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.
A year ago, Gyorgy Goloman had yet to play in a U.S. high school game. Now the 6-foot-10 Hungarian native is practicing with the UCLA men’s basketball team, hoping for a spot in a crowded frontcourt rotation.
He’s also been acclimating to his new home.
“It’s not hard to adjust to Los Angeles,” Goloman said, smiling. “But yeah — Hungary is a whole different world. It’s hard to explain without experiencing it. But I like it a lot here.”
He talked to reporters about what he missed most about his homeland, his favorite American foods, as well as who he thinks he compares to in the pros.
UCLA has officially signed five-star forward Kevon Looney, one of the gems of the 2014 class.
“Kevon is one of the best players in the country in this class,” coach Steve Alford said in a statement. “He is extremely skilled and versatile. Most importantly, he’s a winner.”
The Bruins also inked Hungarian native Gyorgy Goloman, a little-known forward also sought by Davidson, Richmond and New Mexico. Alford’s statement called him “one of the best passing big men we have seen in years.”
Looney sent his national letter of intent to UCLA this morning, while Goloman did the same yesterday.
Q: For basketball, the early signing period starts this Wednesday. Any update since five-star forward Kevon Looney verballed?
A: Hungarian big man Gyorgy Goloman officially signed his letter of intent today, and Looney is expected to send his in Thursday morning. Four-star 7-footer Thomas Welsh will decide between Cal, Stanford and UCLA any day now. Justise Winslow might also make a decision by Nov. 20.
Q: How big of a blow and an impact did losing left tackle Torian White and running back Jordon James have on the team and our offense? Continue reading →
After whiffing on several point guards and losing former four-star commitment Trevon Bluiett, UCLA finally has one name on its 2014 recruiting board. The newest Bruin is 6-foot-10 forward Gyorgy Goloman, a Hungarian native who will make his United States high school debut this season in Florida. Scout.com first reported the news.
Goloman has a three-star rating on Scout.com, but is not rated on Rivals.com. He had offers from New Mexico, Richmond and Davidson.