Former Kentucky guard Johnny Juzang is headed home.
This afternoon, the 6-foot-6 guard out of Los Angeles, CA announced he would be transferring to UCLA to play for Mick Cronin.
“I want to thank Kentucky again for such an amazing experience,” Juzang said in his announcement. “I’m so grateful for their dedication and commitment to my development as a player and person. To the coaches, my teammates, the trainers, the staff, and BBN, thank you. I’m always rooting for y’all. BBN4L.
“But with that said, I can’t explain how excited I am to play for Coach Cronin and UCLA,” Juzang continued. “Growing up in Los Angeles, 15 minutes from Westwood, I’ve always followed UCLA and dreamed of playing in Pauley Pavilion. Bringing a title back home is something that motivates me like nothing else. I can’t wait to put on that blue and gold. I will be pursuing a waiver for immediate eligibility. Go Bruins!”
— Johnny Juzang (@JohnnyJuzang) April 9, 2020
As a freshman, Juzang finished the year averaging 2.9 points (37.7% shooting, 32.6% 3PT, 83.3% FT), 1.9 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in 12.3 minutes per contest.
In 13 games this year, the 6-foot-6 guard played less than ten minutes, including six games with five minutes or fewer and one game with zero minutes (Alabama). He also went scoreless in ten other instances compared to just seven games of more than one made shot.
After a slow start to the year, though, the freshman guard managed three consecutive games of multiple made shots against Arkansas, Georgia, and Texas Tech, followed it up with a 13-point performance on 4-4 shooting from three at Tennessee, and closed out the season with a 10-point, 4-6 shooting effort in 33 minutes at Florida.
After seeing the 6-foot-6 guard find his groove to close out the season, Kentucky head coach John Calipari hoped Juzang would follow in the footsteps of Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans, and EJ Montgomery, among other multi-year players, who had built upon short spurts of success in year one into consistent production as sophomores.
“Now he knows. The anxiety a freshman has, you can talk to Immanuel [Quickley], or Ashton [Hagans], or EJ [Montgomery], that a sophomore does not have in this program is incredible,” Calipari said in a media teleconference two weeks ago. “Knowing that each game is the other team’s Super Bowl, that every practice matters, you’re not going through the motions, you don’t take days off. There’s no, “I’m not feeling it today.” Woah, woah, woah, that’s okay, you’re just not going to be a significant player for us. … All that stuff that you learn through that freshman year is why guys come back in their sophomore years and you say “Wow.” Big steps up.”
Instead of seeing what he could bring to the table as a sophomore in Lexington, Juzang will now look to build upon that late-season success back home at UCLA.