In Debut, Trae Young Flashes Vision, Passing Over Scoring Ability
Freshman point guard Trae Young is used to seeing the ball go through the rim. He averaged just over 40-points per game his senior of high school while showcasing his Steph Curry-like range and finishing ability. In his first ever collegiate game, Young struggled to score the basketball like he used to, including an airball on his first ever shot attempt. However, Young was able to see the floor open up as he tallied ten assists to go with 15 points in his debut.
It is a change from what Oklahoman’s are accustomed to seeing. Young was able to fill it up from all over the floor for most of his high school career. For Lon Kruger, it was no surprise to see him be able to adjust his game and become more of a passer whenever his shot was not fallen.
“It’s not going to be unusual that he does that, for sure,” Kruger said following his team’s 108-89 win against Omaha. “We expect him to make good plays, we expect him to push the pace, and make good decisions. So, not surprised that that happened for sure.”
Young is one of his biggest critics. When it comes to turning the ball over or missing shots, he is always the first to tell someone that he played poorly. Tonight was no different as the freshman focused more on his missed shots and turnovers than his highlight, alley-oop assists.
“I think my teammates helped me out a lot, I didn’t have a really good game,” Young said following the game. “Although I had ten assists, I had three turnovers, and I remember two that shouldn’t have been turnovers. I’m hard on myself in that turnover column. I can get better and my teammates had my back tonight and they played really well”
“I didn’t shoot very well from the field at all today, but If that’s going to be my worst game, I’m happy I got it out now.”
Oklahoma had six players score in double-digits, adding on from their performance against East Central that saw five players score in double-digits. This goes to show how deep this team is and how capable they are of having a deep bench.
“This should be a deep squad. Obviously, the more depth the better, ” Kruger said. “Whether it would be foul trouble or a tweaked ankle or whatever, it’s nice to know you can go deep into the bench and get good production. These guys have done a good job competing in a healthy way since the start of practice. So, I have a lot of confidence in guys stepping and doing what they did tonight.
Before heading to Portland and playing some of the best competition in the country next week, Oklahoma will play host to a potential NCAA tournament cinderella in Ball State. The Cardinals are expected to compete for a MAC championship this year, and showcased that potential in a heart-wrenching 78-77 loss to Dayton on Friday. The Flyers are a perennial NCAA Tournament team and needed a buzzer-beater to beat Ball State.
“Ball State is really good. (They) return a lot of guys from a very good team last year,” Kruger told reporters. “(They are) expected to compete for the championship in their conference. So, guys will get a good dose of Ball State between now and Wednesday to recognize how good they are. We’ll have to play really well to have a chance to win.”
Oklahoma will be looking to move to 2-0 on Wednesday as they host Ball State at 7:00 PM CT.