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Player Watch: Latinos in the March Madness Tournament

UCLA Bruins guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (24); UCLA Basketball defeats Chico State 100-61 in exhibition play, November 4, 2021, Los Angeles, CA. (Photo Courtesy UCLA.com)

Jaime Jaquez Jr. – UCLA Bruins (4 seed)

Stats: 14.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 48.0% FG

Jaquez has been a leading force for a solid Bruins team all season long, as they have made their way to a top 4 seeding in the tournament. Jaquez is a consistent scorer and rebounder, and can hit it from just about anywhere on the court. Watch out for him if and when UCLA makes a run.

Alfonso Plummer – Illinois Fighting Illini (4 seed)

Stats: 14.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 41.3% 3PT

Plummer may be one of the most underrated players in college basketball right now, as he is quietly averaging upwards of 14 points every game for a very competent Illinois team, but is overshadowed by superstar Kofi Cockburn. Nevertheless, Plummer is a consistent hitter from three, and can spark the offense whenever necessary.

David Jean-Baptiste – Chattanooga Mocs (13 seed)

Stats: 14.7 PPG, 2.3 APG, 41.8% FG

Many now know the name of David Jean-Baptiste after his insane game winning shot against Furman to send Chattanooga to the tourney, but he has been a solid guard for the Mocs all season and has continued to prove time and time again that he can hit shots when it matters most.

Justin Minaya – Providence Friars (4 seed)

Stats: 6.5 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 41.0% FG

Minaya, despite not being a huge scorer or contributor statistically, is a huge part of the Friars squad, serving as a ‘glue guy’ that really holds the team together. With good all-around defense, shooting, and rebounding, Minaya is the kind of player you always want on the court for you.

Lester Quiñones – Memphis Tigers (9 seed)

Stats: 10.0 PPG, 1.2 SPG, 44.7% FG

Although Memphis has had somewhat of a disappointing season, Quiñones has done really well for himself and has provided the Tigers with a much-needed aid for scoring. We could very well see him step up in the tournament if stars like Emoni Bates or Jalen Duren are not getting it done.

Andre Curbelo – Illinois Fighting Illini (4 seed)

Stats: 8.1 PPG, 3.2 APG, 74.5% FT

After a sluggish start to the year followed by an injury, Andre Curbelo has come back healthier and more impactful than ever before, and the starting point guard should continue to look to succeed if Illinois hopes to make a deep run this year.

Xavier Castañeda – Akron Zips (13 seed)

Stats: 13.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 82.3% FT

After transferring from South Florida to Akron, Castañeda has made huge strides on the offensive side, jumping his averages up in nearly every category as he has helped lead Akron to a tournament berth. Along with leading scorer Ali Ali, the starting guard has done amazing things this year.

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