The Arizona Wildcats’ best basketball victory of the season came with distressing injury news.
Coach Sean Miller said after a 78-74 win at Cal on Thursday night — ending the Bears’ 17-game winning streak at Haas Pavilion — that sophomore point guard Jordin Mayes might have suffered a broken right foot.
Miller told reporters after the game that Mayes will undergo X-rays on Friday.
“We’ll take the win and we’ll cross our fingers and hope Jordin is OK,” Miller said in his postgame interview on 1290-AM.
Mayes — who broke the same foot over the summer, setting back his preseason conditioning — hasn’t been playing great and shooting to his standards, but he’s the only true point guard on the roster other than starter Josiah Turner.
And it’s potentially devastating news after the loss of forward Kevin Parrom last Saturday, also to a broken bone in his right foot.
Without Parrom and Mayes, the Wildcats’ bench basically consists of guard Brendon Lavender and center Angelo Chol. Freshman shooting guard Nick Johnson figures to have to handle backup point guard minutes.
Chol on Thursday had what Miller called his best game — eight points, four rebounds and two blocks in 16 minutes. He knew he was going to see a bigger role because of Parrom’s injury.
If Chol plays like he did Thursday night, then Arizona can more often go with a bigger lineup that features Jesse Perry at power forward and Solomon Hill at small forward.
“Angelo caught a couple passes and dunked the ball to really show what a talented player he is,” Miller said.
“It was great to see. There is not a kid that deserves to play well more than Angelo. He is our hardest worker, and he’s going to have this opportunity here over the next four to six weeks to have an increased role. Hopefully, he will respond like he did tonight.”
Miller has shown an aversion to playing big man Kyryl Natyazhko — he played three minutes at Cal — but that might have to be a bigger option. Then there’s 7-footer Alex Jacobson, who has played five minutes in 10 conference games.
And that’s it for the scholarship players.
Mayes, known for his shooting touch, definitely has been struggling, but he did score six points in 13 minutes against Cal. He left the game with 14:10 to go and did not return.
He entered the game averaging 3.2 points through the first half of conference play, making 10 of 37 shots from the field (27.0 percent) and only 3 of 19 from 3-point range (15.8 percent).
Mayes shot 45.3 percent (39 of 86) from behind the arc last season, including going 7 of 7 in Arizona’s first two NCAA Tournament games.
Parrom, who did not travel with the team, tweeted constantly during the game Thursday night and wrapped up his social media evening around midnight with the news that he was set for surgery Friday morning.
Arizona (15-8 overall, 6-4 Pac-12) will play at Stanford (16-6, 6-4) on Saturday.