No longer the high-motor wild man he’s been in the past, Young is now much more under control, without losing an ounce of his competitive intensity. While his mid-range shot and three-point shot were works in progress last season, he’s clearly been working on those parts of his game. His coaches said after the win that, given Young’s 6-foot-7, 225-pound frame, he’s not likely to be a true power forward at the next level, so they’ve worked to expand his game outward. It’s worked.
“I work on it a lot, and I try to get that shot up,” Young said of his perimeter and mid-range shooting. “I won’t be able to score a lot in the post anymore, with triple-teams, so that’s a shot I’ve been working on. I’m trying to move it out.”
Young went 10-for-16 from the field on Monday at the MLK Classic at Haas Pavilion, with coaches from Montana, Chico State, California, Cincinnati, Long Beach State, St. Mary’s and others looking on.
“I actually think I’ve improved on my passing-out-of-the-post skills,” said Young, who finished with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds to go with four blocks and two assists. “We worked on that a lot this season, because I was getting triple-teamed. I wasn’t making the right pass out of the post. That was one of the biggest things I did tonight.”
It’s rare that a power forward is a facilitator of the offense, but that’s what Young did on Monday, pulling down four offensive boards and getting Sacramento second and third chances at the basket. His physical rebounding on the defensive end helped to get the Dragons out in transition against an out-matched Irish squad.
The Golden Bears had three coaches – including head coach Cuonzo Martin -- watching Young on Monday, and Young said that he speaks with the staff about once or twice a month. Another Pac-12 program – Washington – will get an official from Young on Feb. 14.
“No new schools – just Washington, Tulsa and Arizona State, those are the ones that are coming at me the hardest,” Young said. “I treat all the offers the same.”