Bruins hoping to heal quickly

first_img“I can’t really extend my left arm all the way, but they said I shot the ball pretty well,” he said. “I’m not going to be 100 percent Thursday, but if I’m near 100 percent, then I’m going to feel comfortable playing.” Howland said Collison’s status would be decided before tip-off. Collison injured his shoulder in the second half of last Wednesday’s 70-65 victory over USC. He believes it happened when he ran into the basket support after getting fouled. “It’s a lot better than it was last week,” he said, explaining the pain was so bad after the USC game that he couldn’t use his left hand. Collison didn’t play in UCLA’s 70-65 loss at West Virginia last Saturday, which gave freshman Russell Westbrook his first start. It was a rocky one, with Westbrook turning the ball over and missing shots in front of the loud road crowd. “We’re in crunch time now,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said. Collison said his left shoulder was feeling better Tuesday. He spent 20 minutes shooting but had no contact in practice. “Without Darren, we are in a little bit of chaos,” leading scorer Arron Afflalo said. If Collison can’t go Thursday, Westbrook likely would replace him again. “I have faith in Russell if he does get that opportunity, he’s going to be successful,” Collison said. “I told him to keep his head up. It was a team thing. We all played bad.” Mata sat out the second half Saturday because of a sore left hip. “I feel much better,” he said. “I feel confident I’ll be ready.” Arizona State would seem to be an easy game for the Bruins, who won 60-50 at Pauley Pavilion last month. But they fell behind by 11 points to start the game against the Sun Devils’ zone. Arizona State (6-18) had a pair of four-point losses to Oregon and Oregon State last week. Before that, the Sun Devils lost to Washington State by one and by five to Washington. “They have nothing to lose,” Collison said. “ASU is still a good team. They brought everyone down to the wire.” The game will reunite Collison and his high school teammate Jeff Pendergraph, the Pac-10’s second-leading rebounder who is shooting 55 percent from the floor. “I spoke with Jeff and he was asking how I was feeling,” Collison said. “You look forward to the game a lot more than other games.” It also pairs brothers Josh Shipp of UCLA and Jerren Shipp of ASU. In their other meeting, Josh finished with 12 points and Jerren eight. “This game has me very nervous,” Howland said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img LOS ANGELES – Injuries to point guard Darren Collison and center Lorenzo Mata proved costly in UCLA’s weekend loss at West Virginia. The fifth-ranked Bruins now are waiting to see if their starters will be in the lineup for this week’s road trip to Arizona. The Bruins (21-3, 10-2) head to the desert with a half-game lead over Washington State (10-3) in the Pac-10 race. They play Thursday at Arizona State, winless in 13 conference games, and Saturday at No. 19 Arizona (8-5). last_img read more