The Trae Young Phenomenon
If it ever was a secret, it's definitely out now: University of Oklahoma freshman point guard Trae Young is really, really good. Through his first 13 games as a Sooner, Young put up better all-round numbers than anyone to wear the crimson and cream.
The five-star recruit from Norman finished one rebound shy of a triple double in the Sooners' 20-point Bedlam win Wednesday. "I'm not going to lie to you and say I didn't expect this," Young told ESPN's Scott Van Pelt following the game. "I've put so much preparation and hard work into this, this summer."
Considering Young's five-star rating coming out of Norman North High School, Young was expected to be good. But to be a player who may spend just one season in college is the shocker at this point.
"I knew he was good, which is why we recruited him for so long," admitted University of Kentucky head men's basketball coach John Calipari. "But I didn't realize he would be doing what he's doing. Which is basically 70% of [OU's] baskets; he either scores or assists."
Several NBA draft projections have Young as a potential top 5 pick should he enter the draft after this season. It's important to remember that some of the premiere players in the NBA weren't done with college after one year. Sooner star Blake Griffin spent two seasons in Norman before going first overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Former college standout and now two-time NBA's Most Valuable Player Steph Curry stayed all four years at Davidson. Why? Because physical maturity matters. And Young, who's listed at 6'2" with a slender build, could use that time to fill out.
Whatever happens, it's becoming evident Sooner nation understands the product on the floor right now is something special. And Young, its key component, could already be gone in a few months. Selling out Bedlam shouldn't seem too surprising considering it's an in-state rivalry. But now OU has sold out its upcoming against TCU as well.