Assessing Caleb Love, Armando Bacot, and Johnny Juzang in the Sweet 16 of the 2022 NCAA Tournament

March 26th, 2022

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch North Carolina square off against UCLA in a very competitive Sweet 16 matchup in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.  It was a hard fought, defensive battle that went all the way down to the wire, but North Carolina’s sophomore guard, Caleb Love made clutch shots down the stretch, and R.J. Davis also made a slew of plays to help North Carolina get a narrow win over UCLA.  Here are my thoughts on how Caleb Love and other various prospects fared on this day.

Caleb Love had a tremendous showing in his team’s win over UCLA in the Sweet 16 of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. He scored 30 points, dished out 6 assists, and he completely dominated and took over the game in the second half. North Carolina was able to get the win, and proved that sometimes, all you need is Love.
(Photo:
Chris Szagola/Associated Press)

Caleb Love had a strong showing in his team’s win over UCLA.  He had a slow start early on, but he played very well in the second half, and he shot the ball really well in crunch time, as he showed tremendous confidence in knocking down big shots to help his team get the victory.

North Carolina’s sophomore point guard, Caleb Love scored 27 of his 30 points in the second half, as he made a slew of really tough shots and jaw-dropping plays to propel his team past UCLA to get the win in this game.
(Source:
Twitter/@DraftExpress)

He did a great job of knocking down threes to space the floor for his team on offense.  Love was able to make threes both off the catch and dribble, and he especially thrived at using quick dribble moves and sometimes off of screens to score on pull-up threes from way out.  He also was able to make a quick three-pointer after running off of a screen, and Love’s sharpshooting prowess really helped him pour on the points down the stretch.

He also did a good job of scoring off the dribble.  Love often would score on strong, left-handed drives to the hoop, and he has good speed and body control that allows him to finish plays at the rim.  He also used a smooth Euro-step move to score on a quick drive in transition.  He also can use either hand to score, but sometimes he would take tough, off-balanced shots that would lead to misses.

Also, Love showed off solid playmaking skills in this game.  He is a speedy point guard that generally threw solid interior passes, and he can throw long, accurate passes to find his teammates on the move and set up scores for them.  On one play though, he over-dribbled, and he had a ball stolen away from him on a drive to the hoop.

He also was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor to chip in on the glass.  He seemed to struggle defensively, though.  He would tend to be too aggressive at times, which would lead him to commit touch fouls.  He also was late to fight through a screen to stay with his man, as he and his team allowed his opponent to score on a corner three once.

Overall, Caleb Love played very well, especially down the stretch to lead his team to a Sweet 16 win over UCLA.  He is a very athletic guard that can get any shot he wants, and he can be a really good player on the court when he’s on his game.  He hasn’t been the most consistent player over the years, but he’s shown that he can take over games.  Love’s stock has been on the rise, and he could be a good pick for a team in the late first to the second round range in the 2022 draft, and by the time this tournament ends, his stock could perhaps end up in the mid to late first round range. He’s a lottery level talent that is playing very good basketball lately, and he could be a very good find for an NBA team on draft day.

Armando Bacot also played well in his team’s win over UCLA.  He is a strong, physical big man that consistently outworked his opponents on the glass, and he had a very good impact for his team on both ends of the floor.

Bacot thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  He would often dive to the hoop to score, and he would score on strong dunks and layups.  He thrived as a cutter and roll man, and he also would score on put backs and tip-ins to provide his team with plenty of second chance points.  He was a little more inconsistent as a scorer when posting up, as he would sometimes miss when he would set up from too far away, but Bacot was able to score more easily when he would get deep position on the block.  He also was able to make a long two-pointer from the baseline to show his improved shooting range.

He also displayed perhaps adequate playmaking skills in this game.  Bacot is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass, and he was able to find a cutter to notch an assist.  Sometimes though, he would struggle to handle the ball when pressured in the post, which would lead to ball-handling turnovers, and he also telegraphed a pass that got intercepted another time.

Also, Bacot did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball.  He especially thrived as an offensive rebounder, and he came away with many offensive boards, although he was called for committing an over the back foul once.

Bacot also played adequate defense.  He generally moved his feet well, as he was able to stay in front of opponents when defending drives, and he was able to block a shot emphatically out of bounds.  Bacot also would hold his ground when defending in the post to force misses.  However, sometimes he would give up too much space to shooters, which would lead him to give up mid-range baskets.  Another time, he bit on a ball fake, which led him to allow a score at the rim.

Overall, Armando Bacot had a solid showing in his team’s win over UCLA.  He made strong plays to help his team in the paint on both ends of the floor.  He’s been playing very good basketball lately, and he could be a good find for a team in the NBA draft.

Johnny Juzang had a decent showing in his team’s loss to North Carolina.  He especially shot the ball well early on, and he also played good defense in this game. Juzang showed a decent ability to knock down jumpers, and he especially thrived at making threes in this game.  He didn’t take enough threes in this game, but he excelled at making quick, open spot-up threes off the catch.  Juzang also was able to make an open corner three off of a pin-down early on.  He also showed that he can make mid-range jumpers off the catch and dribble, but he struggled to consistently knock down his mid-range shots, as he also took too many of them in this match.

He also showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  Juzang was able to score on a smooth floater, and he also drove in to draw free throws another time.  He tended to favor going to his right, and it usually proved to be advantageous for him when he would be able to get all the way to the hoop.  However, he tended to settle for a lot of mid-range shots, so he didn’t quite shoot the ball nearly as well down the stretch.  He also tried to score in the post once, but missed on a contested, turnaround leaner.

Also, Juzang showed off solid playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass, and he was able to throw a sharp interior pass to notch an assist due to possessing solid court vision.  However, on one drive, he had a ball poked away from him that led him to turn the ball over that time.

He also was able to get his fair share of defensive rebounds in this game.  On the other hand, he was called for an over the back foul on an offensive rebound attempt right after he missed a tough shot in the post.  Juzang played very good defense in this game.  He was able to get his hands on a pass to help his team get a steal, and he also did a great job of contesting threes to force misses.  He also was able to actively contest a shot when defending in the post to get a stop for his team.

Overall, Johnny Juzang played fairly well in his team’s loss to North Carolina.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also passed and defended well when he was on the court.  He didn’t always show great shot selection though, and that will be something he’ll need to work on.  Currently, he projects to be a second round prospect on draft day.

R.J. Davis had a decent showing in his team’s win over UCLA.  He was able to make some very good plays, and he played relatively well compared to some of the other players in this game.  Though he didn’t shoot the ball very well, he showed that he can knock down pull-up jumpers from the outside, and he also drew three free throws on a pull-up three, as he made a savvy basketball play that time.  On the downside, he would sometimes take quick, contested shots that would result in misses, and he also had a couple of shots blocked when driving to the hoop.

He also is a speedy guard that can quickly get into the lane, and he was able to split a double team and kick it out to an open shooter to notch an assist.  Overall, Davis is a fleet-footed combo guard that can make plays to help his team on offense.  He’ll need to be a more consistent player on the floor, but his ability to make plays could enable him to be a second round prospect whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. put forth an uneven performance in his team’s loss to North Carolina.  On the telecast, the announcers said that his ankle was bothering him, but it didn’t seem to affect him from an athletic standpoint.  He shot the ball well early, and he was able to make numerous crafty plays in the first half, but he struggled to knock down shots down the stretch.

Jaquez showed a decent ability to score in the post.  He is a crafty player that will use a lot of ball fakes to score, as he was able to score on a fadeaway jumper, as well as on a couple turnaround jumpers.  However, sometimes he would miss on jumpers around the basket, especially if his ball fakes would not work. 

He was able to use a spin move to score on a strong drive to the hoop.  Jaquez also drove in to score on a high-flying, breakaway dunk in transition.  Howeve, he struggled to consistently score off the dribble, and he really struggled to knock down outside shots.  He was able to use a crafty pump fake maneuver to draw free throws on a pull-up, mid-range jumper, as he made a savvy play that time.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills n this game.  Jaquez did a good job of passing out of the post, and he was able to make an assortment of passes to find open teammates to notch assists.  He is an unselfish player that sees the floor well, and he can find open teammates on the move.  He also was able to haul in his fair share of rebounds in this game.  He also defended well.  Jaquez was able to jump a pass to get a steal, and he deflected a pass to nearly get another.  He also managed to contest a three to force a miss another time.

Overall, Jaime Jaquez didn’t have his best game, but he is a tough, gritty forward that will make hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.  He will need to trust his outside shot more and improve upon it, and that will open up the rest of his game offensively.  He’s not an overwhelming athlete, but his motor, defensive skills, and feel for the game could enable him to be a second round pick in the 2022 draft.

Brady Manek didn’t play nearly as well as he did in his team’s win over Baylor in the second round, but he was able to make some hustle plays to help his team in this game. He was streaky with his jump shot, as he took a lot of threes and missed his fair share, but Manek also was able to knock down several open, spot-up threes off the catch.  He is a tall forward that has a fairly quick release, which enables him to get his shot off easily.  He also thrived at scoring on off-ball motion plays.  Manek scored on a reverse, flip layup on a backdoor cut.  He also ran in to score on a powerful, tip slam after leaping up to get an offensive rebound.  He also tried to score in the post another time, but missed on a rushed, turnaround layup at the rim.

He also showed off perhaps adequate playmaking skills.  Manek is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he was able to find a cutter from the baseline to notch an assist.  He also set an on-ball screen to help his teammate get an open driving lane.  However, sometimes he would telegraph his passes that would end up getting intercepted.

He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball, and Manek was able to haul in plenty of boards on both ends of the floor.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  Manek was able to get his hands on a pass to get a steal.  He also defended the post well early on to force an opponent to commit a three-second violation.  He also managed to contest a corner three to force a miss.  However, he generally struggled to defend opponents off the dribble.  He had trouble cutting off penetration, and sometimes he would get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to allow scores.  Another time, he bit on a pump fake, which led him to foul a mid-range shooter.

Overall, Manek didn’t have his best game, but he was able to make some athletic plays to help his team when he was on the court.  He is a tall, mobile stretch big that can space the floor, and he has been having a good NCAA Tournament this year.  He’s shown that he can shoot the basketball and make hustle plays, and he could be a solid find for an NBA team in the second round range of the NBA draft.

Jules Bernard also played well in his team’s loss to North Carolina.  He shot the ball well, as he thrived as a spot-up shooter, as well as a scorer off the dribble, and out of the post.  He would use subtle, quick dribble moves to get past his man, and he has good patience and body control to finish plays around the basket.  He generally shot the ball well from the outside, although he did throw up an air-ball once.

Also, he was able to haul in rebounds on both ends of the floor to get his fair share of boards.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Bernard was able to jump a pass to get a steal.  He also would contest threes to force misses.  Sometimes though, he would struggle to stay in front of quicker players, and other times he would give up a bit too much space to shooters, which would lead him to allow scores.

Overall, Jules Bernard turned in a good showing in this game.  He is a skilled, mobile swingman that made good plays on both ends of the floor, and he could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.

Tyger Campbell also played fairly well in his team’s loss to North Carolina.  He excelled on offense, as he especially thrived at making plays off the dribble.  He tended to favor going to his left, as he would often score on strong drives and also would sometimes score on open, pull-up, mid-range jumpers.  Campbell also managed to score on a reverse, flip layup off the glass.  On the downside, he missed his lone three-point attempt from beyond the arc.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  He generally did a good job of making passes off the dribble, and he would make swift, drive and kick passes to get the ball to shooters to notch assists.  Sometimes though, he would play too recklessly, as he would rush his moves and lose his balance when handling the ball, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.  He also was very predictable in going to his left, so opponents could sit on that hand and force him to go the other way, which he didn’t seem comfortable doing.  He also threw a hasty pass that got intercepted another time.

Campbell played fairly average defense.  For the positives, he is an aggressive defender that would look to get steals and blocks.  He was able to poke a ball away to get a steal, and he also blocked a shot.  However, he had trouble staying in front of quicker players, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also was too aggressive another time, which led him to foul a three-point shooter another time.

Overall, Tyger Campbell had a solid showing in his team’s loss to North Carolina.  He is an agile point guard that can make plays off the dribble to help his team on offense.  However, he’ll need to trust his three-point shot more, and he will need to improve his defense.  He will need to stay in school for another year, and he will be a prospect to watch sometime in the future.

Other Notes:

Both Isaiah Wong and Kameron McGusty played very well, as they helped Miami get a decisive victory over Iowa State in the Sweet 16 of the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
(Photo:
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press)

I also was able to watch some of the second half of the Miami-Iowa State game.  Here were my thoughts as I saw Miami get the win over Iowa State in the Sweet 16 of the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

Kameron McGusty really stepped up to help Miami get the win in this game, as he showed a variety of scoring skills, and Isaiah Wong was able to score on athletic backdoor cut while drawing an extra free throw late in this game. Both of them are athletic, skilled combo guards that can shoot and score the basketball, and they could be solid options for NBA teams to consider in the second round range of the 2022 draft.

Miami’s senior center, Sam Waardenburg turned in his strongest showing of the tournament.  He showed off a variety of offensive skills, and he made solid hustle plays defensively.  He is a good shooting big man that can make spot-up threes, and he also picked off a pass swiftly, which enabled him to score on a breakaway dunk the other way. 

He also threw pinpoint passes, as he would find cutters on the move, and he is a good passer that racked up assists.  Plus, he also blocked a three-point shot late in this game.  While he hasn’t put up gaudy stats this year, he is a skilled, mobile big man that may have the skills to play in the NBA, and he may be able to get there as early as next season.

Miami’s redshirt junior forward, Jordan Miller is a very athletic player that ran the floor to score on an alley-oop dunk, and he also passed and defended well.  Miller played really well in the second half, and he could be a definite prospect to watch for the 2023 draft. Charlie Moore generally ran the team well, as he showed a solid mid-range shot, as well as the patience to distribute the basketball and get assists. While he doesn’t possess elite size or athletic gifts, Moore is a smart, skilled playmaker that did a very good job of running and managing the team at the point, and he has played very well in this tournament.

For Iowa State, Tyrese Hunter made a really nice block late in this game to showcase his athleticism and defensive skills.  George Conditt also was able to score on an alley-oop dunk, and he also blocked a shot, and he is a very athletic, high-motor big man that could project to be a rim protector in the NBA.

Other Notes, Part II:

Saint Peter’s became the first ever 15 seed to get to the Elite Eight in an NCAA Tournament.
(Source:
Twitter/@MM_MBB_TV)

Congratulations to the Saint Peter’s Peacocks for their win over Purdue in the Sweet 16 of the 2022 NCAA Tournament!  Head coach Shaheen Holloway has done a terrific coaching job, and their team has played very well on both sides of the ball.  Saint Peter’s is the first 15 seed to reach the Elite Eight, and they will face off against North Carolina on Sunday.  Congrats!

That is all for now, and thanks for reading.

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