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Johnny be gone: UK’s Juzang opts to enter transfer portal

By KEITH TAYLOR

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Johnny Juzang is entering the NCAA transfer portal.

The Kentucky freshman guard announced his intentions on Friday via social media. Juzang averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game this season and tallied 10 points in the Wildcats’ 71-70 win over Florida in the team’s regular-season finale.

“What a ride,” Juzang posted on his Instagram account Friday. “This last year at Kentucky was one of the best experiences of my life. I grew so much not only as a player but as a young man.”

A native of Los Angeles, California, Juzang made his decision Thursday night.

“When we spoke (Thursday) night, his family talked about Johnny going back to the West Coast, which I understand,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “If this is what he ultimately decides to do, we wish him all the best. He has our full support.”

In his message, Juzang praised Calipari, his teammates and the rest of the team’s staff and “everyone who made this year so special.”

“From the bottom of my heart, I’m going to miss this place,” he said.

Juzang appeared in 28 games with two starts. He scored 82 points, grabbed 54 rebounds, and shot 37.7% from the field and 32.6% from 3-point range. He scored double figures in two of the last nine games and  made 10 of his last 20 3-point shots to end the season. Juzang also scored a season-high 13 points with three 3-pointers in the win at Tennessee.

Calipari left the door open for Juzang to return if he opts to drop out of the transfer portal.

“I talked to Johnny last night along with his family and let him know if he wants to come back here that this option is always open to him,” Calipari said. “Johnny had a great year and really got better as the season went on. I always enjoyed coaching him, and if there’s an opportunity to continue to do so, I would welcome it with open arms because Johnny is a great kid and a skilled basketball player with a bright future.”

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Keith Taylor
Keith Taylor is an award-winning journalist who has covered Kentucky athletics since 1995. He is the sports editor of Kentucky Today and his work appears in 12 daily newspapers as well as various weekly and web sites throughout the state. Reach him at Keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor 21.

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