Oregon men’s basketball has been rolling with a relatively new coach in Dana Altman, a beautiful new basketball arena presented by the gracious Phil Knight and recent success as the 2011 CBI champions and an appearance in the sweet sixteen last year (only losing to the team that ultimately won the tournament). It was only a matter of time until the nation would wake up to these resurgent Ducks, and that time is now.
With an early ranking as the No. 18 team in the nation, the Ducks still have a way to go in earning the national respect enjoyed by Oregon football. But for now, little duckling steps are fine, as they continue their recent strategy of acquiring transfers and making them beyond valuable. One of these recent transfers, from the University of Houston, is up-and-coming star Joseph Young, and he is the subject of today’s Duckling Profile:
Young, a 6-foot-2, 185 pound guard from Houston, Texas, is a player that went mostly unnoticed throughout his college career, until now. This guy has heart and has been a hard worker throughout his life. Young followed in his father’s footsteps, ending up at the University of Houston in 2010, after initially committing to Providence. His senior year in high school, Bleacher Report wrote an article about the recruiting class’ top sleepers, listing Young in the top three. He was considered such a sleeper, in fact, that finding his highlight tape is nearly impossible.
I’m quite curious as to why he was such a sleeper in that recruiting class, because with his numbers it simply doesn’t make sense. As a senior in high school, the kid averaged 27.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.4 steals and 3.8 assists per game, leading his team to their second straight state championship. These numbers didn’t just appear out of nowhere, nor were they a fluke.
Throughout his first two seasons of eligibility at the University of Houston, Young continued to prove the doubters wrong. His first year he averaged 11.3 points on 42% shooting from the field and 84% from the line. These were respectable numbers, but not good enough for Young, so he took himself back to the gym. His next season he averaged a whopping 18 points on 46% shooting from the field (42% three-pointers) and 88% from the line.
One thing about this young stud is clear, THE KID CAN SHOOT LIGHTS OUT! Joseph Young has been robbed of an opportunity to show off his skills on the big stage. That’s where Dana Altman steps in. Wherever there’s a shining star that most are overlooking, Altman is there to reveal it. From Arselan Kazemi to Devoe Joseph, Altman is the king of bringing in recruits that make a huge and immediate impact.
So now that the hidden gem has been uncovered, how brightly is it shinning? Let’s just say, you better wear shades. Through the season’s first three games, Young has averaged 26.7 points, 2 steals, 5 rebounds, 58% shooting from the field (40% three-point) and 97% from the line. Wow! It may be early, but Young has proved again and again that his abilities are legitimate, only now he’s playing under the bright lights of Matthew Knight Arena.
There isn’t much of a scouting report on Young since much of the country hasn’t yet seen his talents. From what I have seen, his style of play is reminiscent of Monta Ellis (Dallas Mavericks) with a more consistent shot. He’s deceptively quick with a great ability to draw contact and take it inside. His shooting is definitely better than Monta’s, but their style of play and body movements around the court are very similar.
Young’s knack for getting to the basket is exactly what Oregon’s offense has been missing since Altman’s arrival. We’ve been running a fast-paced offense, and moving the ball incredibly well, but how is it all going to work if we don’t have a great shooter to stretch the defense? While we’ve had good shooters in the past, a man shooting nearly 60% overall, and 40% from three-point range, is absolutely ridiculous.
There’s nowhere to go from here but up. Team chemistry will get better as time goes on, and as Young continues to grow into his scoring role, we can only continue and watch with awe his incredible ability to get the ball to the bucket.
Ok, so nobody’s perfect. There are a couple areas that Young can continue working to improve. These would be his ability to find other players with the ball and refine his defense. Imagine a scorer like Young that can also create plays for others? He would be lethal in all categories on the scoreboard, and would gain the trust of his teammates even more.
Basketball is a team sport, and Young is only one piece of the puzzle, but boy, oh boy, is he a big one.