Saturday, February 25, 2017

Five-star PG Trae Young commits to Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. -- One of the top high school basketball prospects in the country is staying home.
Five-star point guard Trae Young, also the No. 15 overall recruit in the nation, announced Thursday his commitment to Oklahoma.
The Norman, Oklahoma, native picked the Sooners over Kansas and Oklahoma State. He considered Kentucky as well.
"This is home," Young said during a ceremony before a packed auditorium at Norman North High School. "This has always been home for me."
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Young is averaging 43.1 points, five assists and five rebounds a game. His commitment figures to be a game-changer for an Oklahoma basketball program that has struggled in the wake of losing Buddy Hield, last year's Wooden Award winner. Hield propelled the Sooners to the Final Four last season before the New Orleans Pelicans selected him with the sixth overall pick in the NBA draft.
This season, without Hield, the Sooners are last in the Big 12 standings, with an overall record of just 9-16. Compounding the slide, senior point guard Jordan Woodard suffered a season-ending knee injury over the weekend.
"This team has been having a lot of struggling moments," Young said. "But they've shown lots of good signs, too. They're very young. Kam McGusty, Kristian Doolittle, two of the top freshmen in the country. ... I can't wait to play with those guys."
Scout's Take: ESPN 100 PG Trae Young picks Sooners

Landing Young, especially over the powerhouse Jayhawks, is Lon Kruger's most notable recruiting victory since becoming Oklahoma's coach in 2011. Young said his connection with Kruger was a major factor in his decision.
"His playing style really fits well," Young said. "He lets his guards play the way I want to play. He's going to give me a lot of freedom, but also teach me the game and expand my knowledge of the game."
Along with becoming a potential impact player for Kruger, Young is arguably the Sooners' most high-profile commitment since signing future NBA All-Star Blake Griffin almost a decade ago.
Like Young, Griffin was an Oklahoma City-area, five-star prospect. He catapulted the Sooners to the Elite Eight in 2009 en route to becoming the player of the year and the No. 1 overall pick of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Young said he was a ball boy for Oklahoma while Griffin was starring for the Sooners. He said looking up to Hield and Griffin "played a little bit of a role" in his decision to stay home as well.
"Shows that guys can come to [Oklahoma]," Young said, "and do the same thing they can at other schools."

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