Former Ballislife All-American (and BILAAG Dunk Contest winner) and current UCLA freshman Jaylen Hands messed around in his debut and missed a triple-double by just one board during Wednesday’s 31-point exhibition beat down (111-80) on Cal State Los Angeles.
In 23 minutes, the five-star guard from Foothills Christian High knocked down 5-of-9 shots and finished with 12 points, 11 assists (five less than the entire opposing team) and nine rebounds. Fellow high-flying freshman Kris Wilkes impressed with 14 points and three-point specialist Gelo Ball scored 11 in 16 minutes off the bench.
on playing in Pauley Pavilion for the first time
“Kris (Wilkes) and I talked about the first four minutes being a little jumpy, but after that you just get used to playing basketball like we always do. It was really fun – the atmosphere and all these people here.”
on when he felt the jitters were gone
“I probably would say around my second stint. The first four minutes you’re just so excited; you’ve been thinking about it all day and the weeks before. After you get the first stint you just relax and play basketball. That’s all it is.”
on what he likes most about playing with Kris Wilkes
“In transition you always know someone’s there. You just throw it up so he can catch it. He’s a real competitor.”
on being ready for the opener
“There’s always work you can do, but I’m really excited to get back to practice on Friday and get better at rebounding and get better at shooting free throws. We’re a good team. Every time we go out there we get better, so I’m really excited.”