Johnny Juzang was just the type of player that Kentucky needed.
Class of 2019 recruit was a shooter that seemed ready for a multi-year college career. He played in nearly every game during his freshmen season, averaging just over 12 minutes per game. It was obvious that John Calipari had high expectations for Juzang, but he was also quick to put him on the bench when he made a mistake.
After his freshmen campaign, Juzang entered the transfer portal. He said he was homesick, and he would not be the first Wildcat from the West Coast to finish his career back home. Many speculated that Calipari’s attitude toward Juzang made him want to leave the program.
However, coming off of a solid sophomore year at UCLA, Juzang was able to clear the air about his transfer on CBS Sports Sunday.
“With everything going on in the world, I just wanted to come home and be a Bruin,” Juzang revealed via 247 Sports. “They just want me to do what’s best for me and make me happy. But inside, you know what they wanted. You know where they wanted me to go.
“It’s great being so close to home. Being able to come home and have dinner, do some laundry, see my sister, see my parents.”
Obviously, Juzang’s family is a big part of his life. It had to be hard being so far away, especially when a worldwide pandemic is happening. Juzang expressed no regret about his time in Lexington, saying it was was pretty much what he expected.
“I went there to be challenged, and I got that.”
At the time of this writing, 11 seed UCLA is still in the hunt in the NCAA Tournament. Juzang is getting a chance to make a run in March that was taken away from the players a year ago. While you hate to see a talented player leave, it is relieving to hear that it was not a bitter departure.
And with Kentucky not in the tournament, Big Blue Nation can get behind Juzang and cheer for the former Wildcat while hopefully not having any hard feelings toward him or Calipari. This was clearly a situation where the best place for him was back home close to his family.
Plus, if we’re being honest, if Juzang was still on the Kentucky basketball team, it’s hard to see Dontaie Allen playing much at all this past season, which could have led to him transferring this offseason.
Instead, Allen is coming back, and Juzang is happy back home with his family.