This wasn’t easy.
Couldn’t have been.
The Erie BayHawks narrowed down their roster from 12 players to the D-League mandated 10 by 5 p.m. today. The BayHawks ended up cutting guards Rod Wilmont and Oliver Lafayette.
I knew Erie coach John Treloar was going to have to waive one outside shooter because I figured he’d keep four big men. So I figured either Zach Sowers, Wilmont or Lafayette was going to have to go.
What I didn’t figure into the equation was Martin Zeno.
This guy from Texas Tech snuck up on me in training camp. I knew he was athletic and could defend, but in the last three days of camp, I noticed him knocking down jump shots, getting to the rim and he was on like popcorn Wednesday. Still struggles remembering things at times, but he did his thing.
On a fast break, rookie point guard Cedric Jackson got in lane and just threw the ball up in the air behind him. All the sudden, the 6-foot-5, 206-pound Zeno came out of nowhere and dunked the lob pass with two hands.
Returning BayHawk forward Ivan Harris looked at me as if to say, “Did you see that?”
I did Ivan. Goodness gracious.
“He’s a guy that’s a versatile guy that can play two or three positions,” Treloar said. “And when you can only carry a roster of 10, that’s an important thing. So we certainly like his versatility, strength and size. He brings that.”
As for 6-3, 185-pound Sowers, the guy can certainly knock down shots, but so could Lafayette and Wilmont. Lafayette played for him in Erie last season and Wilmont was at Indiana when Treloar and Erie assistant Ben McDonald were there as assistants.
So I asked Treloar what stood about Sowers, who played three seasons at Akron before transferring to NAIA Division II William Jessup where he averaged 17.7 points and shot 47 percent from 3-point range as a senior last season.
“He’s a quick trigger guy,” said Treloar in regards to Sowers being a shooter. “Can knock down the jumper at a pretty good clip percentage wise.”