UCLA guard Johnny Juzang, the star of the Bruins' unexpected 2021 Final Four run, announced Wednesday night that he plans to return for another season with the Bruins. Juzang was ranked No. 49 on the CBS Sports NBA Draft Big Board after averaging 16 points as a sophomore for UCLA last season after transferring in from Kentucky. Wednesday marked the deadline for players to withdraw from the draft and retain their collegiate eligibility.
"Going through the draft process has been an amazing experience," Juzang wrote in a social media post. "I was blessed to connect with great people, learn and grow, and get a feel for life at the next level. I want to thank everybody who has helped me in this process including my family, trainers, school, and especially my dad who helped for countless hours! Westwood, I can't wait to go to war! We've got a team full of warriors and there's nobody I'd rather fight beside. With Coach Cronin and our staff, I'm very excited for this season. Let's do something special!"
Juzang's return solidifies that UCLA will be among the preseason favorites to win the national championship after their surge to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed in the 2020-21 season. All the other key pieces from that Bruins are expected to return as well, but none were more important to the run than Juzang.
After playing mostly as a reserve during his freshman season at Kentucky, he entered the starting lineup for UCLA's second game last season and never departed. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 22.8 points during UCLA's six NCAA Tournament games to burst onto the radar of NBA scouts.