Doolittle, Young could reunite at OU

Young, Doolittle friendship extends into past, could continue with Sooners

Kristian Doolittle and Trae Young have a bit of love-hate relationship.

They’ve known each other since elementary school and played on the same AAU basketball team, but on Tuesday night, a little bit of that hate came back out on the court at Edmond Memorial High School.

Doolittle’s Edmond Memorial squad played host to Norman North and its starting sophomore point guard – Young – in a top-ranked battle.

“Love outside the court,” said Doolittle, a junior who verbally committed to Oklahoma about a month ago. “We don’t like each other on the court.”

Young led his team to a narrow victory Tuesday, but the two could renew that courtside dislike this weekend at the Bishop McGuiness Classic. The two would have to meet in the championship game, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

There’s a good chance of that happening.

On Tuesday, the two battle one-on-one with the game still in doubt. The 6-foot-6 Doolittle was set up to guard Young, a lightning quick point guard. All of that with Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger and assistant coach Chris Crutchfield in the house.

They might have been there to see their new commit Doolittle, but Oklahoma has also offered Young, a three-star sophomore. Young and Doolittle’s relationship could turn them into teammates once again.

“It would be really cool to play with the guys that I grew up playing with and I know and I’m familiar with. It would be like old times really, just play familiar people,” Doolittle said of playing with Young.

Doolittle hasn’t been recruiting Young to play for the Sooners, though, and the two barely even talk about basketball – even when they meet at Oklahoma games.

Young said he still has a long way to go and is enjoying his recruitment. He’s made three trips to Oklahoma since September, most recently on New Year’s Eve to watch Oklahoma beat George Mason.

Young doesn’t even have a top 8 right now and was non-committal about Oklahoma but said he could see the fun in playing with Doolittle, who jokingly said that he tried to give Young a high five after the game Tuesday, but Young left him hanging.

“I would love to play with Doolittle,” Young said. “He’s a great player. We’d play well together. You know, pick-and-roll action. It would be fun playing with him.” Young still wants to come back to Oklahoma for a Big 12 Conference game but doesn’t have one planned just yet.

“It’s fun watching OU basketball,” Young said. “I love the way they play. I love spending time with coach Kruger and all the coaching staff and the players. I love going up there. . . . It’s close to home. Coach Kruger loves it when I’m up there as much as I can. I really like coach Kruger. I love coach Kruger actually. He’s a great coach. I like spending time with them.”

So while Young takes his time, Doolittle said he’s still “100 percent Sooner” after becoming the second Oklahoma commit of the 2016 class in early December.

He didn’t have an announcement ceremony or a big Twitter fiasco. Doolittle just made his choice and told his family.

“My dad told me when I make up my mind, this was the only move that we were going to make,” Doolittle said. “‘Just make sure you do the right thing.’ We talked about it and I told him where I wanted to go.”

What stood out to Doolittle, who has exceptional handles for a big and a body that could grow to 6-foot-8, about Oklahoma is how much they cared, evident by having a pair of coaches come watch his high school conference opener Tuesday.

He took just one unofficial visit to the school but found what he called “a home.”

“They believe in me,” Doolittle said. “That’s all I really care about, someone to believe in me and push me in the right direction and make me the best I can be.”


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