UCLA's late-season momentum appears to be continuing into the offseason. Kentucky transfer Johnny Juzang, a top-50 prospect in the 2019 recruiting class, announced Thursday that he plans to join the Bruins and pursue a waiver for immediate eligibility.
The 6-foot-6 guard is originally from Studio City, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, and he described his decision to transfer to UCLA as "coming home."
"Growing up in Los Angeles, 15 minutes from Westwood, I've always followed UCLA and dreamed of playing in Pauley Pavilion," Juzang wrote. "Bringing a title back home is something that motivates me like nothing else. I can't wait to put on that blue and gold."
Juzang played in 28 games for Kentucky as a freshman in the 2019-20 season, starting two, and averaging 12.3 minutes per game. He scored 2.9 points per game on 44.1% shooing, including 32.6% from 3-point range. Juzang's role fluctuated throughout the season but his best outings came on the road. Juzang scored a season-high 13 points in UK's February win at Tennessee and contributed 10 in a season-high 33 minutes during UK's 71-70 comeback victory at Florida on March 7. That contest turned out to be the Wildcats' final game of the season.
He announced March 27 that he planned to enter his name in the transfer portal. By committing to UCLA, he is joining a program on the upswing under coach Mick Cronin, who guided the Bruins to a second-place finish in the Pac-12 after a 1-3 start in league play during his first season leading the program. UCLA's top scorer Chris Smith announced Tuesday that he will test the NBA Draft, which could open the door for Juzang to play an early role if he receives immediate eligibility.