Trae Young, 6-1, PG, Norman Oklahoma, 2017 High School Class
With De'Aaron Fox going down with a wrist injury late in USA West's first game of the tournament, 2017 guard Trae Young was called upon to carry a heavy load in the back court. While he struggled with efficiency (27.8 2P% and 25.9 3P%), Young flashed some talent on the offensive end despite his very young frame and limited length.
Young is super smooth with the ball in his hands as he was able to change speeds as well as any other player at the Nike Global Challenge. He has the ball on a string, using a few different combo moves, and froze defenders constantly in pick and roll situations. Young does a very good job getting into the paint with his slippery style of play and deceptively quick first step, but his next step of development will be finding ways to score efficiently in the paint while consistently making his teammates better.
Young did show pretty good timing hitting the roll man once he got deep into the paint. He also does a nice job dropping it off to bigs around the rim, and showed an ability to pass with either hand at times. But Young's overall decision making can use some work, as he likes to play hero ball and force up tough shots early in the shot clock.
As a finisher Young does have solid touch on his floater and doesn't shy away from contact like you would expect given his frame. In fact, he shot 11.25 free throws per 40 minutes, good for seventh best in the tournament. But given his size, stature and average vertical explosiveness, Young will have to pick his spots better and rely more on floaters, speed layups and deception around the rim.
As a perimeter shooter, Young had mixed results. While his touch isn't all that bad, he hoists up deep threes early in the shot clock and sports a very low release point that's tough to get off when pressured. Improving his shot selection and working to raise his release point should improve his three-point shooting percentages.
Defensively, Young shows very good instincts both on and off the ball, but his effort comes and goes. He got back cut a couple of times on the wing and didn't always show a ton of urgency stopping the ball. With all of that said, Young has the talent and vision to put defenders on skates and make plays with the ball, it's just a matter of continuing to think the game the right way, improving his body, and picking his spots as a distributor.