On late Thursday night, some strange and shocking news circulated out to the public and it certainly is a devastating blow to the Akron Zips and their postseason potential.
At 24-5 overall, the Zips are the No. 1 seed within the MAC Tournament, winning the regular season title with a 14-1 record in league play. The expectations have continuously been on the rise over the course of the past few months, but with Thursday’s news comes the speculation and impact discussions that could prove costly for Akron down the final stretch here.
If you haven’t heard yet, the Zips suspended starting point guard Alex Abreu indefinitely following his arrest on marijuana trafficking changes. On Friday morning, Abreu pleaded not guilty to the charges at his disposal, but it pretty much sounds as if his season is over.
Oh sure, usually you’ll love when you point guard is distributing, but were talking about on the court assists, not drugs. Abreu is the lead facilitator on the team, averaging 6.0 assists per game this season, but that’s also in addition to 10.3 points. The numbers speak for themselves, the loss of Abreu will undoubtedly hurt the Zips. Not only that however, you must factor in the timing of things, it’s a devastating blow heading into the conference tournament.
Now throw into the equation that Akron isn’t necessarily a lock should they be upset and eliminated from the conference tournament in the coming days. It will be interesting to see if Abreu’s loss even impacts the committee on potentially choosing Akron as an at-large decision if they do not win the automatic berth.
One team lurking in the background of this recent setback is Ohio, who you may remember rode some March magic of their own to the Sweet 16 a season ago.
It will certainly be interesting to see how this one plays out over the course of the next week.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS