The damage has been done and quite frankly the Akron Zips can do nothing about the circumstances that point guard Alex Abreu finds himself.
You worry about the things you can control, not the things that you can’t.
What they can control as a team is how they deal with the maelstrom that currently surrounds them. They can dispatch the question: can they win without Abreu by beating Kent State (18-12, 8-7) tonight on their home court in front of a sold-out crowd. That would do two things: temporarily silence any naysayers and lift the team’s confidence going into the MAC Tournament next week.
Here are the three things they need to do to win:
- Carmelo Betancourt, a true freshman, from Puerto Rico has been compared to Abreu on several occasions. Tonight, he doesn’t need to be. He and his likely backup, sophomore Deji Ibitayo, just need to manage the game, limiting turnovers and getting their teammates involved.
- The first order of business is to get the UA inside game with senior center Zeke Marshall in his last game at Rhodes Arena, and frontcourt mate Demetrius Treadwell. Pound the ball inside relentlessly and if it works, keep doing so until Kent stops it. When they collapse on either guy, kick it out.
- The Zips’ shooters need to be on the mark tonight. It’s that simple. Each and every one – Brian Walsh, Reggie McAdams and Jake Kretzer – have to choose shots wisely and avoid forcing them.
Key pre-game note; The Golden Flashes come in winners of four consecutive. Little doubt they will be smelling blood in the water. UA’s response is everything.
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