Watching Bill Self try to teach Trae Young to become unselfish would have been enjoyable


Screen grab from the live stream of Trae Young's announcement Thursday, Feb. 16 in Norman, Oklahoma, courtesy of The Oklahoman.

Screen grab from the live stream of Trae Young's announcement Thursday, Feb. 16 in Norman, Oklahoma, courtesy of The Oklahoman. by The Oklahoman

The back end of the teenage years is a little late in the maturation process to learn how to share, which would have made point guard Trae Young’s time at Kansas a fascinating thing to watch had he chosen to move from his hometown Norman, Okla.

Instead, he’ll play for the Sooners and make them better.

Young has reached 40 points 11 times, 50 three times and had a season-high 62 points and he also had a 12-assist game, so he obviously dominates the ball.

That would have changed playing in a system where ball movement is rapid and the one with the ball in his hands when the defense has fallen a step behind takes the shot.

I can’t find attribution for the quote, “There is no limit to what can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit,” perhaps because the one who came up with it didn’t care about getting credit for it. Eventually it will get attributed to John Wooden because all quotes used in sports do. It would have been interesting watching Self massage Young's brain in such a way to make him embrace that quote.

Anyway, if you haven’t read USA Today’s Jason Jordan’s all-access interview with Young breaking down his final six schools, give it a look.

In it, Young and his parents shared their thoughts on the pros and cons of each school. Young told USA Today, “Well, how many point guards has coach (Bill) Self gotten to the NBA?” His father, Ray, quickly mentions Mario Chalmers and Deron Williams, to which Trae says, “Besides them,” and then goes on to mention Sherron Collins and Josh Selby as flip sides to that coin.

Ray, a former Texas Tech star, mentions that it scares him that Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger never mentioned, “Trae going to the league,” since he started recruiting him as an eighth grader.

You can’t blame parents and players for having an eye toward the NBA — it’s not a fair rule that requires prospects to wait a year before becoming eligible for the draft — but selfishly, it’s more fun covering players such as Josh Jackson who unpack their bags and do whatever it takes to win with current teammates. Jackson’s college announcement was on the low-key side, so it’s not a shocker that he’s an unselfish player.

If Self didn’t think he could turn Young into an unselfish teammate, he wouldn’t have recruited him. He’ll find somebody less talented to take the scholarship slotted for Young and Kruger will take on the challenge of helping Young make the transition from a ball-hog to a scoring point guard who also brings out the best in teammates.


Cary Ediger 2 years ago

Tom a bit harsh "from a ballhog to a scoring point guard"...

Pius Waldman 2 years ago

Well even Coach said Mason needs to be a mite more selfish and shoot more. Believe me Young is a terrific shooter and he is guarded heavily.

Jay Scott 2 years ago

“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit.” -Ronald Reagan

Suzi Marshall 2 years ago

Harry Truman made that remark about the management style of George C. Marshall, who is largely unknown today.

Eliott Reeder 2 years ago

"A man may do an immense deal of good, if he does not care who gets the credit for it." -from the diary of Jesuit Priest Father Strickland, 1863

Suzi Marshall 2 years ago

To your point Tom, the showcase game between Skyline (Garrett) and Norman North (Young) in the Duncanville Thanksgiving Hoopfest was revealing. Young outscored Garrett 33 to 21. I forgot the stats but Young much has jacked up about 40 shots, seriously. The entire KU coaching staff saw Young make a joke of any sort of team concept, especially in the first half. About half of Young's points came at the FT line from some bogus calls. Garrett went scoreless in the first half after picking up 3 quick fouls. All 21 of Garrett's points came in the second half.

From their playing styles, Young reminds me of the cup that is full and can not take any more. Whereas Garrett works on his D and is team oriented.

Skyline got the win, 66-55.

Steve Corder 2 years ago

Young scored 60% of team total. Garrett 32% and his team won by 11. So, I gather you saw the game. Good post.

Suzi Marshall 2 years ago

Yes I did and spent as much or more time watching the reactions of Self and the KU coaching staff. The KU staff, especially Self, had poker faces worthy of any Vegas competition. Young is going to be a Buddy Hield type player, jacking shots up from everywhere, regardless of how well he's guarded. Young will have a tough time getting shots off against guys like Vick or even Garrett, who has some good length. Next year, I couldn't see Young getting PT over Graham and doubt Newman.

Dale Rogers 2 years ago

I don't think I'd describe Trevon Duval as "someone less talented."

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