Men's Basketball Participates in Pac-12 Media Day
SAN FRANCISCO – UCLA juniors Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Johnny Juzang served as the UCLA men's basketball student representatives at Pac-12 Media Day on Wednesday, hosted at the Pac-12 Conference's headquarters.
Jaquez Jr. and Juzang was joined by Mick Cronin, who enters his third season as The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. Jaquez Jr. and Juzang, along with Coach Cronin, participated in various interviews with members of print, broadcast and online media, in addition to taping multiple promotional videos to be used by broadcast networks.
Earlier on Wednesday morning, UCLA was selected to finish first in the league's preseason media poll. This marks the second consecutive season in which the Bruins secured the No. 1 spot on the preseason poll.
The Bruins were one of five Pac-12 programs to advance to the 2021 NCAA Tournament, having gone 22-10 overall with a 13-6 mark in conference play. UCLA entered the NCAA Tournament as a "First Four" team, needing to win a play-in contest against Michigan State to remain in the field of 64. The Bruins won five consecutive NCAA Tournament games before an overtime loss to Gonzaga in the Final Four.
"Conference success in our sport is important because of NCAA Tournament bids," Cronin said on Wednesday afternoon. "We're all playing to go to the NCAA Tournament, and not just getting there, but you're talking about getting better seeds.
"With our conference, power, success, all of it's huge. It doesn't 'just matter,' but it is huge," Cronin continued. "We proved [last season] in our conference – with three Elite Eight teams, a Final Four team, four Sweet 16 teams, 13 wins in the tournament – that the Pac-12 basketball is powerful. We have great coaching in our league. The last thing that I would add, when you look at what we went through with no offseason, I had not seen these guys for six months [in 2020]. So, what we all went through on the West Coast, we all got better as the year went on."
The preseason media poll featured Oregon in the second slot, followed by USC. Arizona and Oregon State tied for the fourth spot, while Colorado rounded out the top half of the preseason media poll as the sixth team (complete poll is available here).
Jaime Jaquez Jr. breaking down my No. 1 team - @UCLAMBB here at @pac12 media day: pic.twitter.com/bQXCBJaiIX
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) October 13, 2021
UCLA's Tyger Campbell, Jaquez Jr. and Juzang were selected as preseason first-team All-Pac-12 selections, as voted by media members. The Pac-12 named a 10-person "first team" and a five-person "second team" in the annual list of preseason selections.
Freshman Peyton Watson, a 6-foot-8 guard/forward from Long Beach, Calif., was named as an honorable mention preseason all-league selection. Watson and Stanford's Harrison Ingram were the only freshmen to secure preseason honorable mention status (having earned at least eight votes from the voting media contingent).
Juzang enters the 2021-22 season as the Bruins' leading returning scorer (16.0 points per game). The junior guard from nearby Tarzana, Calif., averaged a team-best 22.8 points in the team's six NCAA Tournament games last season.
Representing the four letters. #GoBruins | #Pac12MBB 😄📸 pic.twitter.com/AZZQ7ksmML
— UCLA Men's Basketball (@UCLAMBB) October 13, 2021
Jaquez Jr. averaged 12.3 points and a team-leading 6.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2020-21. Both Juzang and Jaquez Jr. had been named second-team All-Pac-12 selections at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season.
UCLA will open its regular-season schedule against CSU Bakersfield on Tuesday, Nov. 9. Game time is 8 p.m. (PT) in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. The Bruins will host one exhibition game against Chico State on Thursday, Nov. 4.
A limited number of season tickets for the upcoming season are available, starting at $349, by clicking here. The "3 Pointer" mini-plan package, which includes a ticket to games against Villanova, Colorado and Alabama State, are also available by clicking here. UCLA season ticket and mini-plan packages can be purchased online or by calling (310) 206-5991.
Early-season single-game tickets are also available for purchase (click here) or by calling the (310) 825-2101.