Mick Cronin Won't Coach for No. 4 UCLA vs. Alabama State Due to COVID-19 Protocols

Doric SamDecember 15, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 01: Head coach Mick Cronin of the UCLA Bruins yells on the court in the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 1, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

There has been a recent spike in COVID-19 cases across multiple sports, and college basketball is no different.

UCLA announced that men's basketball head coach Mick Cronin will not be with the team for Wednesday night's game against Alabama State because of COVID-19 protocols. Associate head coach Darren Savino will coach the Bruins in Cronin's absence.

UCLA is ranked No. 4 in the AP Top 25 after earning a road win over Marquette on Saturday. The Bruins are 8-1 and have won their last four games, which includes a forfeit by the Washington Huskies because of COVID-19 issues within their program.

Cronin is in his third season at UCLA. He led the Bruins to a 22-10 record last year and a trip to the Final Four, the program's first appearance in the national semifinal since 2008.

UCLA is a deep team with four players averaging over 10 points. Junior guard Johnny Juzang leads the team with 16.6 points per game, followed by Jaime Jaquez Jr. (14.8), Jules Bernard (13.0) and Tyger Campbell (12.6).

The Bruins should have little trouble without Cronin against Alabama State. The Hornets are 2-9 and enter the contest riding a four-game losing streak. UCLA is 5-0 on its home floor this season and averages 90.4 points while allowing opponents to score 67.6.

If UCLA is able to get past Alabama State, the team will look ahead to a marquee matchup against North Carolina on Saturday Dec. 18 in the CBS Sports Classic. The Tar Heels are 8-2 and have won their last five games.