UCLA Basketball: TJ Leaf Should Be Ready for Pac-12 Tournament

Feb 9, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins forward TJ Leaf (22) celebrates during the second half against the Oregon Ducks at Pauley Pavilion. The UCLA Bruins won 82-79. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 9, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins forward TJ Leaf (22) celebrates during the second half against the Oregon Ducks at Pauley Pavilion. The UCLA Bruins won 82-79. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /
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 After spraining his ankle last week, UCLA Basketball power forward TJ Leaf looks like he might be able to participate in the Pac-12 Tournament.

The UCLA Basketball team could have a sigh relief heading into the Pac-12 Tournament, though they need to be cautious as they move ahead.

This is in regards to freshman forward TJ Leaf who sprained his ankle last week, five minutes into the game against the Washington Huskies.

He sat out the rest of the contest as well as the next game against Washington State where he was on the bench in a walking boot.

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UCLA Basketball Head Coach Steve Alford talked about the possibility of Leaf returning to the court in the Pac-12 Tournament and looks like he should ready to go.

Leaf was able to rest for two days after the regular season finale against Wazzu as the team was given that time off to “reboot “. Alford said that Leaf had been going through some practice in and “is progressing really well.”

Leaf has been vital to UCLA’s success late in the season. Not only is he averaging 16.3 points per game, second on the team, but he is giving the Bruins some much-needed help down low next to  Thomas Welsh.

If Leaf is good to go on Thursday against the winner of Washington-USC, it is possible he will not be at 100%, but getting back into rhythm will be important and will help him as the Bruins try to win three games in a row to capture the Pac-12 Tournament Championship.

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This will also help Leaf prepare his ankle for the upcoming NCAA Tournament. It is unknown where UCLA will go at this point or what seeding they will have, but they should be a 2-seed if they have a really good performance in the Pac-12 Tournament.