SAM YOUNG NBA DRAFT REPORT
February 19, 2009
by Doug Ferguson
Team Draft Preview- Pitt
In today's installment of team by team draft analysis we look at one of the most dynamic players in the Big East and begin to get a peek into the prospects from what looks to be the league's top team (for now at least).
Don't be scared when you roll into the arena to see a Pitt basketball game. That isn't the Incredible Hulk sporting a number 23 Panther jersey and he is not going to run into the stands and harm your children. That's just Sam Young and the only person he's there to dominate physically is the player across from him.
Young is the perfect example of a Pitt player with one glaring exception. Unlike most Panther recruits, he is dynamic on the OFFENSIVE side of the floor. He set a Pitt single-season points record as a junior which he has followed up with a strong senior campaign offensively in which he looks to set more benchmarks for future Pitt players.
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His skill set is very unique to his position. He has developed the jump shot he needs this season to become a seriously coveted offensive weapon for NBA teams. His form is somewhat awkward, but it sets up his unorthodox pumpfake which has been touted as one of the deadliest moves in the college game this year. When he is hitting his shot, it makes biting on the pump fake irresistable to even the best of defenders.
Sam's Adonis-like upper body enables him to finsh at the rim in traffic and in transition. If Pitt fails to make the Final 4 this year, he would be a preliminary favorite for the college dunk contest. His offensive skills were put on display in Pitt's biggest game to date on ESPN's Big Monday vs. Connecticut in front of several NBA scouts.
The question marks surrounding Young's pro transition are real, but in my opinion are far outweighed by his strongpoints and upside. Among his weakpoints are the fact that he is undersized height-wise and becomes a liability in certain defensive matchups. Some say he is almost more well equipped to guard NBA power forwards than he is the 3 spot, however he simply doesn't have the verticality to guard a Kevin Garnett or Rasheed Wallace. With that being the case the question becomes can he keep pace night to night with a LeBron James or Paul Pierce?
My answer would be probably not. However, my next question would be who can? The bottom line is that offensively he can make an immediate impact offensively and defensively he should be able to stay with more players than he can't. Henceforth, his stock has risen just slightly this season despite his numbers making a minor dip.
2009 Stats- 17.9 PPG 5.8 RPG 2009
Draft Projection- 1st Round (21st-26th overall)
NBA Comparison- Antione Walker
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