Reggie McAdams may not be one of the players you think of right away when discussing MAC basketball. He doesn't get named to all-MAC teams, hardly is the top scorer on his team every game, and really just gets overlooked at times.
But that doesn't mean he shouldn't garner consideration as one of the top players in the conference.
The 6-foot-7, 215 pound wing from Elida, Ohio came into the program as a bit of a mystery. For his senior season in high school he was named First-Team All-Ohio and Division III Offensive Player of the Year at quarterback, but chose basketball over football when deciding on a school.
While some wished that he would have helped the Zips' passing game out by choosing the gridiron over the hardwood, it's easy to see now why he went the basketball route.
McAdams is one of the deadliest three-point marksmen in the conference. Armed with a quick release and an almost impossible to block shooting stroke, McAdams nailed over 40 percent from beyond the arc the past two seasons. He ranked fifth overall in the MAC last season in 3-point percentage, hitting 41 percent of his three point attempts.
The senior had his most impressive string of games late last season, posting double digit scoring outputs in five straight games with two being in the conference tournament. One of those was the second tournament game against Western Michigan, where he poured in 15 points to lead the Zips to victory.
Steve Hawkins, the Broncos Head Coach, said about McAdams after the game, "I think he has the quickest release in the league...I think he's a terrific shooter."
In the game of basketball shooters need one thing above all else: confidence. It seemed last year that whenever McAdams was getting consistently high minutes, he delivered. During that five-game stretch mentioned earlier, McAdams averaged 24 minutes per game. In the two games beforehand, he didn't score and only shot the ball three times while playing only 24 minutes combined. The more opportunities that McAdams received, the more confident he became.
His shooting prowess doesn't stop at just the ability to hit three-pointers. McAdams was one of the best free throw shooters in the conference at 78 percent and also had a very respectable shooting percentage of 52 percent. Defensively he's getting better, and he's put on 15 pounds since he arrived on campus as a freshman.
It will be interesting to see who Keith Dambrot trots out as the starting backcourt early on in the season. McAdams has started before at small forward, but seems to be more comfortable coming off of the bench. Senior Jake Kretzer and McAdams may be trading off the starting small forward role like they have in the past, unless one has shown more in early practices than the other.
It may seem shocking that a player who averaged seven points and two rebounds last season would make the cut for our Top 25. But, it's hard to deny just how talented the sharpshooter is and how much of a threat he is to break out during a game. Yes, there are a couple games where he doesn't have it and disappears. But other times he'll put on a shooting clinic, like he did against Central Michigan last year when he went for 31 points on 6-9 shooting from beyond the arc.
With more playing time and a clear role in the offense, McAdams is a prime candidate to break out this season. He certainly is a player that can produce 14-15 points per game and make an all-MAC team. Along with Pat Forsythe and Kretzer, McAdams will have to lead this team as a senior. If Akron is to take the next step and get to the NCAA Tournament, it'll be on the right shoulder of one of the best shooters the MAC has to offer.