JAIME JAQUEZ JR. NAMED LUTE OLSON NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jaquez Jr. has earned the national men's basketball honor from CollegeInsider.com
March 30, 2023
HOUSTON – UCLA senior Jaime Jaquez Jr. has been honored as the Lute Olson National Player of the Year, as announced on Thursday by CollegeInsider.com.
Jaquez Jr. was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year earlier this month, having finished his senior season with averages of 17.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He ranked second in the Pac-12 in scoring (17.8 ppg), fourth in steals per game (1.5) and fifth in rebounding (8.2 rpg).
Jaquez Jr., a 6-foot-7 guard/forward from Camarillo, Calif., has become UCLA's first player ever selected as the recipient of the Lute Olson National Player of the Year award (the award was first introduced in 2010). He is the second player from the Pac-12 Conference to have earned the national honor, along with Oregon's Payton Pritchard in 2020.
"Nobody impacted winning more than Jaime Jaquez Jr.," said Angela Lento, Vice President of CollegeInsider.com. "He's a throwback who plays the game the right way. His numbers, across the board, were All-America worthy, but his greatness was doing whatever UCLA needed to win. There were a lot of great players that posted impressive numbers this season, but nobody made more winning plays than Jaime Jaquez."
Jaquez Jr. finished with a season-high 29 points and had 11 rebounds last Thursday in the Bruins' final game of the year, a 79-76 loss to Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. He averaged 23.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in UCLA's three NCAA Tournament contests. He was one of five players named to the NCAA Tournament's All-West Region Team.
Jaquez Jr. was honored as a first-team All-Pac-12 selection for the second straight year. He earned second-team honors from the Pac-12 as a sophomore in 2021.
Through 37 games in 2022-23, Jaquez Jr. shot 48.1 percent from the field. He made 261 of 543 total shot attempts. His 261 made field goals stand as the seventh-highest single-season total in school history. Only Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Bill Walton, Gail Goodrich, Richard Washington and Reggie Miller made more shots for the Bruins in a single season.
UCLA finished the season with a 31-6 record and won the Pac-12 Conference regular-season title for the first time since 2013. Jaquez Jr. played an instrumental role in leading UCLA to a third consecutive Sweet 16 appearance, as the Bruins advanced to the Final Four in 2021, the Sweet 16 in 2022 and back to the Sweet 16 in 2023.
Jaquez Jr. ranks No. 8 on UCLA's all-time scoring list (1,802 points) and No. 11 in the school's all-time rebounding list (842 rebounds). He is one of just nine players in program history to rank among the top 15 leaders on the school's career scoring and rebounding lists.
The Lute Olson National Player of the Year award is named after Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, who won 776 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent as the head coach at Arizona. During his time as Arizona's head coach, Olson led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles and 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. He was one of just 25 head coaches in NCAA history to win 700 or more games (all divisions) and ranks No. 9 on the Division I career victories list. Olson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.