Enosch Wolf will play a much bigger role in UConn's game plan next season.
We've heard Enosch Wolf's name more in the last two months than in the previous two years. The time is now, it appears, for the 7-1 native of Germany. With Andre Drummond pursuing his NBA dreams and Alex Oriakhi having taken his game to Missouri, the Huskies don't have a frontcourt to speak of (at least one with any experience), which means that Wolf will likely be on the floor when the 2012-13 season commences in less than six months.
As it stands, UConn has lost Drummond, Oriakhi, Roscoe Smith and Michael Bradley. In their places there are Wolf, junior Tyler Olander, and freshman recruits Phil Nolan and Leon Tolksdorf. Olander is the only player with any experience and he's been best coming off the bench, though the Huskies will have no such luxury next season.
Wolf, who has appeared in just 13 games in two years, will also see his role change. But he may have never had the opportunity if he had transferred last year after the Huskies landed Drummond. Luckily, he stuck it out because, in his words, "I came here to play for UConn. I came here to wear the UConn jersey and play."
"You go home at night and eat dinner, and you say, 'I want to play. I want to play,' Wolf told the Hartford Courant's Dom Amore. "You think you deserve to play, because you've worked hard. But working hard doesn't mean you're better than someone else."
Now hard work and talent will likely put Wolf in the starting lineup.
"He has the skills," said associate head coach Glenn Miller said. "And his basketball IQ is good. He understands the game. But he has to get in better condition to be able to play effectively at this level."
There are countless issues heading into 2012-13 but there are also benefits. One of them: not much in the way of pressure for the young players forced into the lineup because of the lack of depth. Wolf is an example, but the growing pains he experiences next season could go along way in helping the Huskies make their way back into the national conversation a year from now.