Potential No. 1 seed UCLA suffers another injury as Adem Bona exits with a shoulder injury
A week ago, UCLA looked like a possible contender for the #1 seed and the national title.
It hasn’t been the best week for UCLA in terms of injuries. First, defenseman Jaylen Clark fell with an Achilles rupture in the regular season finale last weekend. He was UCLA’s top defenseman and second scorer.
Then big freshman Adem Bona walked out of the Pac-12 semi-final game on Friday night with a shoulder injury and was unable to return. During the game, UCLA sports information reported that Bona’s status after Friday night was unknown.
UCLA overcame that injury to beat Oregon 75-56 to advance to the Pac-12 Championship Game on Saturday. It was impressive, as was the victory over Colorado on Thursday without Clarke. But it’s hard to imagine that injuries won’t affect UCLA in the NCAA Tournament if Bona is out for a while.
Whatever the extent of the injury, don’t wait for an official announcement.
Bona, a 6-10 freshman who was one of the highest-rated recruits in his class, averaged 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds before Friday night’s game. Bona came down and held his hand as he was led to the dressing room. Bona returned to the bench, but did not play again.
UCLA is a small team, and Bona is the only player over 6-8 who gets a significant amount of minutes. The loss of Bona will hurt the Bruins’ frontcourt defense, and that’s after the loss of Clark impacts the perimeter defense.
UCLA is still in contention for the #1 seed if they win the Pac-12 title. But the selection committee may have to take into account what UCLA’s roster will look like in the NCAA Tournament.