The Wake Forest basketball team received the news this past week that rising senior forward Konstantinos “Dinos” Mitoglou would be foregoing his senior season to play professionally in his native country of Greece.
While we at Blogger So Dear, and all Wake Forest fans wish him well, this does leave Danny Manning and the staff in a bind, in a front court that was already thin.
The Deacons may play some small ball, running what would essentially be a four guard lineup with some combination of Bryant Crawford, Keyshawn Woods, Brandon Childress, Mitchell Wilbekin, and Chaundee Brown playing alongside of either Doral Moore, Sam Japhet-Mathias, or Olivier Sarr. While this lineup may work in non-conference play against smaller teams, it almost certainly won’t work in conference play against ACC caliber bigs.
So the logical solution at the four would be to either play some combination of Sarr, freshman Melo Eggleston, or sophomore Donovan Mitchell alongside of Japhet-Mathias or Moore. But the problem with this is that Sarr was already supposed to take a few minutes at the five, and Eggleston and Mitchell are both very raw and have bodies that are very small to play in the post in the ACC.
Sarr is 6-11, 210 and not used to the physical play in the ACC.
Eggleston is 6-8, 190 and is more suited to be on the perimeter. He was also recruited as a wing player and will likely be more of a three than a four.
Mitchell is 6-8, 210 and is again not used to the physical play of the ACC. His shooting needs work, and he will have trouble posting up bigger players.
This is where freshman preferred walk-on Sunday Okeke comes in.
Okeke is 6-8, 230 and was a former three-star recruit before an injury in high school. While he is certainly raw and needs to learn more skills, his body is already larger and in better shape to hold his own in the post in the ACC. And as he has proven with John Collins, Danny Manning is more than capable of developing big men and helping them to hone their moves.
Moore and Japhet-Mathias are both prone to foul trouble and could have trouble staying on the floor for long stretches of time. Coach Manning doesn't like to let players play through their foul trouble, and if neither shows significant improvement in this area it might be necessary to find another source for minutes from a big man.
Assuming no other player is added to the roster, it will be absolutely necessary for Okeke to play at least a few minutes in the post for the Deacs in conference play.
What do you all think of Okeke’s potential to add a few minutes in the front court?