UConn women’s basketball’s bad luck has continued through the holiday break. On Tuesday, Geno Auriemma told reporters on Zoom that Aubrey Griffin tested positive for Covid-19 while home and will miss the Huskies’ upcoming matchup at Creighton on Wednesday. She has not been around the team since falling ill, so no coaches or players were exposed.
Tuesday is Griffin’s fifth day after testing positive according to the coach, so while she may rejoin the team soon, it’s uncertain whether she’ll play in UConn’s game vs. Marquette on Saturday.
“She needs a couple of days when we get back,” Auriemma said. “Maybe, maybe not for Saturday.”
In addition to Griffin, Amari DeBerry also hasn’t made it back after returning home to Buffalo for Christmas. A massive winter storm hit the city that dropped 100 inches of snow and shut down all the roads and airports. The team is hopeful DeBerry will make it to Omaha on Wednesday.
“We won’t have her back until tomorrow sometime,” Auriemma said. “She’s going to meet us here — if all goes well.”
Griffin is in the midst of a breakout season after missing the entire 2021-22 campaign with a slew of injuries. The redshirt junior has averaged 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, reached double-figures in eight of 11 contests this season and set a career-high with 29 points against Princeton on Dec. 8.
As for DeBerry, she’s seen a larger role with the recent run of injuries. She played a career-high 26 minutes in the win over Princeton and followed it up with 13 minutes in the next contest vs. Maryland. However, DeBerry did not play against Florida State and then only saw five minutes of action in UConn’s last contest, a victory over Seton Hall. Still, the team needs all hands on deck with Griffin out.
Azzi Fudd won’t provide a boost for the shorthanded Huskies, though. While Christmas Day marked three weeks since her right knee injury against Notre Dame — the front end of the 3-6 week timeline for her recovery — she won’t suit up against Creighton.
“She’s getting a test this Thursday when we get back and depending on what happens there, then she can get out on the court and do some functional stuff, play, [do] what looks like playing, feels like playing and then we can go from there,” Auriemma explained.
So while Fudd is getting closer to a return, it’s still unclear exactly when she’ll be back.
“She’s made great progress and she looks great,” Auriemma said. “I think we just want to be sure that everything’s in good order. So that’s going to happen on Thursday, then we’ll take it from there.”
With Fudd and Griffin both out (in addition to Paige Bueckers and Ice Brady, who have season-ending injuries) and DeBerry still a question mark, UConn only has seven players who are certain to be available against Creighton: Nika Mühl, Lou Lopez Sénéchal, Caroline Ducharme, Aaliyah Edwards, Dorka Juhász, Ayanna Patterson and Inês Bettencourt.