By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — UCLA earned the No. 2 spot in the preseason AP Top 25 poll. 

This is the highest rank UCLA has achieved since the 2007-2008 season when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love were still on the roster. 

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – APRIL 03: Johnny Juzang #3 of the UCLA Bruins reacts in the first half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2021 NCAA Final Four semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 03, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

 The excellent play of sophomore guard Johnny Juzang carried UCLA to the Final Four. The breakout star led the Bruins on a Cinderella run, going from the First Four all the way to the Final Four. He averaged 22.8 points on 50.9% from the field during last year’s tournament. Juzang scored 137 points, the second-most by any Bruin during the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. He decided to forgo the National Basketball Association draft last year, opting to return to UCLA for his junior year.

“Westwood, I can’t wait to go to war,” Juzang tweeted in July 2021. “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!”

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The Gonzaga Bulldogs eliminated UCLA last year with a last-second banked-in buzzer-beater by Jalen Suggs. Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 for the second consecutive year. 

Kansas, Villanova and Texas complete the rest of the Top 5. 

The Bruins finished last season with a 22-10 record. They will face the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Nov. 23.

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