Evaluating Jaime Jaquez Jr., Jaylen Clark, and Adem Bona in the UCLA-Arizona State Game
March 3rd, 2023
By Alan Lu
UCLA is one of the best teams in college basketball, and they have a stacked roster featuring their senior star swingman, Jaime Jaquez Jr. I hadn’t seen UCLA in a live, full basketball game yet all year long, so I decided to watch them play yesterday against an overachieving Arizona State squad. I came away impressed with Jaquez and UCLA’s dominant performance in their double-digit win over Arizona State, and Jaquez scored 26 points and had 7 rebounds to help them get the victory.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. had a tremendous showing to lead his team to a double-digit win over Arizona State. He put forth a strong, all-around performance, and he was able to make some impressively athletic plays throughout this contest.
Jaquez showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays. He sprinted down court and ran the floor hard to score on a couple of high-flying dunks on the break. Plus, he also managed to score on a put back early on.
He also excelled at scoring off the dribble. He was able to drive to the hoop to score on a thunderous dunk. He also showed a knack for using pump fakes and dribble moves to draw fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line. Jaquez also managed to score on a fadeaway jumper out of the post. Sometimes though, he would take difficult shots that would lead to misses, and he seemed to struggle to consistently knock down fadeaway jumpers or shots in traffic at times.
Jaquez was able to make a quick open three in transition, and he also made a pull-up, mid-range jumper from the baseline to showcase his shooting skills, but he also struggled to knock down dribble, mid-range jumpers consistently. He also showcased adequate playmaking skills. Jaquez was able to find open teammates on the break, and he also was able to make a swift drive and kick pass to create scoring chances for his teammates. He is a shot creator that generally thrived at making plays on offense. On the downside, he was a bit turnover prone in this game. On one play, he threw an inaccurate lob pass that ended up getting intercepted.
Also, Jaquez showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball. He was quite active at crashing the glass, and he was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor. He also played satisfactory defense in this game. Jaquez was able to get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections, and he also would actively contest threes to force misses. Sometimes though, he would play too aggressively, which would lead him to commit fouls and also end up out of position other times. On one play, he had trouble guarding a taller player in the post, and gave up a basket on that instance. Another time, he was caught ball watching and lost track of a cutter to allow a score.
Overall, Jaime Jaquez played very well, and he was especially superb as a scorer in this game. He is a high-motor swingman that has a good feel for the game, and he’s shown that he can make hustle plays on both ends of the floor. He’ll need to improve his outside shot and trust it more, but he is a solid prospect that could end up being a first round pick in the 2023 draft.
Jaylen Clark also played well in his team’s win over Arizona State. He is an athletic, energetic swingman especially thrived at making hustle plays to help his team in this game. Clark showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays, as he would often score on put backs and fast breaks. Clark also was able to score on a high-flying dunk on a drive in transition. He wasn’t as consistent with his outside shot and struggled to score on aggressive drives at times, but Clark was able to make a three-pointer to help space the floor for his team.
Also, Clark showcased adequate playmaking skills. He was able to make a drive and kick pass to find a shooter on the break to notch an assist. He also would push the pace and handle the ball up court to show some ball-handling skills.
Clark did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He was able to frequently get boards on both sides of the ball, and sometimes he would push the ball up the court off of defensive rebounds. He also played solid defense in this game. Clark was able to intercept a couple of passes to get steals. He also stayed with an opposing ball handler from baseline to baseline and forced an opponent to shoot an air-ball from mid-range. On the downside, sometimes he would be late on his rotations, which would lead him to commit fouls.
Overall, Jaylen Clark put forth a strong performance to help lead his team to a win over Arizona State. He thrived at making energetic, hustle plays, and he is an athletic swingman that could project into a 3 and D role at the NBA level. He played very well in this game. Clark will need to be a more consistent outside shooter and improve his shot-creation skills, but his ability to make hustle plays combined with his athleticism could make him a solid pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the 2023 draft.
Adem Bona had a fairly solid showing in his team’s win over Arizona State. He is a very athletic, energetic big man that was able to make some very good plays to help his team on the interior, and he was able to overcome his slow start to help his team get a double-digit victory.
Bona excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He was able to catch a lob pass off of a roll to score on a dunk. He scored on a put back off of an offensive rebound. Bona also ran in to score on a magnetic tip slam late in this game. On the downside, he struggled to score out of the post, especially early on. He didn’t show much shooting touch from the block, and despite being able to get deep position, he had trouble connecting when operating with his back to the basket. He also attempted an elbow jumper from the mid-range, but missed that time.
He also was fairly turnover prone on offense. Bona committed a basket interference when attempting to tip a ball in early on. He lowered his shoulder and charged into a defender when posting up that led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover another time. He also was called for setting a moving screen on a separation possession.
In this game, Bona did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He also defended very well, as he generally did a good job of helping his team protect the paint. Bona was able to rotate to block shots ferociously to prevent opponents from getting easy shots up around the basket. He also would hold position and contest shots in the post to help force misses. On one play though, he committed a foul when defending an opposing ball handler out on the perimeter, as he struggled to stay with him on that occasion.
Overall, Adem Bona had a solid showing in his team’s win over Arizona State. He struggled to make shots early on, but he made some terrific defensive plays to help his team shore up the interior, and he was able to score by making hustle plays later on. He’ll need to improve his jump shot and passing ability, but his ability to make plays in the paint combined with his athleticism could make him a solid pick for an NBA team, especially if he’s available to be selected in the second round of the 2023 draft.
Arizona State’s 7-0 senior center, Warren Washington played fairly well in his team’s loss to UCLA. He is a very tall, athletic big man that excelled as a finisher around the basket, and he also was able to make some solid plays defensively. He generally excelled as the roll man as well as a low post scorer from the block. He showed good shooting touch to score in the paint, and he also would make strong moves to finish plays at the rim. He also was able to throw down a couple of powerful dunks, including one strong tip slam late in the game.
As a playmaker, he looked to be fairly average at best. When operating out of the high post, Washington was able to find a cutter to notch an assist. On the other hand, he was quite turnover prone in this game. On one play, he telegraphed a pass that got intercepted. He also extended his arm when operating out of the post and collided into a defender that led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover that time.
He was able to get his fair share of boards, but Washington didn’t seem to get enough rebounds on the court for a player his size. He also played satisfactory defense. Washington was able to rotate to block a shot to stop an opponent from scoring on the break. He also managed to successfully draw a charge when defending in the post. On one play though, he bit on a pump fake and ended up out of position, which led to a scramble that resulted in his team to give up a three-point basket.
Overall, Warren Washington played fairly well in his team’s loss to UCLA. He is an athletic big man that thrived at making plays on the interior. He’ll need to keep working on his jump shot and take better care of the basketball, but he is an athletic, energetic center that could project into a rim-running, backup center role in the NBA.
Tyger Campbell also played very well in this game. He did a good job of knocking down jumpers, as he was able to make dribble, mid-range jumpers smoothly, and he also was able to make a pair of threes from beyond the arc. He is an agile, fleet-footed guard that was able to draw free throws on a quick drive in transition. He also generally passed the ball well, and he would consistently find teammates on the move to set up scores for them.
Also, he was able to chip in to help his team get several boards in this game. Campbell also played satisfactory defense. He was able to poke balls away to get steals, and he managed to jump a pass to get another. He also contested a three to force a miss. On one play though, he sagged too far off his man and allowed his man to score on a three-point shot. Another time, he got beat off the dribble and ended up fouling his opponent on a drive to the hoop.
Overall, Tyger Campbell had a solid, all-around game, and he excelled at making plays to help his team on both ends of the floor. Although he’s undersized for the point guard position and has been inconsistent with his jump shot at times, Campbell is an underrated playmaker that has proven that he can make plays on reliably run the point, and he could end up being a solid, backup point guard in the NBA.
Arizona State’s 6-6 sophomore swingman, Jamiya Neal played well off the bench in his team’s loss to UCLA. He is a smooth athlete that showed that he can make plays off the dribble. He was able to draw free throws on a pull-up, mid-range jumper, and he also pulled up to knock down a three smoothly another time. He also drive hard to his left to get to the free throw line. As a playmaker, he looked to be perhaps adequate. He was able to make a drive and kick pass to create a scoring chance for his teammate, but also committed a turnover on a separate possession.
Overall, Jamiya Neal played well in limited minutes in this game, and he could be a prospect to watch in the future. Neal is an athletic swingman that may have some projectable upside, and he showed the potential to be a spot-up shooter and shot-creator in games. If he can show that he can reliably knock down jumpers, consistently create shots off the dribble, and defend upper echelon opponents, he could project into being a versatile role player for the NBA.
Arizona State’s 6-1 junior guard, D.J. Horne played well in his team’s loss to UCLA. He shot the three-ball well, and he especially thrived at making pull-up threes. On the other hand, he was fairly turnover prone, and he would sometimes play too sloppy that would cause him to commit ball-handling and passing turnovers. Overall, he shot the ball well, especially from downtown, but he will need to take better care of the basketball. He’ll need to be a more consistent performer in games, but if so, Horne could be a prospect to watch sometime down the road.
There were other prospects that I was interested in watching, but not all of the players played as well as hoped in this game. Here were my thoughts on how some of the other players fared.
UCLA’s freshman guard, Amari Bailey didn’t play very well at all from an offensive standpoint, as he was turnover prone early on, and he threw a lot of hasty passes that ended up getting intercepted or sailing out of bounds. Even worse, he was unable to make a single shot as he was held scoreless in this game. He couldn’t get a feel for his jump shot or get into a rhythm, and he struggled to make shots both from the outside and in the paint. He almost scored on a tough, fallaway layup off of a back door cut, but unfortunately, it was waved off because time had expired while he had the ball in his hands, and the officials ruled it a shot clock violation instead. He didn’t shoot or pass the basketball very well, but he would look to get the ball to his teammates.
For the positives, Bailey is an athletic combo guard that has a very good motor. He would often chase down balls to get rebounds, and he would hustle to get offensive rebounds to get extra possessions for his team. He also defended well, as he was active in going after loose balls to get steals, and he would contest shots to help force misses. Overall, this was not Bailey’s night, but his teammates were able to pick up the slack, and Bailey still made some very good plays by being active as a rebounder and defender in this game. He’ll need to play more under control and work on his jump shot moving forward, but despite having an off night, he showed a great motor, and he could be a prospect to watch in the future.
Arizona State’s 6-1 sophomore, Frankie Collins had an up and down game in his team’s loss to UCLA. He’s an athletic, speedy point guard that can make plays on offense, but he didn’t seem to be consistent at making them for most of the night. He was able to make some solid plays late in the game, but he struggled to score in traffic, and while he was able to make some nice interior passes at times, he wasn’t always on point with his passes. He was able to score on a couple of strong, left-handed drives, and he also managed to make a three in this game, but he missed on too many rushed, contested layups. Overall, Collins will need to work on his jump shot, ability to finish plays consistently around the basket, and he’ll need to take better care of the basketball. He may be pretty far away from being able to be a reliable contributor at the NBA level, but he could be a prospect to keep tabs on down the road.
As I was rather unfamiliar with watching Arizona State’s basketball team, I found it rather hard to watch and differentiate between the two Cambridge brothers. Amongst the two, Devan Cambridge has the body type to project into a 3 and D wing player at the NBA level and he made one really solid play, as he scored his lone basket by scoring on an acrobatic, reverse layup off of a back door cut off of a pass from his brother, Desmond Jr.
But other than that, he was pretty much a non-factor in this game. Devan Cambridge missed a couple of spot-up threes, was foul prone and had trouble defending opposing ball handlers, and he seemed to be out of his element against UCLA.
Desmond Cambridge Jr. was the agile, aggressive shot taker that seemed to intrigue me with his shot taking and shot making abilities early on, but he took some rather questionable shots that wound up hurting his shooting percentages. He was able to make a pair of pull-up threes, but he was streaky with his shot, and he took rushed, and sometimes off-balanced shots that led to misses. He was really able to get up for a dunk attempt after getting the ball off of a curl cut. He was able to make some athletic plays defensively by blocking a shot around the basket, and he also intercepted a pass to get a steal. Overall, Cambridge had his ups and downs, but if he can be a more consistent performer and play more under control, he could end up finding his way as a microwave type of scorer at the NBA level.
To summarize it all up, those are my thoughts on how Jaquez and other prospects played in the UCLA-Arizona State game that took place yesterday. Thanks for reading.