College hoops insider calls UCLA's Jaime Jaquez Jr. the 'best wing in basketball'
Jaime Jaquez Jr. has one goal during the 2022-23 college basketball season. Win a national title for UCLA.
The Bruins are a preseason top-10 pick from most outlets in way-too-early rankings, and Jaquez’s return for a fourth season is a key factor. CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein tweeted Sunday that Jaquez is the best wing in basketball when he’s healthy.
Been studying UCLA's Jaime Jaquez on tape for weeks.
When healthy, he's the best wing in college basketball.
2021 NCAA Tournament:
15 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 47.8% from the field, 45% from 3.
2022 NCAA Tournament with Injuries:
13.3 PPG, 5 RPG, 35.9% from the field, 14.3% from 3.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 21, 2022
Jaquez was one of the five finalists for the Julius Erving Award this season, given to the nation’s top small forward. He helped the Bruins to a 27-8 record and nearly to a Pac-12 title.
The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 13.9 points, 5.7 boards, and 2.3 assists last season while shooting 47% from the field and 76% from the free throw line. In seven games played during the month of March, Jaquez averaged 18 a game. He scored 20 points on seven different occasions, even reaching 30 in a road contest with Washington on Feb. 28.
He’s a two-time league All-Defensive Team honoree and earned All-Pac-12 First Team honors this past season. With Johnny Juzang, Jules Bernard, and Peyton Watson all moving on to the professional level this offseason, Jaquez should have all the minutes he can handle in the coming season.
Ankle issues were a persistent bugger during the 2021-22 campaign, but if he’s healthy, he can position the Bruins well to chase a 12th national championship.