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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

With decision day nearing, analysts split down the middle on 5-star PG Trae Young

Kansas basketball recruit Trae Young (11) weaves his way though traffic as he drives to the hoop  during AAU competition Saturday afternoon at Lawrence Sports Pavilion.

Kansas basketball recruit Trae Young (11) weaves his way though traffic as he drives to the hoop during AAU competition Saturday afternoon at Lawrence Sports Pavilion.

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If ever there were an even split for a high-profile basketball prospect’s college decision, this is it.

Five-star point guard Trae Young, of Norman, Okla., is set to reveal his long-awaited decision at noon Thursday at Norman North High. And a quick glance at nearly every legitimate recruiting site out there has this one coming in as a dead heat between Kansas and Oklahoma.

Analysts for weeks have pegged KU and OU as the favorites for Young, both because of his connection with the programs and coaching staffs, as well as each school checking different boxes on what Young desires from his school of choice.

The case for Kansas is simple: Come to a blue blood program, soak up the exposure, tradition, fan adoration and coaching from Bill Self, and take Frank Mason III’s spot in the starting lineup.

There were, of course, many more factors that went into KU’s multi-year recruitment of Young, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound guard ranked No. 14 overall by Rivals.com. But those are the bullet points that jump out, and Young and his family know them.

“The first time Trae got that call from Coach Self and (KU assistant) Norm Roberts, it was just really exciting and a dream come true,” his father, Ray, said recently on Rock Chalk Sports Talk on KLWN. “Obviously, (the visit to KU) was something special. Trae went to KU camp as a freshman. Their high school team traveled up there and it was his first time being in Lawrence and seeing the facilities. I always told him as a kid that I think every kid, no matter if they play against them or play there, should see that arena and just feel the history that’s in there.”

Oklahoma has nothing that can compare to or compete with the tradition of Kansas basketball or Allen Fieldhouse — at least not on the hoops side of things. But the Sooners can offer Young something that Kansas can’t: a chance to stay home.

Both of Young’s parents have been huge supporters of their son’s career and each has played an active role in helping him make his decision.

Therefore, the case for Oklahoma is equally as simple as the case for KU and centers around that very fact: Stay home, elevate OU to new heights while being the unquestioned face of the program, and play in your own back yard where your friends and family can help fill Lloyd Nobel Center each time you play.

Throughout the past several months, Young and his family have been pretty open and honest with their thoughts about the recruiting process and the schools in the mix for Young’s services.

But it would be impossible to know exactly what Young is thinking and what factors weigh heaviest in his mind without actually being inside of his head. And so far, Young has maintained a fairly low profile during recent weeks and not tipped his hand one way or the other.

After announcing two weeks ago that Feb. 16 would be “Commitment Day,” the time has arrived. TheShiver.com has a countdown clock to Young’s announcement on the front page of its site and analysts from Rivals, Scout, 24/7 and more are jockeying for position and spending the day putting out their final predictions on which school Young will pick.

It surfaced earlier this week, just a few hours before the KU-West Virginia game on Big Monday, that Young had made up his mind and was in the process of planning out how to break the news to the coaches involved.

Regardless of what went into his decision or the details about how he broke the news and when, Young will make his announcement just after noon on Thursday, when both he and his parents will finally be able to exhale.

“When Trae was a fifth and sixth grader we talked about, man it would be so cool to have these top coaches come in our house and recruit our son,” Ray Young said. “But when it actually starts happening and you go through it for a couple years, you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m ready for it to be over with.’ It’s so overwhelming, but, at the same time, it’s a blessing, so I’m not complaining.”

A little more than 12 hours from now, it will be over. And the unofficial beginning of Trae Young’s college career will be upon us.

Here are a few predictions from around the country: (as of 1:34 p.m. central Wendesday)

• James Hale, OUInsider — Oklahoma

• Brendan Padilla, Baylor247 — Oklahoma

• Alec Kinsky, EYBL Recruiting — Oklahoma

• Chris Hummer, 247Sports — Oklahoma

• Matt Scott, TheShiver.com — Kansas

• Pat Lawless, GiveNGoBasketball.com — Kansas

• Jerry Meyer, 247Sports — Kansas

• Eric Bossi, Rivals.com — Oklahoma

• Krysten Peek, Rivals.com — Oklahoma

• Ethan Moore, Louisville Sports Live — Oklahoma

• Andrew Slater, The Devils Den — Kansas

• Chris Fisher, CatsPause — Kansas

• Shay Wildeboor, JayhawkSlant — Oklahoma

• Kevin Flaherty, 247Sports — Kansas

• Joey Helmer, OU Insider — Oklahoma

• Dain Ervin, BIReports — Oklahoma

• Brian Flinn, Future150 — Oklahoma

• Chad Lykins, The Devils Den — Kansas

• Adam Rowe, The Devils Den — Kansas

• Jason Marcum, A Sea of Blue — Kansas

• Kyle Goblirsch, Gopher247 — Kansas

• Josh Stirn, InsideMDSports — Kansas

• Ryan Noel, TheShiver.com — Kansas

• Dylan Prezkop, NextUpRecruits — Oklahoma

Comments

Dillon Davis 3 months, 1 week ago

Here is an article from Jayhawk Slant: https://kansas.rivals.com/news/making-the-case-five-star-point-guard-trae-young-1

Eric Bossi states "At Kansas, Graham is likely to test the NBA waters, but it's looking like he will back and he's more than capable of sliding over to the point to replace Mason. I won't be surprised if Young ends up picking Kansas, but I think he ends up staying home at Oklahoma because of the lure of being 'the' guy from day one and the face of a program looking to rebuild after a down season."

And if that's the case then I'm okay with his decision. Graham, Newman, and Vick is a really good, athletic backcourt. And I am confident Graham can take over the PG spot. And if Svi stays then he'll stay in his slot at the 3 spot. Then Bragg or Preston at the 4, Azubuike at 5. Figuring out bench players would be tricky but that's a deep team right there. We also have Marcus Garrett coming in. Fact is, it would be great to have him, but OU needs him more and I think they get him.

John Fitzgerald 3 months, 1 week ago

Trevon Duval is also still an option for us too.

Gary McCullough 3 months, 1 week ago

After reading the interview with Trae and his father, I'm less enthusiastic regarding him. We have a spectacular team chemistry that Trae's ego could pollute with Frank's leadership missing. I'm good with Graham, Svi, Vick, Newman, and Garrett, as well. Talent is great, but as Josh has shown so well this year, it needs to fit in with the rest of the TEAM!

Jay Scott 3 months, 1 week ago

You may not have heard this but players can leave before they graduate. I'm not sure where you get that "ego" stuff. Seems like a nice family.

Chad Smith 3 months, 1 week ago

Honestly, if he picks KU over OU that would be a huge blow for their program. He is from Norman. Also, looking at what we have coming next year, he definitely won't be the "guy" from the start. Jackson has had to be the guy because Bragg has struggled and been a problem all season. If Bragg was playing at the level he's capable of, I think you would see jackson on the bench a little bit more. Not that he wouldn't be playing a good amount, I just think circumstances have forced us to play him a lot of minutes.

I digress, next year in the backcourt we will have (assuming there is no more legal issues) Graham, Svi, Vick, Newman, and Garrett. That's already 5 deep. Young would get playing time I'm sure, but it's not a position of need for us. Really, is he wanting to be the man for OU, play a couple years and then jet or does he want to develop his game more and wait his turn at KU. Ultimately, as outlined, he will stay home and be the man for OU. And we'll have to beat him a couple times each year to remind him why he made the wrong choice :)

Suzi Marshall 3 months, 1 week ago

From the referenced USA Today article, I got the feeling Young was probably Kansas bound.

For Bill Self to make the definitive statement that Young 'would be starting for Kansas University and would be Frank Mason' is something. However, Self did not say WHEN he'd be the starter.

Craig Alexander 3 months, 1 week ago

I agree. When I read the article and all the comments I was thinking Kansas as well. We will find out very soon.

Gary McCullough 3 months, 1 week ago

Good point. Frank didn't become Frank overnight.

Harlan Hobbs 3 months, 1 week ago

I don't think any current Jayhawk was going to put Jackson more on the bench. The only thing that benches him is foul trouble.

Gary McCullough 3 months, 1 week ago

And early on, his inability to control his frustrations.

Steve Corder 3 months, 1 week ago

Word tonight from Oklahoma sources say it is OU. The source says Trae Young wants to be "the star" of the team, and OU has room.

But like all "reliable news sources" these days such a report is probably not true.

Steve Macy 3 months, 1 week ago

From a lack of depth at guard, to a glut of guards? and that's without Trae, with him?
Does Graham stay? I think so, and add Newman, Vick, Suncliffe at semester, Garrett, and who knows who else if Trae chooses OU.

Barry Weiss 3 months, 1 week ago

I agree, no way Graham goes this year. Book it.

Chandler Accipiter 3 months, 1 week ago

At this time in 2008 I would have said the same about Mario.

Dale Kroening 3 months, 1 week ago

I'm hearing he's KU bound . He wants to have a chance at a NC and feels OU will not be in the position to compete for one next season . Rock Chalk Trae !!

Robert Brock 3 months, 1 week ago

All of the Crystal Ball experts have switched their Kansas predictions to Oklahoma. He is going to OU, Folks.

KU will be fine. It would have been great to have this kid on the the team but it was not to be.

Tony Bandle 3 months, 1 week ago

C'mon folks..if Momma ain't happy then nobody is happy. Trae will play in Allen Field House, alright, but it will be him wearing red and white.

Play at home in front of your family with a legit NBA guard as your coach with zero competition for PT.....looks pretty simple to me.

Besides, which would you all rather have, a truly talented but only a freshman OAD point guard or a four year veteran with NBA potential?

Tony Bandle 3 months, 1 week ago

PS If I was Trae, I would have held out to see what Devonte does before declaring. Those two schollie offers are is and aren't going anywhere.

John Fitzgerald 3 months, 1 week ago

He was never coming to KU. He just wanted some free crap and with a KU offer he gets attention and national exposure. Also, this kid is a turd. We don't need a turd running the team, we need a team player. Move along, Trae. We don't want any.

Jay Scott 3 months, 1 week ago

John. If you'll give out your zip code I'm sure someone can suggest a good mental health provider near you.

John Fitzgerald 3 months, 1 week ago

Jay, do you ever have an intelligent comment or do you just troll everyone?

Jay Scott 3 months, 1 week ago

Good question John. If you'll read, I make many comments on the game that are likely far more insightful than you could grasp.

I also like to make fun of comments that are moronic, immature and negative. If it seems to you like that's all I do, you might want to do some self reflection.

John Fitzgerald 3 months, 1 week ago

I was just being honest, not negative. This site is about people speaking their opinions about the subject matter in the article. And based on the information I've seen I don't think Trae is a good fit for us. I could be wrong, and if I am that makes sense because I'm not an expert. But you seem to continuously find yourself harassing and insulting other posters. It's not our fault you're overweight. We didn't put the gallon of mayonnaise down your gullet. And I'm sorry your parents failed at raising a man capable of showing respect to others. Try directing your anger, disrespect, and insults to those at fault and/or to people you actually know so you don't come off as a coward hiding behind your computer screen.

Jay Scott 3 months, 1 week ago

Wow...thanks for making my point about needing mental health care.

John Fitzgerald 3 months, 1 week ago

I must have hit the nail on the head seems you couldn't think of anything better to say.

Steve Corder 3 months, 1 week ago

Oh the drama of it all!!!

Just whip Baylor and win another crown while OU searches for a way out of the cellar.

Harlan Hobbs 3 months, 1 week ago

Geez, John. I guess the censors are asleep.

Adam Bengtson 3 months, 1 week ago

If he goes OU, does Duval put Kansas high on his list??

Matt Gonzo 3 months, 1 week ago

My hunch says Duval will go Duke even if Young goes Oklahoma.

Ryan Zimmerman 3 months, 1 week ago

agreed- I think Duval has been Duke all along

Glen Miller 3 months, 1 week ago

I am not Trae and none of you are either. To trash a kid because he could go to another school is childish and quite frankly embarrassing to the majority of us who are not crybabies and are a bit more respectful. If he feels OU is HIS best choice then who are we to be mad about that. Of course we all want him to come here and of course we all feel like KU offers him a better option......... but we will be just fine either way. Would you blame him if he stayed, I mean honestly. He'll be home, his friends and family would be able to attend most if not all home games I am sure. He'd be the focal piece from day 1 there. Lon Kruger has been on him since grade school and he would be a legend there from the moment he stepped on Campus. We can't offer him any of that, plus OU needs a point, we really do not NEED one, we just would like to have another one. I'm more concerned about front court depth than our back court. Good luck to this kid either way RCJH

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