UCLA guard Will McClendon out for 2021-22 season with torn ACL

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Bishop Gorman's Will McClendon #1 in action against La Lumiere in a Boys Quarterfinal game.
Will McClendon looks on during a high school basketball game between Las Vegas Bishop Gorman and La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) at a tournament in New York on April 4, 2019. (Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

UCLA freshman guard Will McClendon will miss the 2021-22 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during preseason workouts.

The 6-foot-2 combo guard is a gritty defender and knockdown shooter known for putting team success first, making him the prototypical recruit for coach Mick Cronin.

“It doesn’t matter if I have zero points — whatever my stat line is, I just want to win,” McClendon, a former Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High standout ranked as the No. 41 player in his class by Rivals.com, told The Times this spring.

McClendon said he was comfortable defending all five positions. His toughness and versatility have drawn comparisons to former Bruins guard Jrue Holiday, who recently won an NBA title with the Milwaukee Bucks and a gold medal with the United States men’s national team.

Like every other player he coaches, Cronin provided a list of things McClendon could do better.

“Getting more efficient with scoring, don’t take any plays off on defense,” McClendon said, ticking off the suggested improvements, “learn the pick and roll, learn off the ball [movement], cut at 100% speed, just like little things.”

That development will be put on hold during McClendon’s recovery. His rehabilitation will be familiar to redshirt junior Tyger Campbell, who sat out the 2018-19 season while recovering from the same injury.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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