UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. completes practice drills, expected to play vs. North Carolina

UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. reaches to try and keep the ball in-bounds an NCAA tournament game
UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. reaches to try and keep the ball in-bounds an NCAA tournament game against Saint Mary’s.
(Craig Mitchelldyer / Associated Press)
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Cross one major worry off the list for UCLA.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. will play for the Bruins in their biggest game of the season.

“Jaime is going to try, guys, I can tell you,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said Thursday on the eve of his team’s NCAA tournament East Regional semifinal against North Carolina. “Unless something goes bad [in practice Thursday], I would think he’s going to try. The question is, can he be effective?”

Jaquez’s fluid movement during the 15 minutes of open practice Thursday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center only bolstered the notion that the Bruins’ grittiest player could push his way through the sprained ankle that sidelined him at the end of the team’s victory over Saint Mary’s last weekend in the second round.

UCLA star Jaime Jaquez Jr. hails from a competitive Mexican-American family that explains how he manages to push through injuries to play.

March 23, 2022

Jaquez was coy when asked about the ankle, calling himself day to day. He did not practice before the fourth-seeded Bruins (27-7) departed to face the eighth-seeded Tar Heels (26-9). He’s averaging 14 points and 5.7 rebounds and has been especially productive lately, including 21 points over the last seven games.


UCLA will likely need Jaquez to sustain that production against surging North Carolina if it hopes to take another step toward a second consecutive Final Four.

Jaquez will likely guard North Carolina stretch forward Brady Manek, who likes to hover around the perimeter and is a major three-point threat.

UCLA sophomore Jaime Jaquez Jr. is carrying on a legacy that includes other former Mexican-American Bruins such as Earl Watson and Lorenzo Mata.

April 2, 2021