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UCLA basketball: Matt Carlino hopes to make debut against Kansas

November 28, 2010 |  8:58 am

UcLA freshmen No one would blame UCLA freshman guard Matt Carlino if he started to wonder why he was in such a rush to get to Westwood.

The former Indiana high school basketball star gave up prom and all the rites of passage that go with one's senior year of high school so he could enroll at UCLA a year early. Bruins Coach Ben Howland touted Carlino's outside shooting touch and said he could be a zone buster.

But Carlino has been on the outside looking in after suffering a concussion in practice Nov. 8. He did not play in the Bruins' first five games, even though he said Saturday he had been symptom-free for five days.

 "I've been feeling fine," Carlino said after UCLA lost to Virginia Commonwealth, 89-85, in an NIT Season Tip-Off consolation game. "I don't know when I'll get in."

Carlino said he had resumed practicing with the Bruins and hoped to make his college debut Thursday when UCLA traveled to play Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan. Asked how he had sustained the concussion, Carlino said teammate Malcolm Lee pump-faked him into the air before he landed with a thud on his shoulder and suffered whiplash.

"It was just a little headache all the time," Carlino said. "It got really frustrating because it just wouldn't go away. I'm fine now, so I'm thankful for that."

-- Ben Bolch

Photo: UCLA Coach Ben Howland with, from left, freshmen Tyler Lamb, Joshua Smith, Matt Carlino and Jack Haley at the NCAA college basketball team's media day in Los Angeles on Oct. 13, 2010. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press