TERRE HAUTE — If Racheal Mahan or Marina Laramie had a night, as all basketball players do, where shots weren’t falling or foul trouble presented itself, coach Teri Moren didn’t have another option.
It was Laramie or Mahan or bust in the post last season.
That’s not the case this season.
Newcomer Lashonda Littleton, a 6-foot junior college transfer, was projected as the preseason starter at the big forward spot alongside Mahan at center until a minor knee injury slowed her progress.
Regardless of the starting lineup, Littleton, Laramie and, when eligible in late December, Chelsea Small, will get most of the minutes at power forward, while Mahan, Laramie and Smith share time at center.
“It definitely helps having people,” Laramie said. “There was one point in time last year we had eight people, and it was just me and Racheal in the post. There was a game against Missouri State where me and Racheal both fouled out and there was no one else to go to. Rhagen’s been doing great for us as a freshman, and Lashonda being tall and long and being able to pick off passes.”
It’s a much better situation for the team as no one is forced into passivity due to foul trouble, for example.
“The idea is to not have to play Red [Laramie] and Shonda [Littleton] at that 4-spot and allow Racheal [Mahan], Red and even Rhagen [Smith] to play that 5-spot and split minutes and keep fresh fives out there at all times,” Moren said.
Small will give the Sycamores another big that can shoot from the outside to go with Laramie, who hit a 3-pointer against Indiana on two attempts on Nov. 15. Littleton hit a pair from long range at Stetson.
“She’s a kid that can stretch the defense,” Moren said of Littleton. “She has range. She’s a great defender. Offensively, she finds the right spots, she’s a good passer.”