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Divisive college star makes decision on future

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Trae Young is perhaps the most divisive NBA prospect to come around since Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison.

On the one hand, much like Morrison, you can see the framework of a legitimate NBA talent. Young can shoot and pass with a preternatural skill level. He also has a flair for the dramatic.

On the other hand, like Morrison, you can see how Young may completely fail at the NBA level. He’s slight, he’s a volume scorer and he doesn’t have the next-level athleticism that will allow him to attempt his brazen layups and three-pointers. His flair for the dramatic may not mean much when he’s being locked down by players at the level of a Patrick Beverley.

There’s no better way to find out if Young is an NBA talent than by seeing how he actually plays in the NBA, and that’s exactly what the Oklahoma freshman plans to do.

The talented Sooners guard declared for the NBA draft on Tuesday, posting his intentions on Twitter.

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Young, still just 19, was a First-Team All-American in his lone season at Oklahoma.

For the season, Young averaged 27.4 points per game and 8.7 assists assists per contest. As a frame of comparison, in his best season, Morrison averaged 28.1 ppg and 5.5 rpg, while shooting a higher percentage.

Young, however, is no stranger to controversy.

Many college basketball purists were up in arms after Young’s Sooners qualified for the NCAA tournament despite posting a losing conference record and a relatively unimpressive 18-14 overall record.

An 83-78 loss in the opening round to Rhode Island certainly didn’t quell those critics. Young did have a solid showing, notching 28 points and eight assists in what was evidently his final college basketball game ever.

Do you think Young will be a successful NBA player?

For what it’s worth, Young did have a historic freshman season.

He scored 811 points, which is a Big 12 scoring record for a freshman. For astute basketball fans, yes, that’s more points than NBA superstar Kevin Durant scored at Texas in his lone season there.

Young also tied the NCAA record by notching an unbelievable 22 assists in a game against Northwestern State.

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Despite the accolades, it’s hard not to imagine that another year at the collegiate level would’ve been good for Young. He was unable to figure out college defenses when they started scheming for him and NBA defenses are far more intricate.

Most mock drafts have Young projected to go anywhere from the eighth overall pick to the 16th. It’s unlikely he’ll fall out of the lottery.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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