Johnny Juzang and Cody Riley return to UCLA basketball after testing NBA waters – Daily News

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UCLA basketballers Johnny Juzang and Cody Riley will return to the program for another season after testing NBA waters this offseason. Juzang and Riley officially withdrew their names from the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft on Wednesday ahead of the 9 p.m. PT deadline.

Juzang will be back for his junior season and Riley will be a senior red jersey for the 2021-22 campaign.

“Going through the writing process was an amazing experience,” Juzang wrote on his Instagram. “I had the chance to connect with great people, to learn and grow, and to get a feel of life to the next level…”

6-foot-7-wing Juzang averaged 16 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in 27 games (26 starts) for UCLA, which finished the season 22-10, including a magical run to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis before losing to Gonzaga, 93-90, in overtime. Juzang was an All-Pac 12 second-team selection and was named to the All-NCAA tournament squad after averaging 22.8 points in six games. He shot 50.9% from the field and 37.5% from 3 points.

“Westwood, can’t wait to go to war!” We have a team full of warriors and there is no one I would rather fight next. With Coach (Mick) Cronin and our staff, I am very excited for this season. Let’s do something special!

After Juzang’s performance in the NCAA tournament, including games with 23, 27, 28, and 29 points, his appeal to NBA teams grew as a great bodyguard who can shoot and spread. floor. The former Harvard-Westlake High star, who went from bench warmer in his only season at Kentucky to a household name during March Madness, decided to test the waters of the NBA by declaring himself for the draft while now her collegial eligibility on April 20.

Riley averaged 10.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31 games last season.

“I enjoyed the process and I want to thank the NBA teams for the positive feedback I have received,” said Riley. “I am very happy to announce that I am returning to UCLA. My goals to graduate and help UCLA and my teammates win a championship motivate me more than ever. I can’t wait to see our first official training of the summer soon… ”

Chris Smith, who missed most of his senior season after an ACL injury in January, has announced that he will not be returning to play for UCLA this coming season. Smith could have returned to the squad for the 2021-22 season after the NCAA granted all student-athletes an additional year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he announced on social media that he would pursue a career in the NBA.

Smith averaged 12.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in his eight starts.

THE FINAL TEAM FOUR STAY TOGETHER

Juzang and Riley return to a UCLA squad that will have all of their main pieces, including savvy playmaker Tyger Campbell, jack-of-all-trades Jaime Jaquez Jr., Jaylen Clark, David Singleton, Mac Etienne and Jules Bernard .

In addition to the major plays, the Bruins add newcomer Peyton Watson, a McDonald’s All-American from Long Beach Poly and top rookie Will McClendon from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas. Myles Johnson, a 6-11 transfer graduate from Rutgers University, will also be a new face.

Add it all up and the Bruins will likely be a consensus top-five team in the country and a popular preseason pick to win their first national championship since 1995.


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