Is There A "Big" Solution?

Mark Turgeon has a "big" problem which may require a very creative solution.

It became crystal clear after the Oregon State loss, that he's missing a key ingredient in the frontcourt. He's missing a go-to player in the paint who has the height and athleticism to compete against a standard, run-of-the-mill power forward/center, who stands 6'9" or more, and has a degree of athleticism.

So far, it looks like Shaquille Cleare hasn't progressed nearly as much as we had hoped; his back spasms may still be an issue, or at least they may have stifled his development.

For as talented at Charles Mitchell is, the combination of his height (or lack thereof), and his weight (250 or so) means that he doesn't have the height to compete against an athletic player of 6'9" or so, with decent hops.

Another possible - albeit unlikely - option is Evan Smotrycz. He's 6'8", 230 pounds, but isn't particular athletic, prefers to play on the perimeter, and has dubious defensive skills.

That leaves freshman Damonte Dodd, and Penn State transfer Jonathan Graham as potential solutions. Those two, so far, have combined for just 23 minutes in three games; hardly enough time for a valid in-game assessment.

So what do you expect Turge to do to address the problem? For me, I'd like to see more of Dodd and Graham, at least over the next two games (relative cupcakes), to see what they have to offer in live competition. Also, give Shaq a little more playing time to see if he can right his own ship. If none of those possible solutions pan out, the only other option I can see is to play small ball, and hope that Smo, and Jake Layman can neutralize opposing frontcourts. I'm not holding my breath on that one. Of course, until Seth Allen recovers from his injury, we're not particularly deep in the backcourt, and lack quickness.

Anyone have any other ideas? Beyond those options, I'm at a loss.

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