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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 4, 2009 at 11:56 PM

Wolfinger perseveres

The Huskies will play Thursday night at Cal, which for most people will be simply a rematch of one of the greatest games of this season — the Bears’ three-overtime win in Seattle last month.
But for Joe Wolfinger, a game in Berkeley means returning to the highlight of his UW career, when he came off the bench last March 1 to score 17 points in 18 minutes and lead the Huskies to an 87-84 win.
Jon (Brockman) got in foul trouble early and I got some good minutes (18) and I was really feeling it,” Wolfinger remembered this week.
There was some thought that maybe that would be Wolfinger’s breakout moment.
Instead, as UW returns to Cal this week, his career remains stuck in neutral. He’s played only five minutes in one Pac-10 game, mired on the bench due to the emergence of some younger players (Darnell Gant, Matthew-Bryan Amaning) who are a better fit for UW’s style this season with their defensive and rebounding ability.
“We’ve been successful with those bigs who have been versatile and very quick on defense,” says UW coach Lorenzo Romar. “It’s nothing against Joe at all.. But again, we’ve played some of the best defense this year since we’ve been here and it has something to do with the lineup we have out there.”
Wolfinger, a junior, admits it’s frustrating but says “I just go out and practice hard every day and if I get called on, I get called on. There’s nothing else I can say or do. I’m not going to create a controversy or a ruckus or anything like that.”
With two more big players coming in next year — Clarence Trent and Charles Garcia Jr. — playing time could be even harder to find. And with UW at the moment being one over the scholarship limit, something will have to give, with rumors rumbling that maybe Wolfinger solves the issue by deciding to play elsewhere for his senior season.
Wolfinger, however, says that’s not on his mind right now. “I’m not worried about that right now,” he said. “Talk to me after the season and see where my head is at.”

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