Johnny Juzang 6-6 214 guard Harvard-Westlake High School, Los Angeles, CA
(transferred from Kentucky)
UCLA Men's Hoops Signs Jaylen Clark, Johnny Juzang
UCLA Men's Basketball Website
April 15, 2020
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA men's basketball program has received a signed National Letter of Intent from high school senior Jaylen Clark and a grant-in-aid from Johnny Juzang on the first day of the regular signing period, as announced Wednesday by Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach.
Clark, a 6-foot-5 guard from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., excelled last season at Etiwanda High School. Juzang, a 6-foot-6 guard from Los Angeles, will transfer to the Bruins' program after he spent his freshman year at the University of Kentucky. Both players will join the Bruins' program in 2020-21 – Clark as a freshman and Juzang as a sophomore.
"Both of these young men are great additions for our program," Cronin said. "Jaylen comes from a great family. He's a true competitor with tremendous athleticism, and he has gone up against some of Southern California's best high school programs. I love that he can play almost any position on the floor. We believe he will develop into a great player for us. During his senior year, he was able to lead his team in multiple ways – some games as the leading scorer, others as the top rebounder, and other games with his assists. Jaylen has been a proven winner at the highest levels of high school basketball, in addition to the national AAU circuit. We are very excited that he chose to be a Bruin."
"Johnny is coming home to be a Bruin, and we're thrilled to have him join us in Westwood. He and I have spent a lot of time on the phone under these ongoing pandemic restrictions, even though we're just three miles from each other. It's been great getting to know him. He has a terrific support system with his family, and I know he's excited to get started at UCLA. He's always been a talented scorer, and he proved that at Kentucky when he had opportunities. He excelled at a terrific high school, and he certainly has a chance to develop into an outstanding all-around player. Johnny has learned the value of hard work and perseverance, especially during his last season. He wants to help UCLA win big and that means a lot to me. We're thankful he chose to become a Bruin, and I can't wait to thank him in person and get to work."
Clark has been ranked as high as No. 63, nationally, in his high school class by Rivals.com. He secured All-CIF Southern Section Open Division honors last season, helping guide Etiwanda to a 30-4 overall record and an appearance in the CIF-SS Open Division regional final after a semifinal victory over Mater Dei. Clark averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He earned second-team all-state acclaim in California from MaxPreps.com and was a first-team all-area selection by the San Bernardino Sun.
Juzang played in 28 games as a freshman at Kentucky in 2019-20, making two starts. He scored a season-high 13 points in a game at Tennessee on Feb. 8, shooting 3-for-3 from beyond the 3-point arc in 24 minutes. Juzang finished his freshman campaign having averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
Juzang had been ranked among the top 35 players in his high school class at Harvard-Westlake in 2018-19, listed as high as No. 29 (by ESPN.com). He reclassified during his final year of high school, averaging 23.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists as a junior in 2018-19. That season, he was named the MVP of the Mission League. He earned first-team All-CIF Southern Section Division I acclaim in each of his three years at Harvard-Westlake.
Both Clark and Juzang will join an incoming UCLA class that also features guard Daishen Nix, who recently concluded his high school career at Trinity International School in Las Vegas. Nix, a 6-foot-5 guard who signed a National Letter of Intent in November 2019, has been ranked as high as No. 11 in his high school class by 247Sports.com. In addition, Nix has been rated the nation's top point guard by 247Sports.com.
By BEN BOLCH
Los Angeles times
APRIL 9, 2020
Johnny Juzang was a regular at Pauley Pavilion while being wooed by some of the nation’s top college basketball programs as a local high school prospect, attending UCLA games and practices while getting to know the players.
Now he can call them his teammates.
Juzang announced on Twitter on Thursday that he is transferring to UCLA after spending his freshman season at Kentucky in a move that could significantly bolster the Bruins’ backcourt.
“Seeing that energy, all of that,” Juzang said in a telephone interview, “it was definitely kind of like a dream of mine to play for UCLA.”
Juzang, a 6-foot-6 guard who starred at Studio City Harvard-Westlake High, averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game as a Kentucky reserve but began to flourish late in the season. He made 10 of his last 20 three-point attempts and scored 10 points in a career-high 33 minutes during a comeback victory over Florida.
Juzang entered the transfer portal after the season amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, providing an opportunity to move close to home while playing for a team he always adored. He had strongly considered UCLA out of high school but didn’t have much time to establish a relationship with new coach Mick Cronin and his staff after reclassifying into the Class of 2019 last spring and picking Kentucky.
Juzang said he had no regrets about his initial college choice.
“The experience at Kentucky was great,” he said. “I got so much better there and just grew so much and learned so much, basketball-wise, but also outside of that. I’m really glad with the decision I made to go there and forgo my senior year because it is one of the biggest programs and it’s arguably the biggest stage [in college basketball]. To have a year of experience there is something I’m really happy to have under my belt and I’m grateful for that experience.”
Juzang said he would pursue a waiver for immediate eligibility. He’ll join a growing list of Bruins newcomers that also includes Las Vegas Trinity International School point guard Daishen Nix and Rancho Cucamonga Etiwanda High shooting guard Jaylen Clark. Even if junior guard Chris Smith departs for the NBA after recently declaring for the draft, the Bruins should be stocked with their best roster since Lonzo Ball led them to a 31-5 record during the 2016-17 season, enticing Juzang to make his own history at UCLA.
“Thinking about competing for a national title for the hometown team under coach Cronin is something that genuinely motivates me and wants me to get after it,” Juzang said, “so I’m super excited.”
Whenever Juzang makes his home debut, he figures to have a large contingent of family and friends in the stands.
“With no traffic, it’s a 20-minute drive to get into the underground parking lot at Pauley Pavilion,” said Maxie Juzang, Johnny’s father. “To think that we can go to every home game and potentially even some of the other Pac-12 games is just amazing.”
Johnny Juzang ruled eligible immediately for UCLA after Kentucky transfer
ESPN Staff Writer
May 27, 2020
Kentucky transfer Johnny Juzang has received a waiver to play immediately next season at UCLA.
Juzang left Kentucky in late March after just one season, and committed to UCLA in early April. When he announced his commitment to the Bruins, he made it clear that he was going to pursue a waiver to play immediately.
"We've very excited that Johnny will be able to play for us next season,'' coach Mick Cronin said. "Johnny is a talented player who can definitely make an impact for us.''
A 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Los Angeles, Juzang played in 28 games as a freshman, starting two, and averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds. He saw an increased role in the final couple games of the regular season, playing a season-high 33 minutes in a comeback win over Florida in the season finale. Juzang scored in double-figures twice last season, going for 13 points at Tennessee and 10 points in the aforementioned victory over the Gators. He shot 40.7% from 3-point range in SEC play.
He was a sought-after prospect coming out of high school, ranking No. 30 in the ESPN 100 for the 2019 class. He was originally in the 2020 class but reclassified into 2019 last April and committed to Kentucky in early May 2019.
Cronin went 19-12 in his first season as the head coach at UCLA, but the Bruins won 11 of their final 14 games to finish just one game behind Oregon in the Pac-12 race. If Chris Smith withdraws from the NBA draft, Cronin will bring back nearly his entire rotation while also adding Juzang. Five-star point guard Daishen Nix announced earlier this month that he was decommitting from UCLA and entering the G-League.