Amidst the anticipation surrounding the newly revitalized roster of this year’s UCLA Bruins team, a stroll down memory lane reveals a trove of cherished moments and remarkable athletes from previous iterations of the UCLA men’s basketball squad.
Looking back at the best Pac-12 players of the decade, the discerning eyes of FanSided writer Joey Loose have honored four Bruins, each etching their legacy on the court. Notably, one individual captured national attention for both on-court prowess and off-court activities, securing the second spot on the prestigious list.
Spouting off numbers doesn’t really tell the whole story of Lonzo Ball’s success, but he had an incredible freshman season. He was a First Team All-American, Pac-12 Rookie of the Year, and was a finalist for the Wooden Award. He was the national leader in assists with 274 on the season and was the most efficient shooter in the Pac-12. Ball when then drafted 2nd overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2017 NBA Draft.
In more recent chapters, the echoes of glory resound as three names from the celebrated 2021 Final Four team find their place among the league’s elite. Leading the charge is Tyger Campbell, securing the 14th position with his exceptional performance. Yet, the real gem of that remarkable run emerges just two steps below at the 16th spot, a testament to the team’s depth.
Juzang was much better off on the west coast and earned the First Team All-Pac-12 nod as a junior after making incredible contributions in his two seasons. He emerged as a fantastic scorer, averaging nearly 23 points a game in that Final Four run as a sophomore. He did plenty of great stuff for UCLA during that period before heading off to the NBA at the end of his junior season, though not before becoming a part of history.
As the countdown advances into the top echelon, a formidable forward hailing from the 2021 team takes the spotlight. His prowess not only earned him national acclaim in 2023 but also positioned him for a swift transition to the NBA, beckoning a promising future.
Jaquez played an important role during UCLA’s breakthrough success in recent years. He was twice First Team All-Pac-12, twice All-Defense in the league, but really peaked as a senior. In this most recent college basketball season, Jaquez was named Pac-12 Player of the Year and a Second Team All-American. His numbers across the board were impressive, finishing among the Pac-12’s leaders in points, rebounds, and steals.
While the fate of the Pac-12 conference hangs in the balance, this retrospective journey offers Bruins aficionados a chance to reminisce about the sheer talent that has graced their teams through the years. The courts may change, seasons may shift, but the legacy of excellence continues to burn brightly in the hearts of Bruins fans.
With a nod to the past and an eye on the future, UCLA Bruins basketball remains an indomitable force, sustained by the unwavering dedication of both the players who etched their names in history and the fans who continue to cheer them on.