UConn Huskies Will Struggle During Tyler Olander’s Suspension
Connecticut Huskies forward Tyler Olander has been suspended indefinitely on Monday afternoon after being charged with a DUI, according to Dom Amor of The Hartford Courant.
Olander, entering his final season for UConn as a projected starter, was reportedly pulled over and charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, driving without a license and operating an unregistered vehicle. This is the second suspension Olander has faced. He was charged with trespassing in Florida in March, but the charges were later dropped.
What does this all mean for the Huskies?
It means an already weak UConn frontcourt is about to get a whole lot weaker. Olander, Connecticut’s starting center, averaged 4.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game last year for the Huskies. Although he has been criticized for his lack of presence during games, Olander is UConn’s most experienced big man for a team that hasn’t seen an elite college player down low since Hasheem Thabeet.
The loss of Olander is going to significantly decrease any depth UConn has in their frontcourt as there are many more question marks to go along with him.
Enosch Wolf, who played in 22 games and started three last year for Connecticut, was relieved of his scholarship after he too had a run-in with the law at the end of last season. He’s since decided to forgo playing as a walk-on and has returned to his home in Germany to play basketball.
Kentan Facey, Connecticut’s highly-touted incoming freshman, has yet to be cleared by the NCAA to play. Facey was named New York State Gatorade Player of the Year in his senior year of high school and could be the answer UConn has been looking for in the paint, but the Huskies won’t find that out until the NCAA clears him.
That leaves UConn with sophomore Phillip Nolan, who averaged 10.8 minutes per game last season, and incoming freshman Amida Brimah. Nolan showed flashes of solid play last season in limited playing time and Brimah is said to be a work in progress.
Connecticut is a team that fared well with small-ball lineups last season, but struggled mightily rebounding the basketball because of their lack of size. UConn was out-rebounded by 3.5 boards per game.
There’s no telling how long it is before Olander is allowed to rejoin the team or if he’s even allowed to return at all. Until then, UConn fans will be crossing their fingers that Facey is cleared by the NCAA before the season kicks off on November 8 against Maryland.