Texas Tech Fans Chanted ‘Overrated’ at Trae Young. Were They Right?
The Trae Young hype train hit an epic high on February 5th when ESPN put a permanent stat tracker in place above the static score board during the broadcast of the Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Tuesday night during the Texas Tech-Oklahoma game, there was a Trae Young stat tracker not only on that game, but also on the Kansas-Iowa State game.
During the Texas Tech-Texas broadcast, the halftime show was a highlight package from Trae Young dropping 44 points against Baylor. The next Texas Tech halftime, against TCU, ESPNU aired a 10-minute interview package with Trae Young and Jay Williams.
Young had a great start to his career and has scored 240 more points than anyone else in the Big 12. He has 40 more assists than anyone else in the Big 12. He's in the top 5 in both steals and free throw percentage.
With those stats in mind, is the hype warranted? I'll let the Texas Tech Student section answer that question.
Young is a volume scorer and an exceptional passer, but he's not an MVP. He's the best player on a below-average team in a solid conference. He isn't a developed leader. He's not clutch.
The only reason he's got the most points in the league is because he's attempted more shots than anyone else. The second leading scorer in the Big 12, Texas Tech's Keenan Evans, has taken 311 shots from the floor. Trae Young has tossed up 495. That's a 44 percent mark for Young, and a 49 percent mark for Evans. Neither are in the top 15 in the league, which is occupied by big men who rely on dunks and block shots. But Evans is the best out of the top five scorers in the league.
Trae Young is a product of the ESPN agenda, and he's crumbling under the pressure.
In January, Trae Young was being penciled in as the Wooden Award winner and the Big 12 player of the year and had Oklahoma in contention for the Big 12 Title. In February, his team is 0-4, and the award watch lists have become a real debate rather than a second place conversation.
In the month of February, Tommy Hamilton and Trae Young have made the same amount of tree pointers. Young is sending downtown grenades by the handful, but only connecting 18 percent of the time.
In OU's 88-78 loss to Texas Tech, Young had a respectable line with 19 points and 7 assists, but was 0-for-9 from deep. He struggled late in the game and didn't score after his pair of free throws with nearly 16 minutes left in the game. He wasn't facilitating late either, with his last assist coming with nearly 9 minutes left in the second half.
By comparison, Keenan Evans had 12 points in the final 16 minutes of play.
Trae Young is a very good player who got wildly overhyped by ESPN and has been hindered by the pressure created to perform at an elite level. He's an above-average scorer with a pretty shot and elite passing vision. He's not a complete player and definitely not deserving of a stat tracker visible on games he's not even participating in.
Is he freshman of the year? Probably. Is he the greatest collegiate player to ever grace the hardwood? No, and he didn't deserve to be labeled that.
It's just another case, in a long list of cases, of ESPN and the NCAA exploiting a talented player to get clicks and generate revenue in order to cash in on the moment.
So far, ESPN has miscast it's leading man.