In a loss to Seton Hall on December 20th, UConn center, Donovan Clingan, suffered a foot injury that sidelined him 3-4 weeks.
In twelve games this season, Clinagn is averaging 13 PPG, 6 RPG, and is shooting 63% from the field. The sophomore suffered a right foot strain in September, so it has been a tough year for the UConn big man, but he has been playing over 20 minutes per game.
Samson Johnson, a freshman, has stepped up to fill in for the injured Donovan Clingan in two games this season. Despite facing some challenges with foul trouble, Johnson has been averaging 12 points per game and over three rebounds. His performance has been a great boost for the Huskies.
Johnson has been productive, especially in the 69-65 win over St. John's. He led the team in scoring with 16 points and 4 rebounds. But again, it was his foul trouble that held him back. As long as Johnson can stay out of foul trouble there should not be any reason to worry.
In the win versus DePaul on January 2nd, UConn went with a smaller lineup, but they were able to hold their own. But as the season progresses, and games get tougher, this may not work all the time.
Danny Hurley spoke with the media on Thursday on these few games so far without Clingan:
"It is a chance for us to grow and mature and go through some hard things and try to find different ways to win until we're whole again, and then maybe we could make it look like really, really beautiful basketball again."
It has been an adjustment for UConn to lose their starting center that is pivotal to this team's success; however, with Johnson stepping up it is good to see this team develop throughout the last few weeks. The depth is important for UConn on winning games. That is how they were able to win last season's National Championship game.
Donovan Clingan's timetable will fall the week of January 14th where the Huskies play Creighton on the 17th and Villanova on the 20th.