Oklahoma’s Trae Young is having one of the best seasons in college basketball history
Point guard is averaging 29.4 points and 10.6 assists per game
12:17 PMOn Wednesday night, Oklahoma’s phenomenal freshman Trae Young scored 27 points, dished out 10 assists and grabbed nine rebounds en route to a 109-89 victory over Oklahoma State. Even though the 6-foot-2 guard came up one rebound shy of a triple-double, which would’ve been just the fourth triple-double in school history, Young has been putting on a clinic all season for the seventh-ranked Sooners despite being the No. 23-ranked freshman in the nation coming into the season.
His mix of creativity at the rim, crazy handles and I-don’t-care attitude behind the 3-point line makes him a natural comparison to two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry, who lit up the nation during the 2008 NCAA tournament. But Young, through just 13 career games (three against Top 25 teams), is doing things even Curry couldn’t.
Young is averaging 29.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game. According to ESPN Stats & Information, since the 1983-84 season, the first year individual assists were tallied, only six players have averaged at least 10 assists a game. Of those six players, three (Southern’s Avery Johnson, Bradley’s Anthony Manuel and LIU Brooklyn’s Jason Brickman) also averaged better than 10 points a game. Manuel, whose 12 assists per game in 1987-88 were the second-highest total in NCAA history, averaged just 12.1 points per game that season (nearly 18 points fewer than Young), the most of the three.
Young is having one of the best seasons ever for not only a point guard (The Ringer’s Mark Titus illustrates how he has surpassed every other point guard who has won the Wooden Award) but for any player in the past two decades.
Over the past 20 seasons of college basketball data, here’s how the rest of Young’s numbers stack up (data courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information):
- His 10 assists in five straight games are tied for the longest streak (Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams, 2012-13) within a season by a major conference player
- His combined 43.9 points, assists and rebounds per game are the most for any player
- His 12 consecutive games with at least 20 points are the most in Oklahoma history
- His 27 points and 10 assists versus Oklahoma State on Wednesday was his sixth 25-point, 10-assist career game, the most by a major conference player
- His 22 assists against Northwestern State are tied for the most in Division I history
- His 32 points and 10 assists against North Texas on Nov. 30 made him just the second player in Big 12 history to finish with at least 30 points and 10 assists. Young’s done it twice since.
And just for fun, only three NBA players — Russell Westbrook, Oscar Robertson (five times) and James Harden — have averaged at least 29 points, 10 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game in a season. So, in short, the 19-year-old Young may be the best college basketball player we’ve seen in decades, and we may not have not seen anything yet.
Hue Jackson is spared, Jim Caldwell is not, now Jackson needs to win some games
Browns plan to bring back coach after 0-16 mark; Lions fire coach after winning season
9:09 AMOne has to look hard to find anything positive in the winless Cleveland Browns’ season, which mercifully ended Sunday after a 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cleveland joined the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only NFL teams to finish 0-16.
The Browns were a complete mess from start to finish. Former general manager Sashi Brown, who was fired Dec. 7, paid the price for this season’s ineptitude. But front-office makeovers are nothing new for this franchise.
What is surprising, however, is that the Browns don’t plan to make a coaching change. Head coach Hue Jackson, who’s African-American, will return next season, the team says. During two seasons with the Browns, Jackson is 1-31. His only victory came in Week 16 last season against the then-San Diego Chargers.
Compare that to the Detroit Lions, who on Monday fired Jim Caldwell, who is also African-American. Caldwell was let go despite posting a winning record in three of his four seasons with the Lions. Detroit made the playoffs twice under Caldwell, going 0-2, and missed the postseason this year at 9-7.
Considering the dearth of head coaches of color in the league – the number fell to seven with Caldwell’s firing – it’s good that the Browns appear to be giving Jackson every opportunity to prove he’s the right man for the job. And Jackson still has a lot to prove.
Sure, the Browns’ player personnel department has made some colossal errors. Remember: Cleveland passed on star quarterback Carson Wentz. Still, it’s hard to go winless during a 16-game schedule, as evidenced by the fact it has only happened twice.
It’s fair to say that Jackson needs to show a whole lot next season. He has to win some games.
Gettleman hiring keeps diversity numbers for NFL general managers the same
Give the Giants credit for interviewing two black candidates
8:07 AMOn Thursday, the New York Giants announced the hiring of Dave Gettleman as the team’s new general manager.
Gettleman, who was fired from the same position with the Carolina Panthers in July, replaces Jerry Reese, who was relieved of his duties along with Giants head coach Ben McAdoo on Dec. 4.
The hiring keeps the number of black general managers in the 32-team league at four — Rick Smith (Houston Texans), Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore Ravens), Reggie McKenzie (Oakland Raiders) and Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins) — after the Cleveland Browns fired Sashi Brown on Dec. 7.
Although the Giants didn’t end up replacing Reese, who is African-American, with another black GM, they did take the league’s diversity hiring initiative, the Rooney Rule, more seriously than most other front offices have. The rule requires teams to interview at least one candidate of color for every head-coaching or senior football operations position, although some teams hold what are essentially “token” interviews with black or brown candidates to check off a box.
The Giants, on the other hand, interviewed two black men for the position: Marc Ross, the team’s current vice president of player evaluation, and Louis Riddick, an ESPN analyst and former player, pro scout and director of pro personnel.
Giants interviewed Dave Gettleman, Louis Riddick, Marc Ross and Kevin Abrams for their GM job. Many thought they’d interview more from other teams next week. Not now. Gettleman it is.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 28, 2017
Kevin Abrams, the Giants’ interim general manager, also interviewed. Gettleman returns to the Giants after having spent 15 seasons with the team, mostly as director of pro personnel. In Gettleman’s four-year tenure with the Panthers, the team made the playoffs three seasons in a row from 2013-15, including a 15-1 record and Super Bowl appearance in 2015. He was not a favorite of some of the franchise’s best players.
Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., running back DeAngelo Williams and cornerback Josh Norman sent parting shots at Gettleman when the Panthers announced his firing.