UCLA star Johnny Juzang named to late-season Wooden Award watch list
Johnny Juzang received some nice recognition Monday.
The junior Bruin guard was named to the 20-person late-season watch list for the 2022 John R. Wooden Award, presented each season to the nation’s top player by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) February 1, 2022
Ed O’Bannon was the last Bruin to win the award in 1995. DraftKings gives Juzang +6000 odds to win the award at the end of the season. Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji is the betting favorite at 6/1.
Juzang enters the new week as the Pac-12’s second-leading scorer. So far this season, Juzang is averaging 18.1 points per game through 16 contests. He’s shooting 45.6% from the field and 39.5 % from 3-point range, with an 83.7% clip at the free throw line. In addition, Juzang has averaged 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game so far.
He has missed the last two games, though, after entering into the league’s COVID protocols. Bruin head coach Mick Cronin said Monday evening that UCLA is hopeful Juzang will exit quarantine on Tuesday.
Mick Cronin said Jaime Jaquez Jr. (ankle) was feeling better today, Jaylen Clark (concussion protocol) is doubtful for this week and the hope is that Johnny Juzang can come out of quarantine tomorrow.
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) January 31, 2022
He last played on Jan. 25 when he scored 15 points to help power a 75-59 win over then-No. 3 Arizona at home. Prior to that performance, Juzang had reached 20 points in four straight and was shooting lights out from all over the court.
As the Bruins have stormed to a 16-2 record and an 8-1 conference mark, Juzang’s shot-making has been major. He has scored in double-digits in all but one game so far this season and has topped 20 points six different times.
The Bruins, now ranked No. 3 in the country, return to the court Thursday, Feb. 3, in Tucson for a rematch with No. 7 Arizona. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. PT on ESPN.