UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. Makes Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List

The Bruins’ star senior will go up against Armando Bacot, Zach Edey, Brandon Miller and others for the national player of the year honor.

As the regular season continues to wind down, the Bruins’ top player continues to contend for top individual honors.

The US Basketball Writers Association revealed the 15-man late season watch list for the Oscar Robertson Trophy on Thursday, and UCLA men’s basketball guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. made the cut. The winner of the national player of the year award will be revealed at the Final Four in Houston.

Joining Jaquez on the watch list are North Carolina’s Armando Bacot, Detroit’s Antoine Davis, Memphis’ Kendric Davis, Purdue’s Zach Edey, Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, Marquette’s Tyler Kolek, Alabama’s Brandon Miller, Iowa’s Kris Murray, Penn State’s Jalen Pickett, Houston’s Marcus Sasser, Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, Kentucky’s Oscar Tschiebwe, Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis and Kansas’ Jalen Wilson.

Jaquez is one of two Pac-12 players in contention for the honor alongside Tubelis.

The Camarillo, California, native is leading UCLA with 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, and he ranks second on the team with 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.7 blocks per game. Jaquez is averaging career highs in every major count stat, in addition to shooting a career-best 48.9% from the field.

Jaquez has appeared in all 29 of the Bruins games so far this season and scored double figures in 26, leading the team to a 25-4 record, a Pac-12 regular season title and nine consecutive top-10 rankings in the process.

The 6-foot-6 wing is towards the top of the Pac-12 leaderboards in several categories, ranking No. 4 in points per game, No. 5 in rebounds per game, No. 5 in steals per game, No. 3 in player efficiency rating, No. 1 in win shares, No. 2 in offensive win shares, No. 2 in defensive win shares and No. 2 in win shares per 40 minutes.

Jaquez took things to the next level in February, scoring 20-plus points in five of the Bruins’ last seven games. Jaquez is also averaging 9.9 rebounds per game since Jan. 12, and he is shooting 38.2% from 3-point range since Jan. 1.

In Bart Torvik’s updated analytics-based national player of the year rankings, Jaquez is at No. 10. Just since the start of conference play, however, Jaquez ranks No. 5.

Jaquez is also contending for the John R. Wooden Award, the Naismith College Player of the Year Award and the Julius Erving Award, as well as Pac-12 Player of the Year.

UCLA has had nine players with the Oscar Robertson Trophy since it was introduced in 1959. Walt Hazzard, Sidney Wicks, Marques Johnson and Ed O’Bannon each won it once, Lew Alcindor won it twice and Bill Walton won it three times.

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