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Top 25 MAC Basketball Players: #7 Pat Forsythe (C - Akron Zips)

Pat Forsythe has become one of Akron's most valuable players after a slow start to his career.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Following the dismissal of Demetrius Treadwell after the first game of the 2014-2015 season, there was reason to believe that the Akron Zips would struggle mightily as a whole moving forward, especially down low. That pretty much all changed just a few days after the incident as the Zips opened up their Charleston Classic opener with a 66-46 pounding of the USC Trojans.

It was pretty much the first time in his career that then junior center Pat Forsythe was able to be the key difference maker in a game for the Zips. His line of 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks came, pretty much, out of nowhere and it continued throughout the season.

Forsythe scored in double figures in twenty games during his junior season, while only accomplishing that feat four times in his prior two seasons. The potential was always there, though. At 6-foot-11 and 245 pounds, Pat is one of the biggest players in the league and he even played for Bob Huggins at West Virginia for a few games before transferring to Akron. He played behind Zeke Marshall as a freshman, but never took the opportunity to really shine as a sophomore after Marshall's graduation.

Before last year, he seemed too tense and would often shy away from contact on offense and defense. Perhaps the need for someone to step up in a time of adversity helped him to come out of his shell to average ten points and five rebounds per game.

Two injuries during the season kept him out of a few games. He didn't play in the road win at Western Michigan and missed the majority of a game after getting turf toe. He missed the next game after that and didn't play significant minutes in either of the next two before exploding for 12 points in 13 minutes in the MAC quarterfinals versus Kent State just over a week after suffering the injury. If he had been at 100 percent during the MAC tournament, Akron's chances of completing an incredible championship run would have been helped immensely.

Now a senior, Forsythe will continue to be Akron's best option at center, barring injury. Even if he does have trouble with injuries, junior Isaiah Johnson has shown that he can step in and start if he needs to.

Former Western Michigan center Shayne Whittington, who is nearly the exact same size as Forsythe, used a big senior year to help put himself on an NBA roster. A big senior year from Forsythe could help him follow in those steps.