Turner's transfer first domino to fall

Northwestern announced on Saturday that Mike Turner will transfer, a foregone conclusion with many implications.

Northwestern announced Saturday that former center Mike Turner will transfer. Turner averaged 1.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in 2012-13, before taking a leave of absence for "personal reasons" on Sept. 15.

This essentially became a foregone conclusion when the Wildcats received a verbal commitment from Jserra Catholic (Calif.) point guard Johnnie Vassar — which left no scholarships for next season.

Regardless of how it was handled, this reflected a consistent mindset: Northwestern needs to adjust its roster in order to compete. The team's latest loss to DePaul exposed an alarming lack of big men, which hasn't quite been addressed in the 2014 recruiting class.

Call it the first domino to fall. Multiple sources have suggested to PurpleWildcats.com that there is one, if not two, transfer candidates on the current roster. Given Collins' needs, you could also infer that they might not have used the last available scholarship if they didn't assume they could acquire a big man elsewhere.

The transfer search began well before Vassar's commitment, but Northwestern assessed UNLV transfer and 6-6 forward Jamal Aytes — who eventually settled on BYU. Though the current roster is full, for now, many things are expected to happen.

The big man search is an especially pressing need. Next year, the roster includes one true center (Alex Olah) and no true power forwards. Even now, the one true-four, Nikola Cerina, has yet to make significant impact on the team. The small lineup is unsustainable, they lack a true post presence and need to address the situation immediately.

For now, the Turner transfer signifies a team in limbo, and internal change that has to happen sooner rather than later.


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