UConn star guard James Bouknight is out indefinitely after he underwent surgery on his left elbow, per the school.
Bouknight suffered a hyperextended left elbow while pursuing a loose ball in the Huskies’ game against Marquette on Jan. 5. The sophomore missed the team’s next two games, a pair of wins over Butler and DePaul. Head coach Dan Hurley said on the Goodman & Hummel Basketball Podcast that Bouknight saw a specialist this week and was only expected to miss “a couple more games.”
Bouknight is one of just five high-major players averaging at least 20 points and 5 rebounds per game this season and is considered a clear contender for Big East Player of the Year. Losing a player of his caliber is a significant blow to a UConn club that currently sits in third place in the Big East in its first year back in the conference.
The No. 25 Huskies were ranked in the AP Poll this week for the first time since October 31, 2016, and navigating the gauntlet that is Big East play without their star will be a significant challenge. Hurley will likely have to lean on the likes of junior Tyrese Martin and senior Tyler Polley to step into larger scoring roles for as long as Bouknight is out.
Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo ranked Bouknight as the No. 13 player on his most recent 2021 NBA Draft Big Board.