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UConn update: The No. 11 Huskies will have to recover from the loss of Azzi Fudd

The No. 11 UConn Huskies (4-2) will have some rest this week before a busy December.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Southern Connecticut State at Connecticut
Junior Azzi Fudd will miss the remainder of the 2023-24 season.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

After our last update detailed what to expect from the UConn Huskies this season, this is not the update any of us wanted to be reading (or writing!). While we will get to the Huskies’ latest lineup loss, let’s breakdown their most recent performances and current ranking.

Huskies’ record, ranking and results

In the AP poll released Monday, November 27, UConn, with a record of 4-2, ranked 11th in the country. At the time of our last update, the Huskies were 1-1 and about to face Maryland—a game they ended up winning 80-48. Paige Bueckers scored 24 points to catapult the Huskies to that win, helped by Aubrey Griffin’s 13 rebounds.

UConn then traveled to Minnesota for Buckers’ homecoming game. UConn won, 62-44. Aliyah Edwards led the team in points with 16 and rebounds with nine. Those two games were a lot more indicative of the basketball fans were expecting to see from UConn this season. But the Huskies were (and are) still figuring things out.

This past weekend, the team travelled to the Cayman Islands to play in the Cayman Islands Classic. In the first game, UConn played No. 2 UCLA, who went into the game undefeated. After trailing in the first half, Bueckers led a comeback to make it competitive, but UConn could not finish on top. UCLA won 78-67, despite Bueckers’ game-high 31 points. The loss was a reminder that UConn doesn’t have as much depth as other top teams. The loss of Azzi Fudd, which we’ll discuss below, takes away one of the Huskies’ main shooting options. Overall, the team continues to struggle with injury, with returning players understandably requiring time to readjust. Against a team like UCLA that is performing at a peak level from starters to the end of the bench, it is just going to be hard for UConn to keep up.

UConn was able to end their weekend with a win against Kansas, 71-63. Griffin was huge in this game, scoring 20 points and grabbing eight rebounds; Bueckers had 22 points, four rebounds and two steals.

Azzi Fudd to miss season

The biggest news to come out of UConn this week: Azzi Fudd will miss the remainder of the season after suffering tears in her ACL and meniscus. The injury occurred in practice last week, and comes after Fudd missed a large portion of last season due to injury.

Fudd was the No. 1 high school recruit for the 2021 class. She averaged 11 points per game in the two games she played this season. In her sophomore season, she played 15 games total, averaging 15.1 points per game. In her freshman season, she played 25 games total and scored 12.1 points per game on 43 percent shooting from 3-point range.

There is confidence that Fudd will be able to recover and return to the Huskies’ lineup next season. She has two more years of college eligibility and already has expressed her desire to come back to UConn next season, despite being eligible for the 2024 WNBA Draft.

With the loss of Fudd, the Huskies lose a starting-caliber guard and a ton of shooting ability from their lineup. While UConn is a guard-heavy team, they also are missing Caroline Ducharme to injury and most of their other potential backups are freshman. Head coach Geno Auriemma will have to go deeper into his bench than he is used to to make up for the loss of Fudd.

What’s next for the Huskies?

UConn’s next game is against No. 10 Texas (7-0) on Sunday, December 3 at 3 p.m. ET. They’ll be playing in Texas against an undefeated team. Perhaps the rest will come in handy for the Huskies, but their December schedule is pretty packed. After this game, they play on the 6th, 10th, 16th and 18th of December before traveling up to Toronto, Canada on December 20. A win on Sunday potentially would help get UConn back into the top 10 in next week’s rankings, with Texas currently being the highest-ranked opponent they will face all month.

UConn still has the talent to be one of the best teams in the country, so hopefully they are able to get into more of a rhythm as the season progresses.