Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Concerned Parties: No. 8 Wichita State, No. 9 Virginia, No. 12 Villanova, No. 15 Oklahoma, No. 18 Kansas State, No. 19 Michigan, No. 22 VCU, No. 23 UConn
Most of these teams either have talented big men who lack experience or simply not enough true big men.
Wichita State needs someone to step up next to 6'7" senior Darius Carter. All the candidates have some strengths to their games, but none have a minute of Division I experience.
Virginia's chances of retaining the ACC title hinge on whether Anthony Gill can keep the energy he brought off the bench and produce similarly as a starter. Plus, 6'11" Mike Tobey must become much more assertive without veteran Akil Mitchell to help on defense and the glass.
Villanova's banking on junior center Daniel Ochefu to keep improving offensively, because senior JayVaughn Pinkston needs some help. Largely invisible sophomore Darryl Reynolds is the team's only other true post player.
Aside from Big 12 rebounding king Ryan Spangler and part-timer D.J. Bennett, Oklahoma has only three freshmen to man the interior positions. The Sooners are still twisting in the wind, waiting for the NCAA to rule on Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas' immediate eligibility.
Kansas State has plenty of big bodies, and there's good Big 12 experience in senior Thomas Gipson and junior D.J. Johnson.
Neither is a true center, however. For that, coach Bruce Weber has to turn to transfers Brandon Bolden and Stephen Hurt. While Bolden saw little playing time at Georgetown, Hurt won 2013 Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year honors at Lipscomb. That's a long way from Big 12 competition, though.
Michigan's post game consists of Scout.com 4-star prospect D.J. Wilson, ESPN 3-star Ricky Doyle and junior Max Bielfeldt, who's played all of 195 minutes in 39 appearances over two years. Redshirt freshman Mark Donnal could also be a factor, but he likes to step out and shoot.
VCU got a combined 23.5 minutes, 4.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game from senior Jarred Guest and sophomore Mo Alie-Cox. Someone—most likely Alie-Cox—has to establish himself as a starter with Juvonte Reddic gone. Redshirt freshman Antravious Simmons and two true frosh will also see early time.
Finally, UConn bigs Amida Brimah, Phillip Nolan and Kentan Facey can all be defensive and rebounding forces, but they were offensive afterthoughts last season. Are any of them capable of handling a bigger load if needed this year?