This is “move-in week” in Westwood which means the newest members of the UCLA basketball team are official with the program and Go Joe Bruin wants to remind you of what we will see this season with Jaime Jaquez and Jake Kyman.
The 2018-19 UCLA athletic and academic calendar recently ended, meaning that 2019-20 will soon be upon us. We were reminded of how quickly the season will be here earlier in the week as several Bruin freshmen moved into their new digs preparing for their first year of college, including UCLA basketball‘s Jaime Jaquez and Jake Kyman.
The upcoming season will be here before you know it, and in that time, both freshmen will be fully integrated into the team’s gameplan. It is not what they signed up for as they originally committed to Steve Alford, but they stuck around after Mick Cronin was named the next head coach of UCLA basketball.
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So what do both bring to the roster? Let us start with Jaquez. The 6’7, 210-pound Camarillo product has excellent body control, which translates into him being able to not only worm his way to the lane but also twist and turn around defenders to get to the rim.
Jaquez also has a pretty sure shot whether it is off-balanced or his proper shooting form And if he has a lane, expect some sort of tomahawk dunk.
Like Jaquez, the 6’6, 180-pound Kyman has a lot of tools he is bringing with him to Westwood, but what sticks out the most is his shooting. He can hit the midrange with his sweet stroke, he can square up and hit the big shot from behind the arc and has no problems catching and shooting. On top of that, he has excellent vision and has also been known to hustle on defense.
So how do both fit into Cronin’s masterplan? Cronin has a lot of athletic players on the roster, which will allow them to play uptempo, but he will play at a slower pace, at least compared to Alford’s style, especially with a more significant focus on defense.
Jaquez should be able to assimilate to that style as he gives Cronin a quick big man that is patient and will help out on the wing. The Bruins have Chris Smith and Jules Bernard as likely candidates to start at the 3-spot, but I think whichever player is most consistent, could get the starting spot, including Jaquez.
Kyman’s contribution will depend on a lot of things, primarily what happens at the point guard spot. Currently, Tyger Campbell is the only point guard on the roster, and he is still recovering from an ACL injury that kept him sidelined for the entirety of last season.
Kyman has good ball control and can spread the floor, so I wouldn’t put it past Cronin to try him out at the 1-spot, but there is also David Singleton who might also get minutes as a floor general. He spent some time there last season, but he was not as productive at that spot.
Interestingly enough, both Kyman and Singelton are better suited to play shooting guard. Both are reliable outside shooters which this team is in dire need of, but who knows how the other guard play will work. Still, there will be a need for both freshmen in Cronin’s system, but what exactly that will be is undetermined. Although we should see them play a decent amount of minutes this winter.