Somehow, some way, the UCLA Bruins found a way to survive and advance.
In fact, after truly escaping the clutches of Michigan State, they have looked pretty good.
Up against 1 seed Michigan, they looked to be equals to the Big Ten juggernaught.
The leader of this rag tag group of highly talented recruits at one of the most successful basketball schools of all time seemingly came out of nowhere to be a star.
Just who is this man, the best player on a final four squad, Johnny Juzang?
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 31, 2021
Before UCLA, Juzang languished at Kentucky. However, he was a highly heralded recruit coming in.
Johnny, along with his tremendous name, has the skill set to thrive in college, sure, but even more so for the NBA.
Juzang is a 6 foot 6 wing who can score the basketball like few others. His shot in high school was inconsistent, but has since come along.
With great size and scoring ability at the wing, he will be drafted very soon into the NBA.
He was a top recruit (4 star, coming in around the 30th best in the country) when he was signed by the big blue.
However he failed to break through in a meaningful way, and transferred west, to Mick Cronin’s Westwood Worldbeaters.
Nobody saw UCLA coming, but while we forgot about Juzang, he was always this elite scoring player.
After starting only 2 games at Kentucky and not playing particularly well or making any real impact, he flew to UCLA.
He instantly became a huge part of Cronin’s squad.
As the leading bucket getter on the Bruins, he averaged 15.5 games a season and started all but one game.
UCLA was a pretty meh squad before they decided to go on this run, but Juzang was surely the most polished player.
As the season has gone on, and the games got tighter, Johnny showed his polish and pedigree on the offensive end.
He could get a bucket whenever the Bruins needed it.
Not only that, but as a long wing, he was solid on defense even without maximum effort. You can’t teach size!
Then, comes the Michigan game. What a game. Juzang put the team on his back to the tune of 28 points on 19 efficient shots.
Michigan could not contain him, and in a defensive slugfest as the game became, this is deadly. He scored over half of Michigan’s points!
Juzang carried UCLA into the final four, and now has to beat the Zags to move on.
Good luck with that!
Either way, expect to see this man on an NBA roster very soon, after a fantastic Kemba-like unexpected run for UCLA.
“Unreal, man. Unreal. I love every single one of these guys. It’s incredible, man. Surreal, surreal. Something growing up, you just dream about.”
Johnny Juzang, on the Bruins headed to the Final Four pic.twitter.com/8tGzATfgkW
— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) March 31, 2021