UCLA star Johnny Juzang declares for the 2022 NBA Draft
Johnny Juzang is headed to the NBA.
The UCLA wing declared for the 2022 NBA Draft on Wednesday via his Instagram page. Though he did not specify whether he was hiring an agent or maintaining his eligibility, Juzang did close his message to the Bruins with the line, “Goodbye from Juzang.” The 6-foot-7 guard was the driving force behind UCLA’s Final Four run in 2020-21 and then an equally important piece in the Bruins’ run to the Pac-12 title game in 2021-22 and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
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“Growing up in Los Angeles to then doing Los Angeles proud is more than a kid could ask for,” he wrote. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you for so much love and support.”
Juzang does not appear in ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony’s most recent two-round mock draft, though there had been some optimism regarding a return to Westwood for the scorer. The Bruins are expected to return Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Tyger Campbell, with Jules Bernard declared but maintaining his eligibility and decisions still to come from the likes of Cody Riley and Myles Johnson.
Perhaps Juzang’s declaration lands him on some mock boards moving forward.
A transfer from Kentucky, Juzang spent the last two seasons with his hometown Bruins. He appeared in 57 games (55 starts) and averaged 15.8 points on 44% shooting from the floor and 36% shooting from 3-point range. Juzang blossomed into a go-to scorer under coach Mick Cronin, immediately bursting onto the scene in 2020.
After just 12 minutes a night and three points a game for Kentucky as a freshman, Juzang scored 16 a game for the Bruins during the 2020-21 season. He had 20 or more eight times his first year in Westwood and averaged 22.8 points a game during UCLA’s remarkable run from the First Four to the Final Four in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Juzang got off to a blazing hot start this past season, but a COVID outbreak in the team and an ankle injury suffered mid-season made things a bit choppy.
Still, Juzang will leave behind a strong Bruin career as he looks to make it in the NBA.
“Johnny has been tremendous for us during his two seasons in Westwood,” Cronin said in a statement. “Johnny and his teammates helped us win seven NCAA Tournament games in two postseason trips, leading our program on a thrilling run to the Final Four in 2021. Along the way, he has been a great teammate and a joy to be around every day. We will miss him. We all wish Johnny nothing but the best as he pursues his professional career. We thank him and his family for joining ours as Bruins. The UCLA family will always be there to support Johnny.”