The Oklahoma Sooners had a shining star for a brief moment. Point guard Trae Young led the Oklahoma Sooners to an (18-14) record and a spot into the NCAA Tournament. The Sooners lost in the first round and it turns out Young’s college career is over after 32 games. He will forego his final three years with the Sooners and enter the 2018 NBA Draft.
Young averaged 27.4 points, 3.9 assists and 8.7 assists during his freshman season. He was well on his way to winning national player of the year. However, the bottom fell out of the Sooners’ season as they limped into the NCAA Tournament field. There were a number of factors that led to the Sooners falling out of Big 12 contention over the last two months. Nothing was bigger than the familiarity of the conference forcing Young to do things he wasn’t capable of doing. As a result, he averaged 5.2 turnovers per game. As great as he was, Young had too many miscues down the stretch of games. Moreover, the Sooners didn’t have enough talent, possibly to dominate in conference play. Remember, they only won 11 games during the 2016-17 season. Still, it has to be a concern that the Sooners only went (6-13) in the last two months of the season.
Young shot 36 percent from 3-point range. He attempted over 10 3-pointers per game and made 3.7 shots from beyond the arc. Young also shot 49 percent from 2-point range. Therefore, he has the ability to take and make shots in the paint. More importantly, Young is one of the best passers entering the NBA Draft. He can find teammates from any angle. Although that was the cause of some of his turnover problems, Young’s ability to see plays might be the best attribute of this future lottery pick.
Young is projected to be a lottery pick. However, there is a chance that he falls below a lottery selection. Until we know all of the early entrants, it’s hard to speculate whether Young will go No. 5, No. 10 or No. 15. Yet, he is certain to go in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft.