ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands -- Before UConn took the floor at the University of Virgin Islands Friday, the Huskies read the words "Find A Way" on the whiteboard in the locker room.
A few hours later, when the No. 23 Huskies revisited that locker room, they had done exactly that. And, my God, was it bizarre.
First it was Enosch Wolf, whose name usually is preceded by the tag "seldom-used" (and that's putting it nicely). Look at it this way: Wolf had more points Friday (12) than he had minutes (10) all of last season.
Then it was Shabazz Napier, who disappeared -- literally, you wouldn't have known he played in the first half -- before ripping off 10 points in 2:08, giving UConn a nine-point cushion and some breathing room over Wake Forest.
As Kevin Ollie put it, "Shabazz finally showed up" and "We don't win without (Wolf)."
Those, my friends, are the two reasons why UConn is 3-0.
The first phenomenon has a valid explanation: Wolf simply got much, much better over these past two seasons. He's not the German Jonathan Mandeldove; he's actually a competent basketball player. It just took some foul trouble from Tyler Olander for the world to realize it.
"I've seen it a couple of times," Napier said. "The way he grabbed one rebound against Michigan State, I had to look twice because he was just so strong. I've been waiting for him to show how strong he is and how capable he is at knocking down that midrange shot."
Who would have ever imagined this: With Wake Forest still hanging around, UConn's third win still in doubt, Olander -- considered to be the team's only legitimate big man -- was on the bench clapping. Wolf, who had already buried a catch-and-shoot jumper from the elbow and had spent the evening sealing the Demon Deacons' big men on the block, was on the floor in crunch time.
"He put us on his back there for a couple of minutes," Napier said.
Kevin Ollie once said he's a "feel" coach, and he clearly felt Wolf -- six rebounds, two assists, two steals, a block and some finesse in the post -- was the best option at center.
"It feels great," Wolf said. "It's like I'm finally here. I've worked hard for this and I got a chance to show what I can do."
It probably feels pretty nice for Ollie, too. Regardless of what he's seen in practice (Wolf always has been able to knock down that jumper), Ollie must have been a little uneasy about the lack of depth behind Olander and DeAndre Daniels.
This game, a matchup in which both Olander and Daniels encountered foul trouble, was going to happen eventually. Now, Ollie knows that, at the very least, Wolf can give UConn quality minutes in a pinch.
After all, the guy's 7-foot-1. Post moves and jump hooks are gravy. If Wolf can rebound and defend, he's got a spot in UConn's frontcourt rotation (which, prior to Friday, wasn't a "rotation" at all).
"It makes our team deeper, no doubt about it," Ollie said. "You never know when it's going to be your time to shine."
You also never know when Shabazz Napier transforms from no-show to the most prolific scorer in college basketball. And it's happened on a few occasions. That's the scary part -- and by that, I mean scary good and scary bad.
"When I started scoring, it was like, `I got another one, I got another one,'" Napier said. "The next thing I know I had 10 points in like two minutes and I was like `wow.'"
Consider the "wow" factor on these whacky numbers: Napier, primarily off-the-ball with Boatright operating the point, has four assists in three games. He's averaging a team-high 18 points per contest despite a 20-minute scoring drought versus Vermont and a 30-minute dry spell Friday.
Unlike Wolf, we've seen this act from Napier. Last season, he put up a goose egg against West Virginia in the regular season, then turned around and hung 26 -- including nine in the final 1:29, an otherworldly one-man scoring clinic -- on the Mountaineers in the Big East tournament.
If you're in search of an explanation, you won't find one.
"You'd have to ask him," Ollie said.
And even if you do that, you won't learn much. Napier's zero-to-60 surge -- the improbable spurt that may very well be the difference between 3-0 and 2-1 -- is truly mystifying.
"I have no clue," Napier said. "Today was just a weird day."
By its end, Enosch Wolf was doing radio interviews. At UConn, it doesn't get much weirder than that.