No. 4. Can Jalen Hill become an All-Pac-12 talent for UCLA basketball?
Jalen Hill has an opportunity next season to take his game to another level, become an All-Pac-12 honoree, and see his team benefit from his success. Hill was a member of UCLA’s 2017 class. He was a four-star power forward from Corona, Calif.’s Centennial High School who was the No. 65 player nationally, No. 16 power forward, and No. 10 player in California.
He finished his senior year averaging 19 points and 13 rebounds per game and earned an All-CIF Southern Section Second Team honor. He also spent time with USA Basketball and won a gold medal with its 2015 U-16 National Team.
As a redshirt freshman in the 2018-19 season, Hill started in 15 of 33 games played and even though he averaged four points and six rebounds per game, he shot 56 percent from the field (team-leading 59 percent in Pac-12 play), recorded five games of at least 10 rebounds and became the first player since Kevin Love to get 20 rebounds in a single game. Hill got the job done on the boards which is a responsibility at the top of the list for a big man.
This past season, his scoring and rebounding numbers improved to nine and seven, respectively. He led the team in field goal percentage (53 percent), double-doubles (four), and blocks (32). His performance earned him an All-Pac-12 Defensive Team honorable mention.
If Hill averages a double-double this season, leads the conference in that stat category and improves his block average, he will definitely be in the running for All-Pac-12 First or Second-Team and could lock up a Pac-12 All-Defensive Team spot. He has improved every year he has played for the UCLA Bruins so there’s no reason to believe he won’t have a solid junior season in 2020.