WATCH: Peyton Watson Talks Joining UCLA Men’s Basketball, Early Growth – CalBearsMaven - Techy Hunters


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

WATCH: Peyton Watson Talks Joining UCLA Men’s Basketball, Early Growth – CalBearsMaven

UCLA men’s basketball wing Peyton Watson talked to the media Monday about his growth since arriving in Westwood and how much teammates Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Johnny Juzang have helped him in the early days of his collegiate career. 


Proudest area of growth?

Just my maturity and knowing the game. Coach has taught me a lot, just about spots to be on the floor, being in the right place at the right time, so that way I can utilize my talent. And that’s the biggest area of growth.

Weight gain?

I came in at about 193. And I’m about 210 now. So I’ve put on a lot of weight. It’s really helping me – my movement has got even better and my balance is better. I’ve just been attesting that to my diet, really staying committed in the weight room and just trying to really lock in before season gets here so that way I’m really physically adapt to what’s going to come

Eat any Fat Tygers?

Yeah, there was a few Fat Tygers.

In one sitting?

No. Its a pretty big sandwich. I love the sandwich. I love what Tyger is doing. So I got to support him.

No talk about a Fat Peyton?

Not yet. Not yet. Fat Sal’s hit me if you see this. I make a fire sandwich, trust me. But nah, not yet I’ve got NIL some stuff that I’m working on.

Wanna to talk about NIL?

I’m trying to just really hear from everybody. Me and my parents have kind of taken into the process a little bit slower just because we feel like some of the bigger deals will be coming when season starts. I want to build my brand on the court first before I start going out into other things. I want to build a brand that I’m a really serious ballplayer, and then everything else will.

Adjusting to college game?

I give a lot of credit to my teammates – especially the ones I got to guard during practice, whether it be Jaime or Johnny, they don’t take it easy on me at all. They take it out of me every time they get it as they would in a regular game. So I’m really getting good experience with playing against those great players. I mean, you see the postseason they had last year, it wasn’t an accident, and they’ve gotten even better since then. I just take that challenge every day. I look forward to it. And they’re helping me get better.



How important is shot blocking?

It’s super important. I feel like my teammates should know that they can trust me at all times. If they get beat on a play, I’m there to help them. If I get beat on play. I trust that they’re there to help me. It’s really important for me to use my length in order to disrupt the offense and kind of cause as much havoc because I can’t,


These are some EYBL Kobes I got a while back. I just wear them because they’re super comfortable for me. Kobes have always been a comfortable shoe, I like the design. So yeah, this is what I’ve been rocking in practice.

Will we see these on the court?

Depends. Guess we’ll have to see. I can’t give out all my secrets. We for sure will see some heat on my feet this season. So stay tuned for that.

Who has taught you the most from you having to defend them?

Honestly, Jaime just because you have to have so much discipline guarding him. He’s 6’7″ really strong, really athletic. So when he’s going downhill at you, you got to stay disciplined. He’s got a great pump fake. So I got to make sure I stay on my feet. And I think that’s really, really just helping me improve my defense so that we do play these solid teams with guys who are two, three years older than me, I know how to defend them and I’ve prepared for it.

You getting closer to not falling for pump fake and blocking shot?

Oh, for sure. I mean, we all have good plays on each other. I mean, he’s scored on me a plethora of times, I stopped him some times. So it really just depends on the day, it depends on how good the move is, how good my defenses. But I mean me and him go back and forth every practice so stay tuned for that against other people because we’re on the same team.

Remember playing with or against your new teammates back in high school?

Obviously I was a freshman when a lot of them were in high school, but I saw a lot of their games on the internet. And I have a funny story actually. My first ever high school game, it was a fall game at Culver City. We played against Camarillo, which was Jaime’s team, and he had 46 on us. And I didn’t play. I was a freshman. It was my first time ever putting on a jersey but I just vividly remember being like, ‘Wow, that guy’s nice.’

Would things have gone a little differently if you’re on the court?

Absolutely. I like to have that confidence every time i step on the court no matter what the other team looks like. That I’m going to be able to get the job done and help my team lead them to a win. 

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