It didn’t take Trae Young long to make a name for himself in college basketball. He’s averaging more than 30 points per game and nearly 10 assists per game. He has made Oklahoma Basketball appointment viewing and will likely be the Naismith College Player of the Year.
All that being said, do you really need to stop Trae Young in order to beat OU?
Young scored 48 points Saturday in an 83-81 overtime loss to Oklahoma State. Sure, it took him 39 shots to get there, but he was 8-20 from three and a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line.
For those who did the math, Young’s 48 points meant that his teammates could only muster 33. That’s not going to get it done.
Only one of OU’s four losses can be attributed to poor play by young. He had 12 turnovers and just 20 points in an 87-69 defeat at the hands of Kansas State. In Oklahoma’s other three losses, young averaged 35 points.
Perhaps Oklahoma’s recent shortcomings can be attributed to playing on the road. The Sooners have yet to lose a home game this season. In fact, only once has a game played in the Lloyd Noble Center been decided by single digits, a 102-97 overtime win against TCU.
Everyone knows role players tend to perform better at home. The Sooners are no exception. Since conference play began, Oklahoma’s role players (everyone not named Trae Young) have accounted for more than 66 percent of OU’s points in Norman, while tallying just a shade under 57 percent of the Sooners points on the road.
What do those numbers tell Oklahoma’s future opponents? You can stop the Sooners without stopping Trae Young.