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UConn center Amida Brimah out 6-8 weeks with broken finger

Syracuse UConn Basketball

Syracuse forward Michael Gbinije (0) takes the ball to the basket as Connecticut center Amida Brimah (35) defends during an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015. Syracuse defeated Connecticut 79-76. (Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)


UConn will be without reigning AAC Defensive Player of the Year and starting center Amida Brimah for the next six to eight weeks, according to a release from the school. The junior from Ghana broke his finger in practice and is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday morning.

Brimah had played in 84 consecutive games for the Huskies before missing Sunday’s win over UMass Lowell with a groin injury. Upon returning to practice on Monday, Brimah broke the third finger on his right hand.

“Everyone will have to lift their level of play --- the big men, of course, but our guards, as well will have to play better defense on the perimeter without Amida in there,” UConn head coach Kevin Ollie said in the release. “We look at it as an opportunity for somebody to step up and have an impact on the game and the program. And I believe every player on this team has the capability to do that.”

The 7-foot Brimah was averaging 7.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3 blocks per game while also shooting 72 percent from the field this season. His presence will surely be missed in the UConn lineup, especially with conference play beginning just after the new year.

Without Brimah in the lineup, the Huskies could opt to go with some smaller lineups with their guard-heavy roster but it also means that centers like senior Philip Nolan and freshman Steve Enoch will have to step up. Nolan and Enoch only combined to play 11 minutes in the Sunday win over UMass Lowell as the UConn defense struggled at times without their rim protector in the middle.