Jaylen Hands continues to stand out for the UCLA Bruins

(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /

The UCLA Bruins have a freshman phenom in Jaylen Hands.

While a lot of the attention with regards to the UCLA Bruins basketball program has been focused on the scenario with LiAngelo Ball and two other Bruins players shoplifting while in China with the team, all parties involved look like they’ve thankfully moved on.

Looking ahead to who is still playing for the team, it’s hard to ignore the stellar play of freshman Jaylen Hands. In just over 26 minutes per game, Hands has averaged around 12 points per game while also grabbing four and a half rebounds and dishing out just under three assists each contest.

The reason that Hands is a player to keep an eye on in terms of scouting, though, is that he’s deadly from beyond the arc, shooting a hair beneath 46% for the season, leading the team in that particular category. To put that in a little more context, the next best freshman scorer and player on the team right now is Kris Wilkes, and he is shooting 27% from that range.

That’s not a shot at Wilkes, who is also worth noting when it comes to standout freshman on the team, despite the Bruins being unranked as of this writing. Rather, it goes to show just how special Hands is for his age and that will say a lot more down the road when he decides to declare for the NBA Draft.

It’s unknown if Hands will go professional after the season concludes for UCLA, but he is building himself a good rep moving forward. Perhaps it’d be in his best interest do one more year with the Bruins, but that’s totally his choice at the end of the day.

Next: Does LA Regret Drafting Lonzo?

If he falls to the second round of the NBA Draft, perhaps the Los Angeles Lakers will pursue him. They have enough talent at the forward positions, and it’s unlikely that they’d draft another young center when they already have Ivica Zuba and Thomas Bryant.