J’Vonne Hadley has been dubbed the “glue guy” of the Colorado men’s basketball team, often surpassing that label this season with his all-around play.
After missing the end of last season — his first with the Buffs — due to a pinky fracture, the senior guard has found himself injured again with a fractured cheekbone. The injury came during his career-high 24-point performance in the Buffs’ win over Washington on Jan. 24.
Hadley, known for his hustle and tough nature, is now playing through this injury with a mask protecting his face.
“Everybody knows it’s a fracture and stuff like that,” Hadley said following practice on Thursday afternoon. “It’s kind of hard to deal with a lot of different things with that. There’s a lot of pain with it. I just got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
In addition to the pain, Hadley has dealt with the issue of finding a mask that fits. The mask he wore on Saturday at Washington State wasn’t fit to his face, obscuring the premier defender’s field of vision. Hadley scored only two points against the Cougars, ditching the mask at halftime.
On Thursday, he was practicing with a mask that had a better fit.
“It is what it is at this point,” Hadley said. “It’s either sit out or play, so I’d rather just take the chance to play.”
With Hadley finding a seemingly better solution, the Buffs are looking to bounce back against the Utah Utes on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff for an important Pac-12 matchup in Salt Lake City is set for 3 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Network.