WATCH: Tyger Campbell Talks New Guards, Leadership Role at UCLA

The Bruins’ veteran point guard spoke highly of Amari Bailey, Dylan Andrews and the other new arrivals in the backcourt.

UCLA men’s basketball points guard Tyger Campbell spoke to reporters prior to practice at the Mo Ostin Basketball Center on Thursday. Campbell talked about being a coach on the floor, moving into a more veteran role, his first impressions of Amari Bailey and the other freshmen guards and how he think he’ll play alongside five-star center Adem Bona.

Gap between freshman and seniors… leadership role?

You know, we just do what coach asks of us. It’s easy because Coach is always on the guys and he’s such a good coach and making sure they’re all good. But I just say with the young guys, just everyday they’re getting better. They definitely came in more ready than my class came in, so we’re excited to see their development. There’s some really great players.

You have to be more of a coach on the floor with these guys?

Yeah, but it’s easy for me. I’ve been doing now for a couple years and I know Coach trusts me, so I just know I gotta be an extension of him.

Surreal that you are “old guy” now?

A little bit. Me and Jaime were talking about it a little. It’s just funny because I remember we came in and we thought we were on top of the world, but we were just like those young guys, like you said. But, every single day, like I keep saying, they’re working hard. They’re trying to pave out some time, pave out some minutes and just try to get in that rotation.

Something you would have told younger version of self?

Just be patient. A lot of young guys come in and they want to make a play on every single possession. Just got to move the ball and play within the team and do what the team needs in your role.

What have seen from guards?

Well, they’re competitors. I like that about Amari. He’s so good around the basket. He’s really good at making the right play, getting off the ball. And then with Dylan, as he picks up the full court, he’s a dog. We kind of needed a defensive guy like that. And then on top of that, he’s hitting his open shots. I think they’ll be really good for us. Once they just keep developing a day at a time, keep listening to coach.

Nice to have facilitators around you?

Yeah, I’d just say it’s… having more point guards is always good. And we all like to share the ball. But it’s just a different team, different players. So I wouldn’t say it’s better. It’s just different.

Best ball movement team you’ve played on here?

I hope so. Yeah, they’re moving pretty well. So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see once the games start.

Potential for this team defensively?

I see a lot of guys, we take the defensive end very seriously. Obviously because coach, but some guys that want to play defense. They’re not hiding from anything. They want to guide the best player on the court. And when I say that, I mean like a lot of the young guys. Yeah, it’s been good. Practice has been very competitive.

Happy to see some full court pressing?

I mean of course. If we can full court press, it will make us play faster, get more up and down, get more shots. So, whatever coach thinks, we’re going with.

Impression of Adem?

He’s a dog. I say that about all our freshmen, but Adem I can throw it anywhere around the basket and he goes and gets it. He plays really hard. He’s very vocal. He’s really good for a young guy.

So might see some lob city with him?


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