Trae Young of the Oklahoma Sooners has become a freshman phenomenon. Averaging around 28 points per game and 9 assists per game, his numbers are incredible for a relatively unknown freshman, but the question is: Will Trae Young be the next big thing in basketball?
Young has been praised by coaches and players who are amazed at his talents. He was a nobody until he started putting up 40 point games in the season. He would shoot way behind the three-point line and drew comparisons to Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Believing he can make it in the NBA has been debated by experts for a while.
It is assumed that he will forgo the rest of his college career and declare for the NBA Draft once the season is complete. This would make sense because he has all the hype right now of a top pick. Once he gets into the league then we'll see if he is the next big thing. Before the NBA, he still has to prove himself at the collegiate level.
Taking the comparison of Stephen Curry, they both share the same body type when Curry played at Davidson. The one difference that I see in these two is that Curry was nearly unstoppable in college. In the beginning of the season, Young, was unstoppable because he was a no-name player. Teams didn't know how to prepare for him. But, with the season winding down quickly, it is obvious teams are starting to figure out Young's game. With Curry, even if you scouted him thoroughly, it still wouldn't stop him from dropping 30 points on you. That is where I see Young struggle the most.
He is one-dimensional at times. This is not to say that he doesn't drive to the paint, but he doesn't change up his routine. If he doesn't shoot the three, then he will simply drive and not be unpredictable. A great basketball player is able to adapt to each team. If one team figures you out, then the rest will try and model themselves after that team. It's important to mix things up and keep teams on their toes. Young has not done that on a consistent basis.
I am not trying to critique the guy to death, but he has great potential and could prove to be dangerous in the NBA. That is a big if though. Players like Greg Oden, Brandon Jennings, Anthony Bennett and Derrick Williams have all been busts after being regarded as top-notch picks. It would be a shame to see Young take the same road of becoming a bust in the league.
Nothing is set in stone, but if Young can just improve his skill set and consistency. Then he will be a player that we could call the next Stephen Curry. Until then, let's just wait and see what Young does next for the Sooners and himself. He has that potential to be the next big thing but also has the potential to be yet another NBA bust.