TRAE YOUNG

BIRTHDATE: 9/19/98

POSITION: Point Guard

HEIGHT: 6'2"

WEIGHT: 180 lbs

SCHOOL/ TEAM: Oklahoma

CLASS: Freshman

STRENGTHS

Craft- Compensates for below average athleticism with a lot of change of pace and shiftiness with the ball. Keeps his defender off balance. Disguises a decent first step with effective hesitation moves. Runs defenders into screens to create separation. 

Ball Handling- Creative ballhandler with an assortment of crossovers, hesitation dribbles, spins and combos. Handles ball pressure well and does a decent job getting to his spots despite his lack of athleticism. 

Transition Creator- Can get to the rim or stop and pull up from 3 effectively while leading the break. Keeps his head up looks to reward teammates running hard to the rim. Sports a 7:1 assist to turnover ratio in transition through 5 games. Uses the drag screen really well in semi-transition to free himself. 

Passing- Advanced vision in the open floor. Sees plays as the defense moves. Finds the big at the rim or in the short corner when the help comes on his drives. Great throwing the lead pass in transition. Finds shooters from the middle of the defense. Can pass with both hands.

Shooting - Legit NBA range. Has solid form and footwork but a low release point.  Can get hot and score in bunches. Shows some ability to come off pindowns. 

PNR creator- Often looks to set up his 3 ball in PNR, good at catching the defender sleeping as the screen arrives for quick pull up. Can find the roll man or spot up shooters coming off the screen. 

Floater- Good touch on his floater. Will need to develop it further and use it more often as the athleticism of his competition increases. 

Free throws- Very good free throw rate for a smaller guard. Will go thru the arms of defending bigs who do not remain vertical. Accurate at the line once he get there, 89%

WEAKNESSES

Size- Decent size and strength but has a relatively short wingspan. This is the starting point for some of his other weaknesses

Athleticism- Below average athlete. Lacks the burst to beat his man consistently without a screen in the half court. Has to rely on deception and change of pace. Will have difficulty staying in front of the athletes at the next level. 

Finishing ability- Lack of wingspan and athleticism create real problems finishing over length at the rim. Gets a lot of layups blocked. Short arms open attempts when he hears footsteps. Attempts too many right-handed finishes on the left side. 

Release point- Has a low release point that almost looks like a push shot at times. Increases the effectiveness of contests against him and causes him to alter his mechanics sometimes. Could be a bigger problem as defenders increase in size and athleticism. 

Separation- Lack of burst makes it much harder for him to turn the corner consistently vs better, rangy defenders. Even when he gets a step on defenders, they can stay on his hip and alter his shot without much difficulty. Often shoots from deep to avoid the contested jumpers his lack of separation creates. 

Decision- Making/shot selection- Can highlight hunt when passing in the half court. At times, he’s overly aggressive looking for his shot; takes contested 3s early in the shot clock

Defense- Does pretty well with the physical tools he has but is going to be at a speed or size disadvantage in most matchups. Has trouble getting through screens and is knocked out of the play if the ballhandler initiates contact on the drive.  Inconsistent effort as well. 

KHAIRI AKILI - NOVEMBER 27, 2017

 

Oklahoma freshman Trae Young has been the biggest surprise early in the 2017-18 college basketball season. While Young was a highly regarded  recruit out of high school, he was not considered to be an NBA prospect or one and done candidate. After 9 games, Young is averaging an incredible 28.8 points and 8.9 assists, shooting 47% from the floor, 37% from 3 while leading OU to an 8-1 record with wins over two teams ranked in top 25. 

Young's hot start and style of play is drawing a lot of comparisons to two time NBA MVP Steph Curry of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Like Curry, Young does not pass the eye ball test or wow you with great size and freakish athleticism. What Young lacks in elite physical tools, he more than makes up for it with his shooting, ball handling, passing, IQ and craft. 

Shooting

 

Trae Young is one of the best shooters in college basketball, but what separates him from the pack is his ability to shoot from deep off the dribble. Blessed with a lightning quick release and range from anywhere on the floor, Young is a threat as soon as he crosses half court. And its' not uncommon to see him pull up from 30 feet away with 20 seconds left on the shot clock. He can shoot efficiently spotting up, coming off pin downs and if a defender is foolish enough to go under a ball screen it's a bucket. His 37.5% from 3 may not look impressive until you watch his film and see the degree of difficulty of his shots. Sometimes his shot selection and confidence in his shooting range can leave you scratching your head, but it has not been in issue in OU's non conference schedule..

Ball Handling

Young is a creative and shifty ball handler that has mastered changing speeds and angles. His shooting mixed with his great ball handling allows him to get in the paint where he can finish plays at the rim, dish off to teammates for assists or get to the foul line where he's automatic. He's attempting 9 free throw attempts per game and making 87.5% of his attempts. Again, Young isn't blessed with elite quickness or burst, but his ability to change speeds and direction keeps defenders off balance.

Passing

Young is a brilliant passer with a high IQ and excellent court vision. He's adept at passing with both hands and can thread the needle on skip passes off the dribble. Whether its driving and kicking, finding the roll man off ball screens or hitting a cutter in the half court Young has  the vision and feel for the game to make every pass.

IQ and Craft. 

Although he's not blessed with elite physical tools, Young's IQ and crafty scoring ability make him such a dynamic scorer. His lack of explosiveness is a disadvantage at the rim so Young has mastered the floater/runner and the footwork needed to throw off the timing of rim protectors. Young also uses a variety of hesitation moves, euro steps to get to his sweet spots where he can pull up for a jumper or floater..

It's still early in the season, but as of today nobody has done more for their NBA draft stock than Trae Young. Entering the season he was not listed on any draft boards and now he's being discussed as a potential lottery pick.

RAFAEL BARLOWE - DECEMBER 18 , 2017

SUMMARY