UCLA freshman guard Jordan Adams is out for the season with a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot. He had scored a game-high 24 points to carry the Bruins to a 66-64 win over Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.
Adams injured the foot trying to defend Solomon Hill’s last shot, and told teammates as he limped off the court that he suspected it was broken. He suffered a similar injury two summers ago.
“It’s horrible,” forward Travis Wear said. “His toughness and his shot, and what he brings to this team, it’s going to be hard to replace. The way, he’s been playing, it sucks.
“He came out and he put us on his back. To hurt your foot on the last play of the game, with what we have coming up, it doesn’t get worse than this.”
Washington holds a 31-30 lead at halftime, but UCLA surprisingly holds a 20-16 edge on the boards. Another anomaly? Point guard Larry Drew II only has one dime for the Bruins, who are very much in this game despite five assists against seven turnovers. Forward Travis Wear’s right foot looks healed and he leads the game with 10 points.
UCLA is only shooting 1 of 6 from 3-point range, but the Huskies are just 2 of 6 at the free throw line.
Opportunity is knocking for Tony Parker.
At 6-foot-9, 275 pounds, Parker is UCLA’s lone true big man — an asset that, if developed, would solve one of the Bruins’ most glaring woes. He’s yet to become that frontcourt salve, a combination of poor health and inconsistent play keeping him off the floor.
That changed a bit Sunday, as he pick-and-rolled his way to eight first-half points in a 75-59 win at USC. When UCLA tips off against Arizona State at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, the freshman will get another chance to earn minutes.
“It’s just teaching him to play with physicality,” coach Ben Howland said. “He’s got a great lower body. He’s got good strength. He’s got good hands.”
The downsides? His defense, while improving, isn’t where it should be. He dribbles too often in the low post, giving opposing defenders a chance to block his shot. Continue reading
Travis Wear is day to day with a sprained ligament in his right foot, an injury he sustained five minutes into Saturday’s practice. Judging from his Instagram, he probably won’t be ready to play against Arizona State on Wednesday.
(h/t Sam Strong)
UCLA (19-7, 9-4) at USC (12-14, 7-6)
Tipoff: 12:30 p.m., Galen Center
TV/Radio: Fox Sports Net/AM 570
At a glance: Ben Howland is just 13-9 against USC, and another loss would mark the third time he’s suffered a season sweep against the Trojans. USC has only swept the Bruins six times in the past 52 years.
Also at stake is UCLA’s chance at a Pac-12 championship. Should they lose on Sunday, the Bruins would fall into fourth place in the conference — trailing Oregon and Arizona (tied at 11-4) as well as Cal (10-5). Continue reading