UCLA guard Jaylen Clark will miss the rest of the season because of an Achilles injury he suffered in the No. 2 Bruins' win over Arizona on on Saturday, sources confirmed to CBS Sports' Matt Norlander. Clark is averaging 13 points, six rebounds and 2.6 steals per game for a UCLA team that is jockeying for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The loss amounts to a brutal blow for the Bruins, who have won 10 straight games entering the postseason while steadily climbing in the polls and emerging as a national title contender. Clark leads the Pac-12 in steals per game and is fourth nationally in total steals with 78. He ranks as the Pac-12's top defender, according evanmiya.com, and has proven to be an efficient scorer as well.
Clark has been one of the country's top breakout players this season after stepping into the starting lineup following the departures of Johnny Juzang and Jules Bernard from last year's roster. After logging just 18.1 minutes per game last season while playing primarily off the bench, Clark has played 30.5 minutes per game this season while proving indispensable for fourth-year coach Mick Cronin as the Bruins have built a defense that ranks No. 2 nationally at KenPom.com.
In his absence, senior wing David Singleton could step into a full-time starting role while freshman guard Dylan Andrews and redshirt freshman wing Will McClendon could be in line for more playing time.
The No. 1 seed Bruins open Pac-12 Tournament play on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET in the quarterfinals as they try and land up on the No. 1 seed line for Selection Sunday. Entering the conference tournament, CBS Sports Bracketology Expert Jerry Palm has the Bruins projected as a No. 2 seed for the Big Dance.