When I reported the other day that the Zips would be without forward Chauncey Gilliam for a couple of weeks, my still small Twitterfeed (feel free to help it grow by following me @GeorgeThomasABJ) blew up in a minute kind of way.
A couple decried the timing (the MAC opener is tonight, don’t ya know) and for others it was just more Zips bad luck. Very few offered the reasonable perspective that the Zips would get over it.
That’s not to say that Gilliam won’t be missed. It’s more of an acknowledgement that the Zips possess depth in almost limitless quantities.
Coach Keith Dambrot already goes 11 deep into his roster at times and has little problem doing so. Gilliam isn’t known to penetrate. He’s more of a mid-range shooter and shooters fill the roster. In fact, to those who watch, in some instances this season it’s been perfectly obvious that the Zips miss last year’s MAC Sixth Man of the Year, Quincy Diggs, because he could drive to the hoop and hit from the outside.
The Zips will be fine because Nick Harney (9.9 points per game), who is nothing if not offensively proficient, will move into his starting role. Harney, at 6-foot-8, has the size and strength to cause opposing teams problems. But when you add him to an already imposing frontcourt that includes center Zeke Marshall, who is having his best season ever in his senior year, and Demetrius Treadwell, who is blossoming, picking up the slack shouldn’t be difficult.
If Jake Kretzer can continue to play strong in the MAC and Reggie McAdams develops. And Deji Ibitayo has shown more than a few flashes this season. The Zips will be fine. Two weeks may be an eternity during the conference season, but this isn’t the equivalent of Pearl Harbor getting bombed.