Joseph Young Updated NBA Draft Scouting ReportJune 22, 2015
The 15th best scorer in our top-100, Joseph Young helped lead Oregon to a NCAA Tournament appearance each of the two seasons he played as a Duck after transferring from Houston. Young was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year, as he quickly turned into one of Oregon's best scorers ever during his tenure in the Pac-12.
There is little question about Young's ability to put the ball in the basket, as he failed to score in double digits in just two games last season. He can do it in a variety of ways and has great potential as a microwave scorer off the bench at the next level. His 3-point shooting dipped slightly last season to 36.4%, but his career average of 39% is an excellent mark, especially considering his high volume of three point attempts, as he attempted 6.3 per 40 minutes pace adjusted for his career. His overall efficiency did decrease some with an increase in usage and his senior season ended with a still-solid 57% true shooting percentage on 16.8 field goal attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted (59% career). In a smaller role, he'll need to show he can be as efficient against NBA defenders, cutting out some of the heat check type shots he takes from time to time, some of which is due to the heavy role he was forced to shoulder on an undersized and highly inexperienced squad that was decimated due to injuries and suspensions.
Young, who will be 23 at the time of the draft, has a small frame at just 6'2” and 182 pounds, with a solid 6'5” wingspan, but a below average 7'10 ½ standing reach. He'll be one of the smaller combo guards in the league and even if he shifts over to the primary ball handler spot, he'll be undersized compared to other NBA players. With that said, Young is one of the most athletic guards in the draft, which certainly helps make up for his lack of great measurables. He has terrific quickness with the ball in the open court and demonstrates impressive explosiveness off his first step and with his leaping ability, which can help overcome his lack of size.
Young is multi-dimensional scorer, able to make shots consistently and prolifically both in catch and shoot situations (41.9%) and off the dribble (43.9%), according to Synergy Sports Technology. He's comfortable in spot-up situations, taking a dribble or two before his jumper or coming off screens. He has great form on his shot, always seeming to be on balance, and his quick release allows him to get his shot attempts off despite his smaller size. He'll need to show he can extend his range to the NBA distance while being able to release his attempts against NBA defenders to continue to be a capable jump shooter at the next level, but has made enough long distance attempts from well beyond the arc in college to lead you to believe this won't be too much of an issue for him.
As a senior, Young ran ball screens more often, increasing his percentage of possessions from 21.7% to 26.8% as the pick and roll ball handler, according to Synergy Sports Technology. If defenses play aggressively on him to take away his jump shots, he will need to have a counter move and show he can get into the lane. He's not an advanced ball-handler, currently relying on his quick first step and speed to get past his defenders to the rim so he will need to add some moves that will help him break down the defense. He's effective around the rim for his size, converting 57.1% of his attempts according to Synergy Sports Technology. He's done a nice job of drawing contact and getting to the line in the past, although his free throw attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted dropped to 3.9, one of the lowest among shooting guards in our top 100
. This would be especially helpful for him to put points on the board, especially considering how accurate he is from the charity stripe.
As a free throw shooter, which is one of the better indicators we have about player's shooting ability, Young made 93% of his attempts from the line, which is the best rate in the draft and actually would have led the NBA this year as well if he had done the same there.
Young will need to show he can contribute other ways than just scoring and he started to do so as a senior by becoming a more willing and capable passer. He saw his assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted jump from 2.3 to 3.7, although his turnovers increased as well from 1.4 to 2.5 per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Only one likely draft prospect who is expected to see minutes at point guard has a lower PPR than Young (Terry Rozier
), which is indication that he needs to improve as a playmaker to see consistent minutes there at the next level.
Young started looking for teammates more as a senior, but also became looser with the ball, which resulted in some careless turnovers. When he has the ball in his hands, he'll need to focus on making the right read to take care of the ball, either getting his own offense or finding his open teammates if he draws the defense.
Defensively, Young hasn't added much value during his time in college. He lacks the physical tools to be an impact defender, but also doesn't have the best work ethic on this end, as he has a tendency to stand straight up instead of being in a stance while giving up on plays after his man is by him. While his size and length don't project him to be a lockdown defensive player, putting in more effort on this end to play sound defense while learning the nuances of a NBA defense will help him provide value outside of his scoring prowess. When Young did look to lock in on the defensive end, he was able to bring some value with his tremendous lateral quickness, which indicates he has more potential on this end of the floor than he was able to show in college with the heavy role he played offensively.
With his ability to score buckets quickly, Young may be able to find a role as a bench scorer in a similar vein as Isaiah Canaan
or Louis Williams
. NBA teams value outside shooting quite a bit these days, and with Young's athleticism and scoring instincts, he might be able to do more than that even.
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Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-12, Part 6: Prospects #10-14 September 8, 2014
The only guard on Oregon's roster with any real experience at the Division I level, Joseph Young
will be relied on heavily by Dana Altman and co. to help bring the Ducks back to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season.
Young was awarded a NCAA waiver to play immediately for Oregon less than two weeks before their opening game, despite transferring from Houston upon learning his father (former NBA first round pick) Michael Young
had been reassigned from the coaching staff to a community service role. He took very little time to make his impact felt at Oregon, quickly establishing himself as one of the most versatile scorers in college basketball. He averaged a terrific 24 points per-40 minutes (second best in the Pac-12), on terrific efficiency, with the sixth highest
true shooting percentage (63.5%) of any returning college player in our top-100 rankings.
Young sports below average measurables for a NBA shooting guard prospect, being charted at 6-2 in shoes with a 6-4.5 wingspan and a 178 pound frame at the Nike Skills Academy this summer. Only a handful of NBA shooting guards (think Jason Terry
, Jannero Pargo
, Ian Clark
, Ben Gordon
) are currently playing in the NBA at that size, and his lack of length and strength certainly don't help matters much. In addition to that, Young will turn 23 just two days after the 2015 NBA Draft, making him the third oldest player currently projected to be picked in our latest mock draft.
Despite all that, there are reasons to believe Young has what it takes to overcome those issues, as he's quite simply one of the most gifted scorers you'll find in college basketball.
Young has to be considered among the best shooters in the NCAA when considering his volume of attempts (5.5 per game) and conversion rate (41.5%). He has tremendous shooting mechanics, always being on-balance and sporting an ultra quick-release and deep, deep range. He's extremely dangerous whether he's spotting up with his feet set, pulling-up off the dribble, operating off dribble-handoffs and pick and rolls, or coming off screens, and can get his shot off even against taller, longer defenders thanks to his quick release and range. He's the type of player a coach can run a million different plays for out of a timeout, and someone defenses simply need to account for at all times as he plays with unwavering confidence in his scoring ability.
Unlike most lights out shooters, Young is also capable of scoring relatively effectively inside the arc as well, hitting an above average 53% of his 2-point attempts and getting to the free throw line over five times per game, where he shoots 88%, #1 in our top-100 prospect rankings. He has a quick first step and solid ball-handling ability, not looking hesitant in putting the ball on the floor if the defense overplays his jump-shot, which allows him to get to the basket at a solid clip. He's especially effective in transition, as the 1.38 points per possession he averaged in the open-court last season ranked second best in all of college basketball.
Additionally, he very rarely turns the ball over—his 7.2% turnover percentage ranks third best among all college players in our Top-100 rankings. He is solid in the pick and roll, having some crafty floaters and runners in his arsenal to overcome his lack of size when he gets all the way inside the paint, and in general is just a really skilled and instinctive scorer with a knack for putting the ball in the basket.
Where Young needs to improve is in becoming more than just a tremendous all-around scorer. He's a little bit one-dimensional in the sense that when he's not putting points on the board, he doesn't contribute much in other areas. He rarely creates much offense for teammates for example, and doesn't offer much in terms of rebounding or defense.
Young not only lacks great physical tools to offer much resistance defensively, but he also doesn't show a great deal of interest in his work on this end of the floor. He frequently gets blown by off the dribble, posted up by relatively mediocre guards, closes out half-heartedly on the perimeter, and gambles unnecessarily in the passing lanes. His fundamentals are fairly poor, as he's often just standing upright in his stance, and he doesn't fight very hard to get over the top of screens.
While it's not the end-all, be all, Young only generated a single block in the past two seasons, which is something very few college players who ended up playing in the NBA can say is part of their resume.
NBA Draft Picks the last 25 years who generated zero blocked shots in a single college season [min 300 minutes]
Young's combination of poor size, length and strength, along with his poor intensity level will be difficult to overcome at the NBA level, unless he completely changes his mindset. He's the type of player opposing coaches love to target as part of their game-plan already at the college level, leaving no other resort than to put him on the weakest opposing guard to minimize his shortcomings here. Unfortunately his lack of size will make it very difficult for him to guard anything but point guards in the NBA, as he'll be giving up multiple inches and possibly a few dozen pounds on most night operating at the 2.
It will be interesting to see if Young has improved at all in this area as a senior, possibly after getting stronger and getting some NBA feedback on his shortcomings after flirting with testing the draft waters last spring.
In the meantime, Young will be expected to put up big scoring numbers for Oregon as well, trying to guide a very young team which returns just one real contributor from last season besides him in a tough Pac-12 conference. NBA teams will surely be watching closely.
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