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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies. E-mail Bob.

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October 23, 2005

Hey Joe

Posted by Bob Condotta at 1:12 PM

I sense a lot of interest in freshman center Joe Wolfinger.

And why not considering heís a 7-footer who sharpened his perimeter skills when he weighed a mere 190 pounds and felt forced to play outside of the paint, but now has bulked†up to 245, meaning he can hold his own down low?

He sounds like a player who could provide the best of both worlds.
And so far, heís done noting to quell the excitement.

UW coach Lorenzo Romar canít speak highly enough of what Wolfinger has done in practice so far, saying his work ethic is as great as anyoneís on the team. Romar says he has walked by the practice court long after the official workout has ended to hear the sound of one ball bouncing, looked inside, and found Wolfinger working on his game alone.

Still, like any true freshman, Wolfinger will have some adjustments to make and he figures to ease into a playing role on the team this season.

But word is he has played well enough that there is no doubt that he will play this season instead of redshirting, as had been initially speculated in some quarters. Even before practice had begun, the injury to Mike Jensen all but eliminated the chances he would redshirt this season.

And keep in mind that redshirting simply for developmental purposes isnít really that common - certainly not as common as in football - especially now that menís basketball teams are restricted to 13 scholarships.

I could be wrong, but I donít remember any Husky redshirting simply to work on his game since Todd MacCulloch in 1994, although Ben Devoe (remember him?) redshirted as a walk-on before earning a scholarship.

Also, the Huskies are now recruiting such a higher caliber of player that most will be ready to go from day one.

And then there is the fact that more and more players - including Wolfinger - are coming from prep schools, which in a way serve as redshirt seasons.

For now, expect everyone on the roster except for the injured Zach Johnson to play this season.