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Akron PG Alex Abreu suspended after drug arrest

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Akron's at-large hopes took a major hit when it lost to Buffalo earlier in the week, and the Zips received more bad news on Thursday evening.

Starting point guard Alex Abreu was arrested on drug charges and has been suspended indefinitely, according to Phil Trexler of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Abreu, a 5-foot-10 junior from Puerto Rico, has been the catalyst for Akron's offense this season, averaging 10.3 points and 6.0 assists for the Zips. In the past five games, Abreu had been averaging 13.0 points and 5.5 assists. He is also arguably the team's best 3-point shooter, knocking down nearly 40 percent of his attempts from behind the arc.

"I can't believe it," one MAC head coach said. "The MAC is back open again without him."

Without Abreu, coach Keith Dambrot will need to turn to two relatively inexperienced backups to run the show. Freshman Carmelo Betancourt has been playing the point off the bench, but he plays fewer than 10 minutes per game. Deji Ibitayo could also see some minutes at the position.

Akron is 14-1 in the Mid-American this season, but the loss to Buffalo earlier this week could cripple its at-large hopes if it doesn't win the automatic bid. There's a solid win over Middle Tennessee, but that's the only top-50 win on the resume. The two sub-100 losses are also difficult to swallow. Now, the loss of Abreu puts the Zips in even more peril, considering the commmittee will have to factor in his absence.

The Zips (24-5) can clinch the outright MAC title on Friday against Kent State.

For more college basketball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCBB on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our College Basketball Newsletter. You can follow Jeff Borzello on Twitter here: @jeffborzello

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