Charles Mitchell Should Start at Center for Maryland

By Joe Atmonavage
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland has yet to find consistent low post play from starter Shaquille Cleare and it does not seem as if that is going to change anytime soon. I think it is time for Mark Turgeon to switch it up and enter sophomore Charles Mitchell into the starting center slot.

Cleare came into this season not 100 percent after a lingering back injury all offseason and it is obvious he did not improve as Turgeon or Terp fans would have liked going into his sophomore campaign. He seems a step slow and has not improved his offensive game whatsoever. He is averaging 2.3 points per game along with two rebounds in 17 minutes of play a game. Those are not numbers you want from your starting center. Cleare has limited post moves and can really only score off put backs or easy dunks. Defensively, he is solid because of his strength and size. He can body up almost anyone in the post with ease. However, he is not overly athletic so he does not provide any rim protection. Cleare has the potential to be a productive college big man, but he is struggling right now and it may be time for the Terps to try something else.

This is where we enter Charles Mitchell into the equation. Mitchell has already been playing more minutes a game, but I think it is time for him to become the teams starting center and get even more of those minutes. Mitchell is a much better scorer then Cleare, rebounds the basketball better, and plays with more energy. Mitchell is averaging 12.3 points per game while grabbing 7.3 rebounds as well in 20 minutes a game. He brings much more to the table and with more minutes those numbers could rise even more.

I get why Turgeon likes Mitchell coming off the bench. He is a player that brings a lot of energy to the team and can help lift a team that gets off to a slow start. And Maryland has gotten off to slow starts in each of their contests so far thus far. So, enter Mitchell into the starting lineup and let his energy and rebounding help the Terps really get after it right off the tip.

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