familiar with when learning basic biology in high school, but there is actually a third photo receptor, the melanopsin ganglion cells. Unlike the rods and cones which drive image forming pathways, like color, contrast, motion, and depth, the things that allow us to navigate our environment, these melanopsin ganglion cells serve a different function. These neurons process information that regulate when our pupils react to light or when we get tired or wake up, affecting our circadian rhythm. Dr. Renna and his team had been specifically studying the melanopsin ganglion receptor known as M5.

The discovery and breakthrough found while doing his research was that the M5 cell does not only move information to the brain concerning regulation, like how our eyes react to a bright light or no light, but it also shares information about imaging such as color and contrast. The big deal about this to the scientific community is that until now, we have never found a cell in the eye that did both, and with this knowledge, it allows us to study this specific M5 cell more with a greater understanding. Dr. Renna explained that, “…one of aspects about melanopsin ganglion cells that makes them extremely interesting is they seem to be able to survive different ocular diseases like glaucoma.” This provides an opportunity and interest to further study ocular tissues, and attempt to discover if similar cells exist in primates or humans.

His lab at The University of Akron is studying how neurocircuits are formed, and how they wire up between rods, cones, and the ganglion cells, and how these connections are formed early on. His focus is the mechanisms that connect them in development, and better understanding the complexities of these connections. This current research is how to form new connections and perhaps repair them.

The importance of these breakthroughs have yet to show their true gravity, but in many cases in science, each discovery truly is the door to a new series of breakthroughs. A virtual maze of unknowns in the human body is always unwinding with the hard work and dedication of researchers and scientists. Some may just be for information giving us clarity on why things happen, others could be the catalyst to the secret of fighting a disease or combating them later. The point is, these amazing breakthroughs in science do not happen somewhere in a mysterious lab like in a SciFi movie. They happen right in our backyard with people we pass regularly as they work to better our understanding of the world around us.

If this interests you, make sure to take Dr. Renna’s classes. In the fall, there is Neuroscience and Health and Disease, where you can learn how neurons work, how neurological diseases affect the mind, and even how to read MRI images; in the spring, you can take his Research Techniques of Neuroscience course.

Tips to land scholarships

What is the number one thing that college students think about? Money. Students often ask questions like how to pay rent, pay for lunch, afford gasoline, and of course, how to pay for tuition and textbooks.  Well, college students are lucky because finding the funds is actually a lot easier than most people realize. The number one source of money that is readily available to tons of college students is scholarships.

During the spring semester, The University of Akron and a lot of organizations, both within the university and outside, start accepting applications and handing out checks. While scholarships are widespread and readily available, surprisingly, not many students utilize them. The hardest part of applying for scholarships is finding them. Where can students get this money? Lots of places, actually. A source of scholarship money is actually through The University of Akron. The University offers a wide variety of scholarships for different majors, interests, and achievements. The best place to start is by searching On that page, students can find a variety of categories for which one can be eligible, such as transfer students, graduate students, and continuing students.

In fact, for continuing students, is there one quick and easy form to fill out each year that automatically applies students to private and endowed scholarships made available through the university by the Office of Student Accounts. Also, there are several opportunities for scholarships through each college, such as the College of Arts and Sciences or College of Applied Science and Technology. More scholarships can be found through each school at the university and for individual majors as well. Scholarships can also be found through places like the Office of Accessibility or for students who are also veterans.

Scholarships may be available through student organizations as well. Not only are scholarships recognized in nationwide organizations like the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, but student organizations can help give students some edge on a resume or application too.

Scholarships are also made available through organizations outside of the university. Many corporations like Walmart or Starbucks offer scholarships for students who work for them, and some even offer scholarships for students whose parents work at certain corporations. Also, students might find the most random scholarships for things like being incredibly tall or living in a certain region. A simple Google search will return tons of results that might apply to you.

The next step is collecting the materials you need. Each scholarship has different requirements, so make sure to read instructions very carefully. Some require essays, others cover letters, resumes, transcripts, letters of recommendation, samples of work, or other materials. Make sure you know what you need to include so that you can prepare. Also, be wary of due dates and deadlines for applications.

Applying for scholarships can be an intimidating and overwhelming process for many students. But there are some ways to ease the strain. It is important to keep in mind that not many students actually apply for scholarships. So even if you think you do not have a good chance of receiving it, apply anyway. Your chances might still be pretty great.

Also, the University of Akron has lots of services that can help students improve their work. For example, if a scholarship requires an essay or cover letter, the university has two writing labs where students can take their work to get feedback and help from tutors. The career center on campus also offers services like helping craft resumes and cover letters. Another piece of advice is ask for letters of recommendation early. When asking a professor, employer, advisor, or whoever else for a letter of recommendation, the standard amount of time to give them is  two to three weeks before the deadline of the application. This gives them plenty of time to write a good letter and get it back to you on time.

Many organizations and places at the University of Akron are beginning to open up their scholarship applications for the next academic year, so now is the perfect time to look for them. Applying for scholarships benefits for students, from paying for school and textbooks to being another bullet point on a resume. Scholarships are far and wide, and can apply to so many students, so if you are looking for money now you know where to look.


Zips Fail to Blast Off Against the Rockets

The Akron Zips welcomed the leaders in the MAC West, Toledo, to the JAR on Feb. 3rd. However, their losing streak continues to roll as they lost 77-56.

The Toledo Rockets were a familiar foe to John Groce and company, as earlier in the year they dispatched the Zips in Toledo, winning 65-67. This game was not as close as the first.

In the first half of action the Zips came out hot starting off the game on a 7-0 run. Toledo managed to bounce back, and managed to take a 27-18 lead with a little under 5 minutes left. All signs early on pointed to the Rockets maintaining a lead for the rest of the game.

This was before Daniel Utomi and Vershon Cotton hit three 3’s in a row to cut the Rockets’ lead to only 2 points. However, Toledo was able to recover taking a 35-27 lead into the halftime period.

In the first meeting in January, the player that sealed the win for Toledo was Jae’lan Sanford, who scored a game high 22 points for the Rockets. In this game he continued to be a thorn in the Zips’ side, putting together a solid stat line of 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.

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