Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wolf at the Door? Maybe Not ... Yet

While the word out of UConn has been that 7-foot-1 German product Enosch Wolf will be joining the team in mid-December, that doesn't appear to be a done deal quite yet.

Wolf, who started playing for Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Winchendon, Mass. last week, may stay and play there for the full season rather than enroll at UConn.

Wolf is currently battling a knee injury and has gained about 30 pounds (now checking in at about 260) since April. He's not in great shape, and the UConn coaching staff is a bit disappointed about that right now.

"We're not sure yet what's going to happen there, in terms of whether he's going to stay for the whole year," said Wilbraham & Monson coach Chris Sparks. "I think they're still working through some of that stuff ... I go on what they tell me."

Wolf has already signed his national letter of intent and has been accepted at UConn. It's also possible he'll enroll at UConn in mid-December, red-shirt, and let the Huskies' staff get him in better shape.

"It's not figured out yet," was about all Wolf would say about the situation.

Wolf said he's had some problems with his left knee for the past couple of weeks, though he says it's been feeling better lately. He played in a National Prep Showcase game today at Albertus Magnus College against Tilton School. Wolf didn't do much offensively, staying out on the perimeter a bit more than you'd expect from a 7-footer. He also picked up a couple of first-half fouls. He did tear down some impressive rebounds on the defensive end.

Here's a little video footage of Wolf on the basketball court:

Ha ha, just kidding. OK, here is some footage of Wolf today, stepping out and missing a 3-pointer (it's probably no more revealing of his abilities than the previous video I posted):

If Wolf is cleared to join the Huskies a week or so before Christmas, he could help the team off the bat, according to Sparks.

"I definitely think he can. His conditioning is improving, but playing us every day and playing in the Big East are two different things ... He's got a high basketball IQ, shoots the ball well (and) is just a great guy."

Said Wolf: "I know I have to get way bigger for the Big East. I'm tall, I think I know how to use my body, get some rebounds."

His strengths, Wolf said: "I can pass the ball pretty good. I have good court vision for a big guy. I really love to pass the ball."

And what does he need to work on?

"Everything," Wolf said, point-blank. "You can never stop working."

"He's been terrific," Sparks added. "He's working really, really hard. He's focused on getting in shape and being ready to help UConn out next year and give them a lift."

By "next year," Sparks seemed to mean the 2011-12 season, not this upcoming January as had originally been thought.

*** Oh, and keep this name in mind for the future: Nerlens Noel, a 6-11, 195-pound Class of 2013 center for Tilton School. Noel lists UConn, as well as Duke, Providence and Washington among his schools of interest.

"He'd definitely be interested in (UConn), they've already got two of our kids there," Tilton coach Marcus O'Neill said referring to Alex Oriakhi and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel. "He's a tremendous shot-blocker, a good rebounder. He's got a pretty good feel for the game overall. For a big guy, he's got good vision."

*** Plenty of Division I coaches (mostly assistants) at this tourney. Went to take a seat at the press table and asked the tall fella sitting there if the seat next to him was taken.

"Yes, it is," said Danny Manning, now an assistant at Kansas.

Beau Archibald is here, too. His brother-in-law, Mark Pope, is an assistant at Wake Forest, so Beau -- who still lives in Connecticut -- is spending the weekend with him. He said he doesn't have any job prospects lined up quite yet.

*** In case you haven't figured it out by now, no, I'm not in Hawaii. No comment.

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