Does Size Matter?

CLEMSON - Freshman point guard Andre Young won't be the tallest player on the court this fall, but it doens't mean he won't show up big.

Let's be truthful right from the start.

It's not often a player who stands in a shade under 5-feet-10 inches tall is able to make a name for himself playing major college basketball.

But let's also say this, that won't be a problem for freshman point guard Andre Young.

While he may be small in stature, he's big when it comes to his game on the court.

The four-star prospect was ranked as the No. 6 point guard in the nation according to Scout.com in the 2008-09 recruiting class and not surprisingly, he's arriving at Clemson ready to do whatever he can to help lift the Tigers to the next level.

"My whole thing right now is coming in here and blending with the team chemistry here. I don't want to be the guy who messes things up," Young said. "There is something special going on here right now and I just want to be a part of it. How much I play this year will be up to Coach Purnell and the coaching staff."

Young averaged over 20 points a game during his school career and has the kind of quickness that will remind old-school Clemson fans of Lou Ritchie or Terrell McIntyre.

He's also a pretty good shooter who says he has no problem making free throws- even with the game on the line.

"Basketball I.Q., shooting, passing, those are some of my strengths," he said. "I definitely need to work on getting stronger, especially going up against some of the bigger guards in the league like a Ty Lawson. Obviously a disadvantage is my size but I try to offset that with my other strengths, like with my quickness.

"And I always take pride in my free throws ability. I've been in many situations with the game on the line and I've had to shoot free throws. So I have a lot of confidence."

Like many other members of the 2008-09 recruiting class, Young also is living somewhat of a dream being able to compete in the ACC.

"I just wanted to play college basketball period to be perfectly honest," he said. "I never thought I'd actually make it to the ACC. Just signing that paper was a dream come true really and to have my family and friends there with me just made it all the better."

For head coach Oliver Purnell, Young gives him a clear backup point guard behind rising sophomore Demontez Stitt. While he's not as big as Stitt, he is a step faster and will bring a different dimension to the team whenever he steps on the court.

"I love watching him play," he said. "I love what he brings to the floor and I love the fact he's a winner and he's got toughness.

"With only one point guard on our team, it was a must [to sign a player of Young's caliber]. Plus we feel like he could upgrade our shooting which is something we have continued to get better with."

And if all of that wasn't enough, don't forget about Young's athletic ability. Remember, this was the kid, who despite his size, dunked a basketball in a game last season. Click on the YouTube video below to see for yourself.



Scout.com Player Evaluation:
STRENGTHS
 Big-Game Player
 Speed/Quickness
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
 Mid-Range Game
 Perimeter Shot
 Size for Position
Impressive young man both on and off the court. Big time student. Extremely quick and plays in attack mode. Winner and has been MVP of a few events for the Georgia Blazers. Colleges uncomfortable with his size will pass and he's the kind of kid who won't quickly forget.



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