Alex Abreu replacements for Akron

USA TODAY Sports

Alex Abreu is facing an indefinite suspension and Akron may need to move forward without their star point guard. A number of players will need to step up for Akron to win the MAC tournament.

Information on the Alex Abreu arrest this afternoon is still limited, but if the allegations are true, Alex Abreu's season and potentially career is in serious jeopardy. This season has seen a spirited winning streak and a 25-4 record that led to many high hopes for Akron fans. Alex Abreu has played a large role as the starting point guard in the Zips' success. The season will go on and Akron will still enter the MAC tournament as the number one seed. Are the Zips still the favorites? It's hard to say, but Alex Abreu is not the only star on this team and another Akron-Ohio finale still seems the most likely outcome in the MAC tournament.

Coach Keith Dambrot has one "test game" tomorrow to try and replace Alex Abreu to prepare for the MAC tournament and (hopefully) subsequent NCAA tournament.

First let's take a look at what needs replaced.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Alex Abreu 29 30.2 3.2 7.8 40.9 1.7 4.4 39.4 2.2 2.7 81.0 0.7 1.8 2.5 6.0 2.9 1.2 0.1 1.7 10.3

The 30 minutes per game will probably not all be replaced by one player, but more of a PG by committee, at least until someone cements themselves as the clear point guard. This is no small feat for the Zips to obtain. Abreu was multifaceted as a slasher, a shooter, a ball handler, and a leader for the Zips all season.



FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Carmelo Betancourt 29 9.4 0.8 1.8 43.1 0.0 0.3 11.1 0.2 0.5 46.7 0.1 0.4 0.5 1.4 1.7 0.3 0.0 1.4 1.8




The first candidate to replace some of Abreu's minutes is freshman Carmelo Betancourt. He is the player most comparable to Abreu in size, slashing ability, and is also coincidentally from Puerto Rico. Where Betancourt lacks is experience and shooting as he has not made a three pointer all season. He may be forced into shooting situations should he see an extended role. The assist to turnover ratio cannot be comforting for Akron fans either.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Brian Walsh 28 24.3 2.7 6.3 43.2 1.4 3.5 39.2 1.0 1.3 75.7 1.0 2.6 3.6 1.6 0.6 1.3 0.1 1.7 7.8


After Betancourt, Akron will have to look to non-traditional point guards. Brian Walsh certainly provides the shooting and experience that Abreu provided, but will he be an effective ball-handler? He has been careful with the ball as a shooting guard, but that would become more difficult as the primary ball-handler and Akron is certain to see more full-court pressing if he were to take the helm at point guard. Of course the biggest problem of Walsh playing PG is that Akron would now be without its starting shooting guard.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Deji Ibitayo 28 11.2 1.0 2.9 34.1 0.4 1.5 23.8 0.7 1.2 60.6 0.3 1.5 1.8 0.7 0.6 0.3 0.1 1.0 3.1


Next up is sophomore Deji Ibitayo. He will certainly see an increase in minutes whether it's at point guard or shooting guard and will provide some athleticism. He's shown flashes as a shooter, but a career 23.4% 3-point shooter won't make anyone forget Abreu. I think it's more likely that Deji Ibitayo will see more minutes at shooting guard rather than point guard, but I would like to see Keith Dambrot give him a few possessions at the point come tomorrow night.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Chauncey Gilliam 25 14.6 1.8 4.8 38.7 1.0 2.9 34.2 0.5 0.6 75.0 0.6 1.1 1.7 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.0 1.4 5.2


This is another example of a player who may not see minutes as a point guard, but should see his minutes increase if Abreu were to miss the MAC tournament. Gilliam has seen his minutes take a sharp decline since the beginning of the season, but now looks prime to earn some minutes back. He can provide a serious scoring punch for the Zips with a 45.6 career FG% and a 39.5 career 3P%.

A few things are for certain going forward. Akron will have to replace a star player should this suspension extend for the rest of the season and it cannot be done by just one player. Aside from the players listed above, everyone will need to step up from Keith Dambrot to Zeke Marshall to Demetrius Treadwell and more to overcome this adversity and make it to the NCAA tournament.

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