UPDATE: Kevon Looney’s injury is a facial fracture, but he has been cleared to play with a protective mask. He will gauge his comfort level in warm-ups, and is still officially listed as a “game-time decision” to play against Arizona.
UCLA might have its most talented player ready for its biggest game of the season.
Freshman forward Kevon Looney (facial injury) is a game-time decision for the Bruins tonight at 6 p.m. against Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal, head coach Steve Alford told CBS Sports. Looney had averaged 12.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game before taking a blow to the face 10 minutes into Thursday’s win over USC. UCLA remains on the NCAA Tournament bubble, with a chance at a bid likely hinging on whether or not it can beat the top-seeded Wildcats.
“He got hit in the face pretty hard,” point guard Bryce Alford said yesterday. “He had a pretty swollen eye. He looked all right, though, right after he got hit.”
Center Tony Parker was in a more jocular mood: “Not worried. He’s already ugly.”
The likely NBA lottery pick also grabbed the Bruins’ only offensive rebound against Arizona — the nation’s best defensive rebounding team — in a 57-47 loss at the McKale Center last month.
If Looney isn’t ready, the team will likely start freshman Gyorgy Goloman. The 6-foot-10 reserve averages 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 10.9 minutes per game, but had six points, seven rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes against the Trojans.