On the final play of the narrow win, UCLA’s second leading scorer Jordan Adams hobbled off the court, and appeared to be experiencing some sort of pain. No body anticipated how bad the freshman’s injury really was.
Adams immediately made his way to the locker room along with team trainers in order to receive X-rays on his right foot, which was determined to be broken within the hour. Adams had in fact broken the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.
The Bruins, along with Adams, went from feelings of great joy, to feelings of sadness. UCLA had just come off what could be determined their biggest win this season, with Adams contributing a game-high 24 points for the Bruins.
UCLA (25-8) appeared to finally be hitting a consistent stride when heading into the most important portion of their season, when winning is the only option. Granted, UCLA will receive a bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish in the PAC-12 tournament, but the Bruins aren’t competing just to make an appearance.
When speaking with the media following the game, point guard Larry Drew II was seen in tears after hearing about the injury to Adams. With such a young group of contributors, relationships and bonds are even stronger than usual.
“It’s been hard for us all year, with the transfers and the little nagging injuries and now this,” Drew II said. “It’s tough. But there’s something about this team. We find ways to make things happen when it seems like all is lost.”
Coach Ben Howland and his team are now one win away from earning the PAC-12 tournament championship, and will face Oregon.
Norman Powell (six points per game, two rebounds per game) is expected to start in place of Adams.
John Engel is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports, covering the Pac-12 and Mountain West conferences. John works for ESPNLA 710 AM radio in addition to Rant Sports. Follow: @engelsportsguy.