SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- West Virginia point guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant, who sat out the Mountaineers' two East Region games in Syracuse, N.Y., with a broken bone in his right foot, will play in the Final Four, FanHouse has learned.
Bryant, who broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot during practice Tuesday in Morgantown, said he was cleared by team doctors Friday to play in the Final Four if West Virginia advanced.
"I'm in pain, but I'll be fine, Bryant told FanHouse in the locker room after the Mountaineers' 73-66 win over Kentucky. "That's what the shoe is for to keep the pain away. I can't hurt it anymore.
"This is a special time of the year when you have to step up, when you make your name as a team and an individual."
Junior point guard Joe Mazzulla played in Bryant's place against Kentucky and scored 17 points in the regional final victory, but fouled out late in the game, leaving the Mountaineers without a primary ballhandler.
"We needed this victory," Bryant said. "It's like I'm in a dream. You grow up watching things like this, making it to the Final Four and now I can be a part of it."
Share122 Bryant averaged 9.3 points per game and 3.1 assists per game this season.
"He will give us another ballhandler when Joe's not in there," West Virginia assistant coach Larry Harrison said.
West Virginia's win over No. 1 seed Kentucky advanced the Mountaineers to the Final Four for the first time since 1959. West Virginia awaits the winner of Sunday's Duke-Baylor South Regional final.
Heard that like an hour or so ago...He should come off the bench though. Joe should start. Depends on how healthy Truck is I guess.
I'm not playing him unless WVU is in a blowout (either side)
You are one win away from the NC and throwing in a player who is not 100% is a bad move.
Tough call, but adernaline might give him 15-20 good minutes...
didnt huggins learn anything from van gundy and jameer nelson last year?
This move is a little different than what was going on with Orlando. Orlando had a pg that was playing well in Alston, who never plays well when he comes off the bench and Anthony Johnson was incredibly solid for them. WV only has one pg if Truck isn't available. Mazzula had a career game, but not sure of the chances of him repeating that. I know they went a few series without a pg, but any smartly coached team would have taken advantage of that because none of those guys were good ball handlers. I'm probably bringing him off the bench when Mazzula needs rest and if he gets in foul trouble because he plays so aggressively.
im gonna enjoy watching them
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that it is "very doubtful" that point guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant will play Saturday against Duke.
Bryant told reporters before the team's win over Kentucky in the Elite Eight that, despite breaking a bone in his right foot just a week before, he'd been medically cleared to play in the Final Four.
Huggins didn't completely rule out Bryant's return, but said that, "if he can't practice, he's not going to play."
"We're not going to throw him out there without knowing what he's going to do," Huggins said. "I think it's a whole lot different walking, or jogging on a treadmill, than it is coming out here and cutting and doing the kind of things we have to do out here."