UConn guard Azzi Fudd was on the sidelines for the eighth-ranked Huskies’ 80-48 win over No. 20 Maryland on Thursday. Head coach Geno Auriemma confirmed that Fudd suffered a non-contact knee injury during practice on Tuesday.
In a team release, UConn said it will provide more information “at a later date” after Fudd undergoes testing. Auriemma, meanwhile, said that Fudd has been dealing with some swelling in her knee, which could delay the testing. The program is holding out hope, he said, that “this one might be minor” after Fudd felt something was off following a shot in practice.
“Just random stuff,” Auriemma said.
The No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2021, Fudd has dealt with injuries throughout her collegiate career. As a freshman, she missed 10 games with a foot injury. Last year as a sophomore, she missed 22 games with right knee injuries.
Prior to stepping on campus, Fudd tore the ACL and MCL in her right knee.
The injury has UConn fans feeling a sense of déjà vu. Paige Bueckers, the 2021 National Player of the Year, missed all of last season with an ACL tear. The year prior, she was sidelined 19 games with a separate knee injury. Forward Ice Brady also missed her freshman year in 2022-23 with a knee injury.
As a team, UConn dealt with unprecedented injuries last season, even forcing them to postpone a conference game in January because they didn’t have seven available players.
“We’ve always handled it really, really, really well,” Auriemma said. “We’ve always been pretty resilient. For us to win 31 games last year, given what we went through, they respond, they don’t pout. They really don’t.
“So when I said, ‘Hey, we’re just going to have to figure this one out — for however long this is, whether it’s today, tomorrow, at least through Saturday, and then we’ll see what happens after that – it changes your rotation, obviously. It changes maybe the way you want to play. It certainly changes your offense.”
Bueckers noted that, while it’s impossible to replace Fudd, the team will have to find a way to make up for her absence.
“Nobody’s going to be Azzi, but we can all do stuff that contributes to filling her void and making sure that we’re accounting for her and doing all the little things,” she said.