The funny thing about a blog is that if you don't write anything for it it won't update. Crazy huh? UConn had finals over the past week, which meant no games and very little news, as it happened I also had finals to take, hence the lack of updates. That ends now though, not in the least because after a week without basketball UConn returns to the court tomorrow with the men taking on Holy Cross and the women traveling to Baylor.
To celebrate the return of hoops I'm going to unveil the exceedingly poorly named: "Essential-O-Meter," which takes a look at all of UConn's current players in terms of what they're bringing to the team. It's a simple concept, the more losing a player would hurt UConn's chances to succeed in March, the lower they're ranked. I will present it over the next 24 hours in three acts, the first of which is "The Injured Guy and the Germans".
Season lowlight: Missing the start of the season for ankle surgery
What to look for going forward: Not much. Bradley was not going to be a key contributor this year no matter what, but his ankle injury was particularly mistimed because any floor time he was likely to receive would have come early during the "Parade of Cupcakes" part of UConn's schedule. With Big East play set to kick in two weeks Bradley is almost certainly going to be relegated to walk-on levels of playing time, and that assumes he sees the court at all. He's going to be around Storrs for a while, and one day could grow into a contributor, but the depth ahead of him means that day isn't coming anytime soon.
No. 10 -- Enosch Wolf
Season highlight: Losing a significant amount of weight in the offseason. I don't have an exact number but Wolf looks much more svelte this season. When he joined the team last year one of the knocks on him was his significant weight gain during a fall spent in prep school. He hasn't played a lot, but just losing the weight is a step in the right direction.
Season lowlight: The personal foul he picked up playing Maine. What can you say, there isn't a lot to work with here.
What to look for going forward: Wolf might see more minutes than Bradley from here on out, but if he does it's probably only because Jim Calhoun is feeling like some German. Wolf's accumulated stats this year: Four minutes (one against Columbia, two against Maine, one against Coppin St.), three rebounds, one block and one personal foul. Sure, he hasn't scored or attempted a shot, but if you want to have fun with small sample sizes, Wolf would grab 30 rebounds a game if he played 40 minutes, so he's probably the next Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
No. 9 -- Niels Giffey
Season highlight: Winning the First Night 3-Point Contest. Giffey has played some significant minutes this year, but hasn't had anything close a to a real impact. The 3-Point contest is arguably more significant than anything real he's done because it shows the potential to be a valuable tool if UConn needs a few quick points.
Season lowlight: Having a shooting motion straight out of 1917. Giffey can be an accurate shooter, but the fact that it takes him 45 minutes to release a shot really hurts when the other team is playing defense.
What to look for going forward: Valuable bench minutes here and there, but nothing consistent. Giffey is perfectly serviceable, but he has to compete for time with both DeAndre Daniels and Roscoe Smith. Both of those guys are poor versions of Rudy Gay, but those poor versions are much, much, much more likely to get time from Calhoun (it also doesn't help that the introduction of the Shabazz-Napier-and-Ryan-Boatright-playing-at-the-same-time offense bumps Lamb into the 3 spot and takes away even more minutes). Giffey will play four years here, he'll be valuable and come back to haunt us when he helps upset the US team at some non-Olympic event in six years, but for now he's going to be a spot player. I'm happy with that.