Some notes and quotes from the Huskies pre-practice availability Thursday …
STORRS – When Enosch Wolf goes out on the floor now, he’s playing for you.
You know who you are. You’re the UConn fan who encouraged instead of sneered, the student who wished him well on campus.
“I’ve gotten so much support,” said Wolf, the 7-foot-1 junior who had 12 points, nine rebound against NC State. “It really motivates me. It’s in the back of my mind every time I step out on the court. There would have been so many chances to say mean things, but I feel like people have had my back. And I want to pay them back.”
Wolf’s emergence, with 12 points and six rebounds vs. Wake Forest and 12 and 9 vs. the Wolfpack, gives the Huskies a little unexpected depth in the front court, an option when Tyler Olander isn’t playing particularly well. Can he become a starter?
“If he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s going to get more playing time,” coach Kevin Ollie said. “Let’s put it that way. Starters are the guys I like. The guys on the court at the end of the game are the guys I trust. I look at ‘em all as starters.”
Wait, is that another Ollie-ism? Mark it down.
“I’m not expecting 12 and nine from him every night,” Ollie said. “That would be asking a lot.”
Actually, Wolf or Niels Giffey could start against Harvard on Friday night. A decision was to be made on DeAndre Daniels, whose back was bothering him on Tuesday. “It’s still a little sore,” Daniels said “It spasmed on me during the game, and I couldn’t really bend or stretch. I couldn’t play as hard as I normally do.” UConn could go with Olander and Wolf together for a bigger look against Harvard.
The Crimson were ranked when they came to Gampel a year ago, and the Huskies won 67-53. They are not quite that good this year, at 3-3. They lost to Vermont earlier this year, a team UConn beat, but Harvard also beat Boston College of the, ahem, ACC last time out.
“They play free,” Ollie said. “They know their offense. They all know their roles, and the freedom comes from that. They play loose. That’s what basketball is all about. Why play tight?”
Like UConn, Harvard’s top three scorers are guards – Siyani Chambers, Laurent Rivard and Wesley Saunders, all in double figures. The front court is tall, but young.
The Sun’s Kara Lawson will be working the game for SNY, along with play-by-play announcer Kevin Connors and sideline reporter Andy Katz.
Niels Giffey on Enosch Wolf: “We know what he can do now, and we’re going to expect it. He can’t hide it from us.”