Young Unplugged

Arkansas hoops signee B.J. Young (6-3, 170), averaging 30.5 points per game, talks candidly about his play this season, his team's Saturday game that will be televised by ESPNU, his fellow Razorback signees, the status of his future college team, his two ejections this season and also confirms he has indeed landed a 22 on ACT.

Like the rest of the Arkansas basketball fans watching Saturday on ESPN2, Razorback signee and Florissant (MO) McCluer North star B.J. Young was disappointed in the outcome of his future team's home loss to Ole Miss.

But unlike the fans, Young (6-3, 170) and the Razorbacks' four other November signees will have a chance to do something on the court next season to keep those type losses from happening.

"I was watching it and thinking I would love to be guarding (Rebel star) Chris Warren and make him chase me around for that matter," Young said. "When they lose, it hurts me and my guys, but we are coming to turn it from a good team into a great one. I truly believe that."

Young, who will be playing live on ESPNU this upcoming Saturday, is averaging 30.5 points, 6.2 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game this season for a 20-1 team that is ranked No. 2 in the state.

But perhaps even more important is what Young – regarded as the nation's 17-best player by - has done academically recently.

He says he had a 3.8 grade point average his first semester and recently got back a 22 on his latest ACT test.

"I know that for all I can do on the basketball court the biggest thing I had to do this last year is get after it off the court, get my grades up and get my ACT up," Young said. "I've done that and I am very proud of it."

That ACT was an improvement from an earlier score of 17.

"That has me ready to go, but I am going to take the ACT one more time so there can be absolutely no question," Young said. "I am going to get an even higher score this time. I am becoming more acclimated to it and thus I have improved my score."

Young spent time at two other high schools before settling in at McCluer North.

"It's been a great fit for me and a great season for us," Young said. "I have a great head coach, some great teammates and we are all playing hard."

Young has played too hard on a couple of occasions, resulting in a pair of ejections.

The second one in a 67-57 loss to Belleville West in last January was followed by a two-game suspension by the Missouri State High School Activities Association.

"It's not a set protocol," Jason West, a spokesman for the MSHSCA told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It's at least a one-game suspension. We're hoping it won't happen again and a lesson has been learned here."

Some reports have described it as a punch to the back of the head, others an elbow.

"I am very competitive, but I do have to mature on the court and I am working hard to do that," Young said. "I was going after a rebound and hit a guy with my elbow. Everybody thinks it was intentional, but it wasn't. However, I have to live with that and learn from it. It won't happen again."

He served the first game of that two-game suspension on Jan. 28th when North McCluer whipped Hazelwood West 74-61.

They did so behind 22 points and 10 rebounds from Jordan Granger, a 6-8 junior that Arkansas has offered.

"He is a great player and is averaging like 16 points, 12 rebounds and 6 blocks a game," Young said.

McCluer North and Hazelwood Central – who have split a pair of games this season - were scheduled to meet Saturday, but weather postponed that contest.

That means Young will serve the final game of his suspension at McCluer High on Wednesday.

The Stars will then host Riverview Gardens on Thursday before facing No. 1 and unbeaten Chaminade (20-0) Saturday on ESPN at 4 p.m.

That game will have Young and Florida signee Bradley Beal – considered the state's two best players – leading their teams against each other.

"I've been looking forward to this game the whole season and can't wait to show the nation what kind of team we have and wait kind of player I am," Young said. "It is going to be exciting."

Young joins Seagoville (Texas) forward DeVonta Abron (6-8, 233) and the Arkansas trio of Hunter Mickelson (6-11, 210), Rashad Madden (6-5, 180) and Aaron Ross (6-7, 230) as future Razorbacks.

Abron, who had a 41-point, 20-rebound game earlier this season, is averaging 27.5 points and 11.2 rebounds this season.

The five players have led their teams to a combined 96-17 record this season.

"I have stayed in touch with them on the phone and texts and through facebook," Young said. "I just got done talking to my man down in Texas. We have got a really good group."

He also is looking forward to the day he puts on his Razorback jersey.

"We (the Razorbacks) have had some very good wins this season and some tough losses like Saturday," Young said. "But I think Coach Pelphrey is a a very good coach and we have some very good players. When the five of us get there, we are going to really get it going again like they used to have around there."

B.J. Young

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