The Oklahoma Sooners come into the NCAA Tournament with yet another standout player in the form of freshman point guard Trae Young. After what is called the First Four, or the “play-in” games Tuesday and Wednesday on TruTV, the tournament of 64 teams begins Thursday, March 15 on CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV.
Young exploded on the college basketball scene earlier this season when he scored 43 points against Oregon in November. That was the beginning of a solid run for the Sooners, a Final Four team just two years ago, and they won ten straight. Things began to change for Oklahoma once Big 12 conference play got under way. Still, Young put up 43 points again in an overtime win against then No. 16 TCU. A week later he scored 48 in a losing effort in overtime against Oklahoma State. Turnovers, however, have plagued the young point guard throughout the season, especially during a losing stretch in February that saw Oklahoma drop in the polls.
Speculation is that Young will be a one-and-done NCAA player, likely opting for the NBA draft come June. His stock in the draft has fluctuated. Still, a player who averages nearly 30 points per game is going to be hard to overlook by any NBA team.
Entering the tournament, Oklahoma’s seeding will be determined by their play down the regular season stretch and in the Big 12 tournament. Once the NCAA Tournament gets under way, anything can happen, and a player like Young can easily carry his team to the Final Four.
Rayford Trae Young
Born: Sept. 19, 1998
Birthplace: Lubbock, Texas
Height/Weight: 6 foot 2 inches / 180 pounds
Team: Oklahoma Sooners
Position: Point Guard
Honors and Achievements: McDonald’s All-American, 2017; U.S. men’s national U18 team, gold medal, 2016