Trae Young all year has been one of the most explosive players in all of college basketball this season. But, NBA executives have been saying “Young will fall out of the Lottery” and “I wouldn’t draft him top 10.” I think this is absolutely ridiculous and here’s why.
Young started off his freshman campaign playing non-NCAA tournament teams, there is only one real competitive team on the schedule for the month, and that is the Oregon Ducks. Young lit them up for 43 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds. Young would end the month of November averaging 28.3 PPG, 8.83 APG and 3 and a half RPG. Overall unbelievable start to his freshman campaign.
This is where Trae Young loses his mind and starts dropping, video game-like numbers. Young played three ranked teams in the month of December, two of them were NCAA tournament teams. But the game everyone was talking about was against Northwestern State where young had 29 points and 22 assists. Young ended the month averaging 36.4 PPG 15 APG and 4 RPG. Stunning performances almost every night by the young sooner, and is at this point in time the clear number one pick in the NBA draft.
Young started his Big 12 schedule playing 6 NCAA tournament teams in the month of January. Including Kansas (Final Four), Kansas State (Elite Eight), and Texas Tech (Elite Eight). Young still ended the month of January averaging 31.2 PPG and 8 APG. Still unbelievable numbers.
Young goes into the final stretch of his freshman season on the back end of his Big 12 schedule. He would play the same three teams he played previously listed in January for the second time. As fans all over college basketball seem to give up hope, Young still finishes the month of February averaging 21.3 PPG and 13 APG. Averaging a double-double.
Here are my thoughts on Trae Young. He isn’t Stephen Curry, we need to stop making that comparison now. Curry is a top 15 player of all time, best shooter of all time, and the NBA’s only unanimous MVP. So we need to stop that talk. We ALL remember Steph Curry’s memorable NCAA tournament run during his sophomore season at Davidson. One of the greatest NCAA tournament runs ever! But, before that during the regular season, and during Davidson’s conference tournament, which was weak by the way, did we hear anything about Curry? No. So after the run Curry decides to come back for his Junior season, with all of this hype around him, Davidson doesn’t even make the NCAA tournament! My point is, I think you can blame ESPN a little for this, ESPN has a tendency to latch on to one player and put him all over SportsCenter, First Take, on social media, and College GameDay. So, when Trae Young was going crazy in November, ESPN does what it always does and makes Trae Young their cover boy. So by December when Conference play is about to start, everybody has heard about Trae Young. Even the hall of fame and elite coaches in the Big 12. Such as Bill Self, Shocka Smart, Bruce Weber, Chris Beard and Bob Huggins. These insane coaches are spending all their time and energy worrying about stopping one freshman who has never played in a Big 12 Conference game and never been to the NCAA tournament.
When people ask me, “Why did Trae Young ‘drop off’?” I don’t think there was any “drop off” there or lack of production, in fact, I think his production actually went up! But, I think we can contribute that to insane defensive game plans by these wonderful coaches. Even with all the hype that surrounded Curry who played in a weak conference, teams knew that if you stop Curry, you stop Davidson. So if all of these coaches, in a better conference, with better athletes, and better competition are all focused on one kid and they still make the tournament! That’s a crazy good year and I would honestly give him the NCAA basketball player of the year award. My final thoughts on Trae Young are simple. Draft him if you can. His playing style is one of the most productive and unguardable styles to defend in all of the NBA. A quick guard who can pull up anywhere past half court, who can drive and finish and can also set up his teammates? I am taking Trae Young as high as two! I think that any NBA executives that think he should fall out of the lottery are sadly mistaken and there’s no way I can pass up on a, yes I am going to say it, once in a generation type point guard.