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