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UCLA Basketball: Center Ike Anigbogu Hurt

Anigbogu will likely miss four to six weeks.

GG will be our backup center to start the season
GG will be our backup center to start the season
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ike Anigbogu is out four to six weeks with a slight tear to his meniscus. Bryce Alford has a strained hamstring but that should be only a slight problem.  This means Ike will miss the first three games for sure and may be back in time for the Kentucky and Michigan games.

This is a blow to our non-conference season in that even if he does play against Kentucky, it is tough if that is your first or second game back.  I mean you have to feel for a freshman whose potential first game is at Kentucky.

While Thomas Welsh is the starting center, the backup is likely now Power Forward Gyorgy Goloman even though Alford also talked about Alex Olesinski and Ikenna OKwarabizie.  I have to believe it will be GG.

This is a bit of a blow as Ike was the best threat to be a real rim protector and block shots.  However, Steve Alford points out that we have a lot of bigs.

Alford also emphasized that "we are not going to change what we do with him out."  Again, seems like he was a unique player on the team.  However, Welsh should be a fine shot blocker against the lesser competition of our first games.

Steve also emphasized that this year the defense will be more man to man. Defense will be simpler and more focused this year.  85/90% man to man.  Also emphasized developing front court on defense.

Ike’s injury hurts our defense no doubt.  But maybe it is a blessing in disguise.  Our guards won’t have a big athletic shot blocker to bail them out against Pacific, Northridge and San Diego.  They should not need them in these games but they will have to work.

Get well Ike!

Go Bruins!