"We don't look at ourselves as freshmen. We are ballplayers," Young told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "We're competitors. We want to compete and win just like everybody else."
Yes, the story of Pittsburgh dodging Notre Dame's bullet on Wednesday evening may start with Aaron Gray's career high 25 points, or with another impressive outing from super senior Carl Krauser who added 21, but the play of Pittsburgh's most notable freshmen again stole the show.
Sam Young, the Big East Rookie of the Week last week after averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds in
Being held with only two points, late in the second half, Young lifted Pittsburgh in the two overtime periods and finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
His performance, especially in overtime, was a key reason why Pitt was able to defeat their arch-rival, Notre Dame and get off to a good start in Big East play.
The Panthers depth was a big question mark entering the season, but the emergence of its freshman class as immediate contributors has left the team able to survive foul trouble and nagging injuries.
A native of Clinton, Md., Young was highly touted coming out of high school after being named the National Prep School Player of the Year by Scout.com. As a senior, Young averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds per game at Hargrave Military Academy.
With high expectations and a larger role in the offense than most freshmen enjoy, he's thrived in Pitt's offensive system and has added a newfound comfort in rebounding that has helped Pitt considerably, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
If Pitt is to succeed, the Panthers must continue to get good play from the 6-foot-6 small forward.
"Others from the outside look at us like freshmen," Young continued, "but we don't. We're just out there doing our best trying to win basketball games."
And that they are, as Pitt's now 12-0 for only the fifth time in its 100 years of basketball