How many college basketball players have led the country in scoring and assists?
That was until Trae Young stepped onto the college basketball scene. The freshman phenom has had a historic season, leading the country in scoring and assists at 27.5 points per game and dishing out 8.9 assists per game. Young has drawn comparisons to NBA players such as Stephen Curry, Damian Lilliard, and has even been compared to the great “Pistol” Pete Maravich.
Young made his presence felt early this season with a 43-point performance against Oregon at the PK80 Invitational in November. Oklahoma then made some noise after going to Wichita, Kan. and beating then No. 3 Wichita State in their backyard. Young had five double-doubles with points and assists in his first 10 games, and scored over 20 points in 18 of his first 19 games of his college career.
Young has scored 826 points this season–the most ever in a regular season by a Big 12 player. He is the second player from a major conference to surpass 800 points during the regular season in the past 20 years (J.J. Redick, 2005-06). He is the only freshman to score over 800 points in a regular season in the Big 12 era.
Despite Young and Oklahoma’s slide in the last half of the season, the freshman has had a year that will forever be remembered in college basketball’s record books. That started on Sunday when he was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year. The conference voted him as a unanimous selection on the All-Big 12 First Team. Young also landed on the Big 12 All-Newcomer team.
Kansas’ Devonte’ Graham was selected for the Big 12 Player of the Year despite not having as good of numbers this season as Young. It has been an ongoing conversation between Graham and Young, with Bill Self and Bruce Weber publicly vouching for winning meaning the most. Young said he was disappointed, but the freshman is ready to get it going again.
“It’s an honor being the Freshman of the Year. I’m disappointed I didn’t get Player of the Year, but I know winning matters,” Young said after Sunday’s practice. “Winning matters, and I wish we could have won more games. I’m very disappointed. But if that was the case, Kansas should have the last 14 Player of the Years. But I’m very honored for the awards I got, so I’m very ready to get it going again.”
Today, the Associated Press’ All-Big 12 voters backed up the Big 12 conference’s thoughts by giving Devonte’ Graham the Big 12 Player of the Year. Young, however, was a unanimous selection on the AP All-Big 12 Team, and was named the AP Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.
Young was named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award for college basketball’s best point guard yesterday, too. Devonte’ Graham (Kansas), Joel Barry II (North Carolina), Jalen Brunson (Villanova) and Jevon Carter (West Virginia) are the other four finalists for the award.
On Saturday, Young was put on the John R. Wooden Award national ballot with 14 other nominees of college basketball’s best players. These pool of players will be selected for the Wooden Award All American Team, and one of these players will be selected for the Wooden Award Trophy as the most outstanding college basketball player in the United States.
Last week, Young was named a semifinalist for the James A. Naismith Trophy, recognizing the most outstanding men’s college basketball player. He is one of ten semifinalists for the award. The list will be cut down to four finalists in the middle of March.
The freshman phenom has already seen recognition for the show he put on this season, and expect more awards, honors, and selections to come for Trae Young as the college basketball season is coming to an end.