Ready or not, Enosch Wolf's time is now. With Andre Drummond and Alex Oriakhi gone, the Huskies are thin in the frontcourt. And if they're going to have any inside presence in 2012-13, the 7-1 native of Germany will have to be a big part of that. In May, he spoke about how his role has changed in recent months.
"You go home at night and eat dinner, and you say, 'I want to play. I want to play,' Wolf told the Hartford Courant. "You think you deserve to play, because you've worked hard. But working hard doesn't mean you're better than someone else."
Wolf has worked hard and he, along with freshman Phil Nolan, is the Huskies' best option. After playing in just 13 games in his first two years Wolf admits that he wasn't as focused as he should've been. And that wasn't lost on coach Jim Calhoun.
“The thing is, (Calhoun) is giving his best every single time, and he expects the same out of us,” Wolf said according to the New Haven Register's David Borges. “And I was slacking here a little. ...I was trying my best, but it was hard for me. I got frustrated with my play, it wasn’t what I was trying to be. My knees couldn’t get better and I couldn’t get in the shape I was trying to be in.”
Conditioning has been the biggest obstacle to more playing time for Wolf. "He has the skills," associate head coach Glenn Miller said earlier this summer. "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."
That now appears to be the case and Wolf is ready to contribute. In fact, he told Borges he's ready to give back "to the whole UConn organization -- the fans, all the people. They’ve had my back the last two years, I feel like now it’s time to give back.”
If the Huskies can find some semblance of an inside game with Wolf, Nolan and Tyler Olander, and Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier can emerge as court leaders, this team could be, in Calhoun's words, better than we think.