UCLA’s Johnny Juzang and Cody Riley withdraw from NBA draft

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Johnny Juzang and Cody Riley have withdrawn their names from the NBA draft and will return to UCLA this fall.

Juzang, a guard from nearby Tarzana, averaged a team-high 16 points and 4.1 rebounds while starting 26 of 27 games last season. He was even better during the Bruins’ run to the Final Four. Juzang averaged 22.8 points and four rebounds in six NCAA Tournament games.

Riley, a forward from Kansas City, Kansas, started all 31 games last season, averaging 10 points and 5.4 rebounds — both career highs. The Bruins lost to Gonzaga in the national semifinals.

“Westwood, I can’t wait to go to war!” Juzang posted on his social media account. “We’ve got a team full of warriors and there’s nobody I’d rather fight beside. With Coach Cronin and our staff, I’m very excited for this season. Let’s do something special!”

Riley said he’s more motivated than ever to graduate and help UCLA chase a championship.

Riley didn’t play his freshman season after being suspended for his involvement in a shoplifting incident in China during the Bruins’ season opener.

Coach Mick Cronin said he’s excited to have both players remain in the fold.

“Obviously, we had a special run in March and Johnny, playing on a sprained ankle, was magnificent along with his teammates,” Cronin said. “Cody is one of the hardest working players I have ever coached.”

Earlier this week, guard Chris Smith announced that he won’t return to Westwood for a fifth year of eligibility, which the NCAA would have allowed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Smith averaged 12.6 points and 6.4 rebounds while starting the first eight games before sustaining an ACL tear to his left knee and missing the rest of his senior season.

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