Akron's roster has seen an overhaul in the past week. Three players are gone. Two signed.
Keith Dambrot struggles every year to find a rotation that makes him happy. Usually, he errs on the side of having a large rotation.
So whom can Zips fans expect to see on the floor next year? Here's my best guess...
Discussion -- Fans are somewhat polarized on this, but I feel Steve McNees is a good point guard. The question is not whether McNees can play. The MAC Tournament should have been ample evidence of that. It is whether he can be the orchestrator of the offense. After McNees, it will be interesting to see if Dambrot prefers to have a true point guard or if he prefers to have his best players on the floor. If it's the former, he will play Alex Abreu when McNees is out. If it's the latter, then Humpty Hitchens will play 15 minutes per game at the point and Abreu will redshirt. The coaches will probably make that decision in the fall.
Conclusion -- McNees starts and plays 25-30 minutes. Hitchens gets the remainder.
Discussion -- Here is the big logjam of three experienced players. Darryl Roberts is arguably the team's most dependable, smartest player, and shooting guard is really the only place for him. Brett McClanahan and Humpty Hitchens can play a little at small forward and point guard, respectively, but not that's not ideal. When Hitchens is at the point, Roberts needs to be on the floor as the other ball-handler. McClanahan will have to start hitting shots more regularly to earn his minutes.
Conclusion -- Hitchens starts and plays 10 minutes. Roberts plays 20-25. McClanahan gets the remainder.
Discussion -- Brett McKnight is the senior who has played all three years prior. The question is, who backs him up? This is pure speculation, but I doubt that Quincy Diggs would choose to transfer here without some assurance he would get minutes.
Conclusion -- McKnight starts and plays 25. Diggs plays 10. McClanahan plays five.
Discussion -- With the departure of Chris McKnight, Nik Cvetinovic can take his rightful spot at the four. He will need some help from at least one of the true freshmen, especially considering his propensity for committing fouls. This will be the other big question for fall training camp. At least one of the incoming forwards has to show he's ready to play.
Conclusion -- Cvetinovic plays 25. McKnight plays five. Dakotah Euton/Josh Egner/Michael Green plays 10.
Discussion -- This position is straight-forward. Zeke Marshall must play. Mike Bardo is the backup, with a specialty on bruising the other team. If one of the freshmen shows something, Cvetinovic can get some minutes when Marshall is on the bench. If Green is not redshirted, he can help out, too.
Conclusion -- Marshall plays 25. Bardo plays 10. Green plays five.