How do the Tigers plug the holes in the frontcourt?
Bowers and Oriakhi were integral last season, combining to average 25.3 points and 14.5 rebounds. Haith doesn't think any two players will make up for that kind of production this season. But he hopes to get those numbers out of four or five, and he's assembled a roster that will feature six scholarship players at least 6-foot-8.
Senior Tony Criswell is the most proven member of that group after averaging 5.2 points and 4.8 rebounds as the team's third forward last season. The Tigers could rely even more heavily on 6-11 transfer Keanau Post, a junior college All-American last season who brings great size and a soft shooting touch.
"He has great hands, and the way he finishes around the rim, that's going to be a big help for us this year," junior guard Jordan Clarkson said.
Haith seems intrigued by the potential of 6-11 sophomore Stefan Jankovic to create mismatches with his perimeter shooting and ballhandling skills on the offensive end, but he must first prove he can guard effectively without fouling. Ryan Rosburg looked to be a dependable low-post defender last season, but he needs to play with greater aggressiveness at both ends of the floor.
The coach also likes the skill of freshman Johnathan Williams III and the athletic ability and strength of freshman Torren Jones, but he doesn't yet know how much to expect from either rookie.