UCLA's championship hopes took a bit of a hit this week. Starting guard Jaylen Clark will reportedly miss the rest of the season with an Achilles injury he suffered during the regular season finale against Arizona on Saturday, according to Stadium's Jeff Goodman.
Clark came down awkwardly after stealing and scoring midway through the second half. He limped off the court and sat on the bench with a walking boot on his right foot with crutches for the rest of the game. Bruins head coach Mick Cronin originally said Clark would miss the Pac-12 tournament, but the injury ended up being much worse.
Jaylen Clark please be ok 💔 pic.twitter.com/lPr8rdsrEr
— UCLA Breakdown (@uclabreakdown) March 5, 2023
The second-ranked Bruins have a chance at a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament if they continue their winning streak and if other teams falter down the stretch. But the loss of Clark cannot be discounted.
The junior averaged 13 points per game — second on the team behind Jaime Jaquez — and was seventh in the country in steals 2.6 steals per game. He also grabbed six rebounds per game. Clark won Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and recently insinuated he might return to school for his senior season.
"If I come back next year, it won’t be a shock, you get what I mean," Clark said on March 2. "It’s UCLA. I mean shoot, I grew up 50 miles from here, watching them all on TV. So yeah, it’s love."