How much longer can the Connecticut Huskies last playing an up-tempo style of basketball while having virtually no depth? Not too much longer thanks to the suspension of Enosch Wolf who plays 13 minutes a game. While the 13 minutes Wolf plays on the hardwood doesn’t exactly give you goosebumps, 3 points and 3 rebounds per game, the absence of those minutes might be a deathblow to UConn’s chances to make their fictional run at the NCAA Tournament.
Not that the Huskies haven’t played better than expected this season, or their current resume isn’t good enough to dance in March. But with only eight players getting significant minutes, and one of them now gone indefinitely, head coach Kevin Ollie has a serious depth problem.
UConn’s success so far has relied heavily on Ollie’s fast paced style of offense. Although the Huskies have known about the depth problem all season, but haven’t tried to change the approach, is not surprising. Despite being limited by depth, UConn is not strapped of talent. Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright, DeAndre Daniels, and Omar Calhoun are all above-average college players. Ollie decided to go with those players strengths, getting out in transition, rather than juggle his depth problem.
With only eight games left on the Huskies’ schedule, and only two of them against competent teams, Ollie might not have to worry about the depth issues. Honestly, depth isn’t the biggest issue facing the Huskies trying to get in the Tourney.
Ollie has done a terrific job with his squad this year. Nobody expected them to be this good or in contention to make the NCAA Tournament.
OH! Wait, there aren’t eligible to play in March. Lack up depth and a new coach wasn’t the Huskies’ biggest problems coming into this season. It was bad grades from a previous man’s regime. How the NCAA loves to punish the people of the present for the people of the past’s indiscretions.
However, UConn’s future is bright with Ollie. Their alums and fanbase should be excited that they have him. While this year is, for all intents and purposes a bust, Ollie will likely give them plenty of seasons in which getting into the tournament won’t be the question but asking how far the Huskies go dancing in it will be.
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone