HOUSTON -- Each spring a group of new names on the EYBL circuit emerge. Their play grabs the attention of the coaches and scouts in attendance and puts them on the national map. Trae Young has been at the forefront of that group this year.
Playing for Mokan Elite, the 2017 point guard from Norman (Okla.) North has shown he's an explosive scorer from the perimeter to go along with an ability to find teammates while running the show. Through 12 games, Young is sixth in the league in scoring at 20.1 points per game and also ranks 10th in assists at 3.7 per game. His 42 made threes put him second overall.
The 6-foot-1 Young is sure to enter the Scout.com 2017 rankings at the next update. His play this spring has helped him generate plenty of scholarship offers at the national level with schools like Kansas, Virginia and UCLA jumping into the picture with offers the last few weeks. Young mentioned one other school that has shown strong recent interest.
"North Carolina, I talked to them quite a bit this past week," Young said.
"I've talked to the assistant and Coach (Roy) Williams. They're going to continue to watch me. They love me; they love my game. They're going to continue to recruit me and build a relationship with me. Speaking to them is a humbling experience. I'm truly blessed. A lot of people don't get to do this. I'm just going to continue to get better. That's my main focus."
With so many new schools jumping into the picture, the high school sophomore is just trying to take it all in and continue to work on his game. He has no intention of cutting a list, but he said he'll likely take some unofficial visits in the coming months. For now, playing in the EYBL as the starting point guard of a talented team -- while only a sophomore -- has been an eye-opening experience for Young.
"This is the best it gets. The best players play in this league and playing up a grade is continuing to make me better," Young said. "Every game is tough. So we've got to bring it every game. But it makes me better and it makes my team better."
While Young has a tendency to be a scoring point guard who fires a lot of 3-pointers, he sees himself as staying at the lead guard position at the next level. He's also shown that he's plenty capable of making plays for others.
"Definitely running the team and being a point guard," Young said of his position in college. "Just trying to be a leader and lead my team whether its now or at the next level. Just trying to lead my team to wins, that's what I plan to do."
In fact, one of the things Young is looking for is a chance to get minutes at point guard from the moment he steps foot on campus. Looking at elite programs means Young is ready to battle for minutes and said he isn't expecting to necessarily be a starter. He just wants a chance to play.
"I want to be able to come in and produce as a freshman. I feel like I can adjust to any system," Young said. "Adjusting to that is not going to be a problem for me. Just being able to play as a freshman and being able to have the ball in my hands as a freshman and being able to lead my team."
That confidence in contributing immediately may be genetic. His father, Rayford, was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team at Texas Tech in 1997. He went on to average more than 15 points in each of his final three seasons with the Red Raiders.
Scout.com Spring Evaluation
by Evan Daniels
"Young is a creative and crafty guard that possesses strong ball handling skills. He’s quick, but also does a great job of changing his speeds to keep opposing defenders off balance. It’s his pull-up jumper that he hangs his hat on. What he does best is shoot the ball off the pull and Young isn’t afraid to take that shot at any time in any situation. His ball skills help him clear space, but Young will pull-up in a heartbeat from three or midrange and drain jumpers. Young’s jump shot is a weapon, as he has deep range. He’s confident shooting off the catch and has a good shot preparation, but he’s also impressive shooting on the move and going off the bounce from mid-range. In a big setting, Young played with poise and confidence. To go with the ball handling and shot making ability, he has good vision and is a quality passer. He’s ready to quickly move up the 2017 point guard list."
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