December 7, 2021
How Bueckers injury impacts UConn
UConn sophomore will miss 6-8 weeks with tibial plateau fracture
UConn sophomore Paige Bueckers was helped off the court after injuring her knee in the waning moments of Sunday’s victory over Notre Dame. An MRI and a CT scan revealed a tibial plateau fracture. Bueckers will miss 6-8 weeks to recover from the injury.
“Obviously, we’re all extremely disappointed for Paige and that she suffered this injury,” head coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. “It would be really hard to describe how much basketball means to Paige and how much her teammates mean to her. Not being able to do the thing that she loves to do, to be there for her teammates, is really difficult for her. We’ve had players get injured in the past and my philosophy here is, I’m not interested in how fast we can get someone back; I’m interested in what’s best for them long term. Every decision made will prioritize what’s best for Paige and her career. Everyone involved with this program will be there to support Paige through her healing process.”
The 2021 AP Player of the Year was averaging 21.2 points, 6.2 assists. 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 steals in 36.4 minutes per game. Who can step up in her absence?
We’re all behind you, Paige 💙 pic.twitter.com/ecVLeWwqYZ— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) December 7, 2021
Who will step up for the Huskies?
For at least the next two weeks, Connecticut is also expected to be without the No. 1-ranked recruit in the 2021 class, Azzi Fudd. UConn announced last week that Fudd would miss time with a foot injury. In the absence of Bueckers and Fudd, expect freshman Caroline Ducharme and sophomore Nika Mühl to play more meaningful minutes.
Ducharme came off the bench to produce meaningful minutes in UConn’s 73-54 victory over rival Notre Dame on Sunday. The 6’2 guard contributed 14 points and three rebounds in 14 minutes of play. Mühl, who started 15 games for the Huskies last season, provided a spark off the bench on Sunday, and she can run the point for UConn. She will need to find ways to produce more points off the bench to make up for Bueckers’ missing offensive production.
Bueckers’ injury has come at a challenging time in the season for the third-ranked Huskies. UConn faces a tough road test against Georgia Tech this Thursday, Dec. 9 and hosts perennial contender UCLA on Saturday, Dec. 11. The Huskies will take a week off before facing No. 7 Louisville in the Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase on Sunday, Dec. 19.