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UConn Men's Basketball Recruiting: Steve Enoch Impresses at MKC

Thoughts on the incoming freshman's performance.

West Orange, N.J.— At the Mary Kline Classic, defense was a forgotten idea, dunks were hammered home and UConn fans saw signs the future has the potential to be filled with dominant big men. Steve Enoch, who will make his UConn debut this fall, was a main attraction in the senior all-star game. He was supposed to be joined by fellow UConn commit Jalen Adams, but Adams was not present due to a conflict.

UConn has established a well-earned reputation as a program featuring dominant guard play. From Kevin Ollie to Marcus Williams to Kemba to Shabazz, the Huskies churn out quality guards year after year. It has been a while, however, since UConn had a dominant big man. Sure, UConn has seen shot-blocking monsters like Hasheem Thabeet, Andre Drummond and Amida Brimah come through Storrs, but none of them brought the complete package.

Steve Enoch has that sort of potential. At close to seven feet tall, Enoch has the size to be an elite shot blocker. Not only is he tall, Enoch already has a defined body, which will only improve when he gets into a collegiate training program.

This was my first time seeing Enoch in person, and an all-star game is not necessarily the best display of his true abilities, but my impressions are overwhelmingly positive:

  • Post-up game: He did not have many opportunities to display his back-to-the-basket game, but in the few times he did, he got great looks. Enoch used his frame to create space for himself and was able to use both hands around the rim.
  • Smart and Bruising Screener: As I've mentioned, he's huge. When he sets a hard pick, the defender feels it. His screening ability should be a tool Ollie utilizes to get open jumpers and lanes for the guards.
  • Active hands: Again, it was an all-star game. Guys were throwing lazy passes or trying to throw behind the back, diagonal highlight passes. That being said, Enoch had quick hands all night. He deflected passes, cut down angles and showed good instincts on when to take a swipe for the ball
  • One-on-one Defense: In stark contrast to the game as a whole, Enoch displayed some defensive intensity. He has quick feet and will be strong enough to take on any power forward in the American Athletic Conference. Having Amida Brimah behind him to cover any mistakes will allow Enoch to gamble and play aggressively. This is a good thing.
  • Jump Shooting: There was a 3-point shooting contest prior to the start of the upperclassmen game. Enoch was the only big guy in the event. He finished in last place, but during the warmups he was burying jumpers. He has the ability to drill it from 14-18 feet. If Enoch can develop a long-range jumper to go with the mid-range then the Huskies have found themselves a very lethal weapon.
  • Overall, I was impressed with Enoch Saturday night. With his body, game, and potential growth, I can see him in the starting lineup sooner than we'd all expect. His two-way ability separates him from every other UConn big, save Brimah. Battling against Phil Nolan and Kentan Facey in practice will help him develop.