The McKale Center crowd held its breath.
Just before halftime in the Arizona Wildcats’ 90-77 win over the USC Trojans on Thursday, Kobi Simmons was on the floor holding his left leg in severe pain.
Arizona’s freshman guard got tangled up with teammate Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who went underneath a screen, accidentally clipping the left leg of Simmons in the process.
Here's a look at Kobi Simmons' injury. He was clipped by Parker Jackson-Cartwright pic.twitter.com/AaEP46hvQ8— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) February 24, 2017
Simmons eventually hobbled over to the bench before limping into the locker room where he would remain for the final moments of the first half.
Luckily for Arizona, however, disaster was avoided.
Simmons returned in the second half and head coach Sean Miller said after the game that the freshman is “OK” and did not seem concerned about his playing status for Saturday’s game against the UCLA Bruins.
“He didn’t play as many minutes tonight, but he could play a lot more on Saturday,” Miller said Thursday.
Simmons played 13 minutes in total against USC, with only four of them coming in the second half.
Miller says Simmons’ limited playing time was more a product of Jackson-Cartwright’s play, not Simmons’ injury.
“It’s just kind of how it went,” Miller said. “Parker’s playing so well right now that we tended to let him stay out there a little bit longer and deservedly so.”
Simmons tallied eight points on the night, knocking down two 3-pointers. The 6-foot-5 freshman is averaging 10.7 points per game.
Jackson-Cartwright had 10 points, five assists, three rebounds, and two steals while shooting 3-of-4 from the 3-point line in 30 minutes.
Fourth-ranked Arizona tips off against fifth-ranked UCLA on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on ESPN.
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