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Trae Young is the real deal

Under the Radar

Trae Young. It’s a name that most casual college basketball fans don’t know- yet. Trae Young was the number 23 recruit out of high school last season. He’s a five-star guard out Norman, Oklahoma.

That is where the connection to college goes. Trae turned down offers to play for both Bill Self and John Calipari come signing day. He ended up staying local and finding himself wearing Sooner red this season. Even with his high recruit status, he’s still not being talked about much in the college basketball world. In due time people will know about Trae Young.


Trae Young
Trae Young, (

He is a six-foot-one, 170 pound point guard who was ranked number four in the country for point guards in the 2021 class.

Trae Young is a McDonald’s All-American who won a gold medal with the 2016 U18 Mens National team. He was Oklahoma’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2016.


The hype of Trae Young decreased a little bit with his commitment to Oklahoma. The Sooners finished second to last in the Big 12 and finished at 5-13 in conference in the 2016-17 season. They finished 11-20 overall and lost three games by 20+ points.

The Sooners didn’t seem like the likely choice for Young, but a hometown hero role seemed attractive. Taking a recently sub-par Sooner team and taking them back to a few years ago with Buddy Hield was the idea Young seemingly had in mind.

Young is the last addition to the Wooden Watch list and he’s one of eight freshmen to make the list. So why is he not getting talked about like the other stars are? Young is looking to take a previously below average team and make them a contender in the Big 12, and so far he is off to a hot start.

Trae Young’s Hot Start

Through seven games this season, Young has 28.7 points per game, 8.7 assists per game and 3.9 rebounds per game. He has already had three 32+ point games and has scored over 40 once.

Young has two games of 28+ points, eight assists and five rebounds and has dazzled in the early part of the season. He has three 15+ point and 10+ assists games already and is showing that he is more than just a dynamite scorer.

The most impressive thing is the shooting splits that Young has so far. He is shooting 48 percent from the field, 38 percent from three and 89 percent from the free throw line through seven games.

Obviously there are a couple criticisms of his early season play. One is that teams don’t know how to play him because they don’t have scouting reports yet this early in the season. The second one is that he has yet to play a big time team. Not to knock Arkansas and Oregon but the other five teams the Sooners have played haven’t been exactly power conference quality.

Sooner Comparison

Young hasn’t played the Big 12 competition yet, and it’s a small sample size, but he is putting up senior season Buddy Hield statistics so far. Hield’s senior statistics consisted of 8.1 made field goals out of 16.4 attempts per game. In seven games this season Young is averaging 8.6 makes on 18.0 attempts.

Hield shot about 50 percent from the field while Young is shooting around 48 percent. Hield shot 89.3 percent from three while Young is sitting at 88.9 percent. The one difference that is apparent is that Hield shot 47.3 percent from three when Young is shooting 37.9 percent.

The majority of difference between the three point shooting point to positions. Hield had a lot of catch and shoot opportunities his senior season. Young has been doing the majority of his damage with the ball in his hands.

Hield averaged 25.1 points per game while Young is at 28.7 points. The numbers and shooting percentages are very similar, but can Young take the Sooner as far as Hield did in the Big 12.

Can Oklahoma make the jump?

Oklahoma is striving to be a contender again. Trae Young is one of the best underclassmen in the country and is a scoring machine. The Big 12 has been Kansas’ for a long time but maybe Trae Young and company can make a push for the regular season crown.


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