#25 Earl Watson
6-0 - 183
UCLA - Joins Baron Davis to give the Bruins the finest pair of sophomore guards in the nation ... Named to the 1998 All-Pacific-10 Freshman team ... Only Bruin last year to start all 33 games ... That mark tied a UCLA single-season record, last set by Ed and Charles O'Bannon and George Zidek during the Bruins' 1995 NCAA Championship season ... Watson is the only true freshman in school history to equal the Bruin single-season start record ... Joins Davis as only the second set of true freshmen to start at the UCLA guard positions (joining Rod Foster and Bruin assistant coach Michael Holton who helped lead UCLA to the 1980 NCAA Championship game) ... One of eight sophomores on this year's UCLA squad ... Watson was the first in last year's Bruin freshman class (rated No. 2 in the nation) to commit, signing his Letter of Intent in November 1996 ... Freshman teammate JaRon Rush is from Kansas City, MO (Pembroke Hill School) ... In 1965-66, another guard from Kansas City, KS, enrolled at UCLA from Wyandotte HS ... His name was Lucius Allen and he went on to start on two (1967 and '68) Bruin NCAA championship teams.
1998 - Watson, who was selected to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team, was the only Bruin to start all 33 games (tying a UCLA single-season record) ... He was the team's No. 5 scorer (5.8) and rebounder (3.7) and was second in steals (1.9), third in assists (3.2) and fourth in minutes (32.0), while shooting 39.2 from the field, 32.3 from the three-point line and 60.6 from the foul line ... Watson's 64 steals tied for No. 4 on UCLA's season list (with Ed O'Bannon in 1995 and Reggie Miller in 1987) ... His season-highs included 15 points vs. USC, nine rebounds vs. New Mexico, 11 assists vs. Washington, seven steals vs. Northern Arizona, two blocked shots vs. Arizona State and New Mexico and 40 minutes vs. Oregon and UNLV ... In the final Pac-10 statistics for all games, Watson was sixth in steals (1.9) ... At the Bruins' annual season-ending banquet, he was awarded the Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Defensive Player.
NCAA Tournament Highlights - In the NCAA Tournament, he averaged 6.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists ... In the Sweet 16 loss to NCAA Champion Kentucky, Watson played 34 minutes and finished with six points (1-8, 0-4, 4-4), two assists, two steals, two rebounds and eight turnovers ... In UCLA's second round win over Michigan, he played 34 minutes and scored 10 points (4-7, 2-4, 0-2), his highest total since the USC game on Jan. 21, adding four rebounds, two assists and two steals ... In the Bruin win over Miami (FL), Watson played 35 minutes and scored two points (0-3, 0-2, 2-5), with two rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Regular Season Highlights - In UCLA's loss to Arizona in Pauley, he played 34 minutes and contributed eight points (3-6, 1-3, 1-2), eight rebounds and one assist ... In the Bruin win over Arizona State, he played 22 minutes and chipped in six points (2-5, 1-1, 1-2), two assists, one rebound and one steal ... In the loss at Washington, Watson played 32 minutes and contributed six points (3-5, 0-1, 0-0), three assists and two rebounds. ... In the win at Washington State, he suffered a concussion early in the second half and played just 21 minutes, finishing with seven points (2-2, 2-2, 1-4), two assists, two steals and one rebound ... In the loss at Duke, he played 27 minutes and finished with two points (0-2, 0-1, 2-4), one rebound and one assist ... In the overtime win at USC, he played 39 minutes and had two points (1-7, 0-2, 0-0), five rebounds, two steals and one assist ... In the UCLA win over California in Pauley, Watson played 33 minutes and contributed six points (2-6, 0-2, 2-2), six assists, five rebounds and three steals ...In UCLA's home loss to Stanford, he played 36 minutes and finished with four points (1-5, 0-2, 2-2), four rebounds, four steals and one assist ... In the win at Oregon State, he played 32 minutes and led the team with seven assists and added four points (2-3, 0-2, 0-0), three rebounds and two steals ... In UCLA's loss at Oregon, he played 33 minutes and finished with four points (1-3, 1-2, 1-2), two rebounds, two assists and one steal ... In the Bruins' victory over Washington in Pauley, Watson played 33 minutes and passed for a career-high 11 assists to go with eight points (3-7, 2-4, 0-0) and three rebounds ... In the win vs. Washington State in Pauley, he played 24 minutes and contributed five points (2-3, 1-2, 0-2), two rebounds and two steals ... In UCLA's win over Louisville, Watson played 36 minutes and had four points (2-6, 0-3, 0-0), four assists, three rebounds, two steals, one block and a season-high nine turnovers ... In the UCLA victory over USC in Pauley, he played 31 minutes and contributed a career-high 15 points (6-8, 1-3, 2-3), five assists, three rebounds and two steals. ... In UCLA's loss at Stanford, Watson played 28 minutes with no points (0-2, 0-0, 0-0), three rebounds and one block ... In the win at California, he played 25 minutes and finished with two points (1-4, 0-1, 0-0), two rebounds and two assists ... In the win over Oregon in Pauley, his pass to Baron Davis led to the winning basket with 25 seconds remaining, giving the Bruins a 68-66 victory ... Against the Ducks, Watson played a career-high tying 40 minutes and had four points (1-4, 0-1, 2-4), a team-high five rebounds, one steal and one assist ... In the win over Oregon State in Pauley, he played 25 minutes and scored 12 points (3-5, 2-4, 4-4; second-highest total of the season), adding four rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block ... In 36 minutes at Arizona State, he contributed three points, three rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and one steal ... In 34 minutes at Arizona, he had six points, six assists, four rebounds and one steal ... In 31 minutes vs. Illinois, Watson had seven points, six rebounds, five assists, one steal and four turnovers ... In a season-high 40 minutes at UNLV, he scored 10 points, with four rebounds, four assists, three steals and only one turnover ... Played 37 minutes vs. Boise State, with two points, six rebounds, four assists, one blocked shot and two steals ... In 38 minutes vs. Saint Louis, Watson added eight points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals ... Vs. Northern Arizona, in 35 minutes, he had six points, eight rebounds, two assists and a career-high seven steals ... Against CS Fullerton, Watson played 31 minutes, with 11 points (4-6, 2-2, 1-2), three-rebounds, 10 assists (his first career double-double) and five steals ... Vs. New Mexico in The Wooden Classic, Watson played 36 minutes and had a career and team-high nine rebounds, five steals and a season-best two blocked shots, with six points ... Started all three games at The Alaska Shootout and joined Baron Davis as the first set of true freshman starting guards in UCLA history since 1979-80.
High School - As a senior at Washington High School in 1997, Watson averaged 23 points, 14 rebounds and 8.3 assists a game ... Led the Wildcats to their first Kansas City, KS league title since 1975 ... In a key win over rival Schlagle High School, Watson had 23 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists ... Earned Kansas City Kansan Player or the Year, Kansas City Star first-team All-Metro and second-team AP All-State at the conclusion of his senior season ... Excelled at several camps during the summer of 1996, and he earned All-Tournament at the Las Vegas Invitational ... As a junior, averaging 23.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.4 steals a game, he earned Kansas City Star honorable mention All-Metro.
Personal - Full name: Earl Joseph Watson ... Right-handed ... Born June 12, 1979 in Kansas City, KS ... Parents: Earl and Estella Watson ... Four brothers and one sister ... Admires Phoenix Sun Jason Kidd ... Selected UCLA over Iowa State ... History major, with academic interests in mathematics, business and law.
Minutes: 40, vs. UNLV, 12/27/97 and Oregon, 1/10/98
Varsity Statistics Cumulative Year G-GS FG-A Pct. FT-A Pct. R Avg Tp Avg A Avg 1997-98 33-33 65-166 .392 40-66 .606 122 3.7 191 5.8 104 3.2 (Three-point shots-1997-98: 21-65, .323)
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