Coming off a Final Four run last season, four Bruins were named to preseason award watch lists honoring the top players at each position in the country.
No. 2 UCLA men’s basketball had point guard Tyger Campbell, shooting guard Johnny Juzang, small forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. and center Myles Johnson all named to their respective positions' preseason award lists this week. All five awards are given out annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Campbell, who is now entering his redshirt junior season, was one of the 20 point guards placed on the watch list for the Bob Cousy Award on Monday. UCLA has never had a player win the award, and Campbell could be the first if he keeps himself on the list with strong performances throughout the campaign.
Starting every game the past two seasons, Campbell averaged 10.4 points and 5.4 assists per game in 2020-2021 and jumped onto the scene during March Madness as the Bruins’ lead ball-handler. After those postseason performances, he was honored as a part of the East Regional All-NCAA Tournament Team. On the conference level, Campbell was selected to the the All-Pac-12 First Team, the Bruins' only player named for that honor.
One other Pac-12 player was named to the Cousy Award watch list as well, with Oregon’s Will Richardson making the cut alongside Campbell.
Juzang, meanwhile, was chosen for the Jerry West Award watch list on Tuesday. Last season, Juzang was named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team and the All-NCAA Tournament Team. After becoming a household name through the NCAA tournament by averaging 22.8 points per game, Juzang tested the NBA Draft waters, but ultimately decided to return to UCLA after the NBA Draft Combine.
Transferring in from Kentucky prior to last season, Juzang became an immediate starter after an early-season right foot injury kept him off the court for the first four games. Scoring 28 and 29 points against Michigan in the Elite Eight and Gonzaga in the Final Four, respectively, Juzang now has high expectations from around the country heading into the 2021-2022 season.
Coming off the heels of those March Madness performances, CBS Sports recently named Juzang as a member of their preseason All-American First Team.
Arizona’s Benedict Mathurin and Oregon’s De'Vion Harmon were the other Pac-12 representatives named to the West Award watch list.
Jaquez found himself on the Julius Erving Award watch list on Wednesday. The Bruins’ Swiss Army Knife on the court, Jaquez Jr. has become a major presence on the team, starting every game last season.
Averaging 12.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, while also providing more than one block per game on the defensive end, helped Jaquez Jr. earn All-Pac-12 Second Team honors last season.
Like Juzang, Jaquez Jr. burst on the national stage during the NCAA Tournament last March. He had double-digit points in four out of the five games the Bruins played in Indiana, becoming a high-scoring partner in crime alongside Juzang.
From the Pac-12, Colorado's Jabari Walker and Stanford's Harrison Ingram were also named to the Erving Award watch list.
The Bruins’ newest addition is Myles Johnson, and the Rutgers graduate transfer starts his new campaign in Westwood on the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award watch list as of Friday. Likely to be the top interior defensive option in coach Mick Cronin’s rotation, Johnson joins UCLA after being the lead rebounder at Rutgers with 8.5 per game. Johnson was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection following the end of last season and he also made the conference’s All-Defensive team.
The Long Beach Poly (CA) alumnus returns to Southern California, filling a spot on UCLA’s roster that became thin once center Jalen Hill left the team midway through last season. Johnson was the only Pac-12 player named to the Abdul-Jabbar Award watch list.
The only positional preseason watch list the Bruins didn’t earn a spot on was for the Karl Malone Award, as redshirt senior forward Cody Riley did not make the cut.