Out of Norman, Oklahoma, Trae Young, a Class of 2017 recruit, may be one of the best shooters in his class. August 31, he worked out with Julius Randle, who plays with the Los Angeles Lakers. Very mature for his age, Young gets a lot of work in the gym and is getting a lot of attention from college coaches and scouts. I had a chance to have a Q&A session with him, and here's how it turned out:
Big East Coast Bias: How would you describe your style of play?
Trae Young: Very similar to Steph Curry or Steve Nash. I try to be very cerebral and get my teammates involved, but my shooting ability is what sets me apart from others.
BECB: How would you describe your summer? What were some of the areas you wanted to focus on in your game?
Young: Summer was great. I played in the 16U Nike EYBL circuit and did well in the 17U division tournaments. It was tough though playing two years up, but I was able to hold my own. I just wanted to focus mainly on my strength and speed. Shooting and ball-handling will always be my main focus, too.
BECB: How was the experience for you? what did you learn so you could prepare for next summer?
Young: The best conversation I had was with Kevin Ollie. He expressed how his job was to recruit the best players to win and stay relevant. And he told me thats's what my job is. Get stronger, respect the game, be a leader and improve on the little things. That's what coaches want to see out of a point guard. And then next summer will be a success.
BECB: I know it was cool talking to someone who has a lot of knowledge of the game. Who is one player that you had fun going against when you played in the 17U division?
Young: Yes, between Kevin Ollie and Larry Brown it gave me tons to think about. But the best player I played against was probably Allonzo Trier.
BECB: Everybody says that is one tough player who is a tough challenge.
Young: I think he's going to have a long playing career. He's really good.
BECB: So, you visited SMU. Tell us about the visit, and the campus as well.
Young: The visit was awesome. Coach Brown told stories of Michael Jordan, Gregg Popovich and others. He talked about what it takes to be a great point guard. He mainly talked about having fun and living in the gym, but using basketball as a tool for bigger things in life. The campus was very nice. There's only 11,000 people on campus. Being located in Dallas makes it really attractive to a lot of recruits, I bet.
BECB: Creighton offered you a couple weeks ago. What was your reaction when you got the offer?
Young: It was great. Talking to Coach McDermott was fun. He loves shooters and I would fit great in that system. It's wide open, and benefits shooters.
BECB: Has the staff been keeping in contact with you?
Young: Yes. Mainly thru mail and my dad. Schools can't call me or text me until June of next year. But I can call any time.
BECB: What schools have been showing interest in you?
Young: I have over 18 offers. Do you want the ones with the most interest?
BECB: What schools do you plan visiting during the school year? I know you are visiting Kansas for Late Night in historic Phog Allen Fieldhouse.
Young: Yes. I'll be in Kansas October 10. I've already visited all the Oklahoma schools since I live there. I'm visiting Baylor, Texas, and Arkansas State before the school season starts. I'm going to try to get to a UConn game during their season as well.
BECB: What are you looking forward to at Kansas?
Young: Just being in the environment and watching them practice the day after.
BECB: Off the court, what do people not not know about Trae Young?
Young: People do not know how involved in church I am, how I love spending time with my brothers and my two sisters, and I love to draw.
BECB: What are your goals for your sophomore season?
Young: Win a state championship, lead in steals and assists, be the best leader and teammate I can be, and get straight A's.
BECB: When did you first start to get national recognition?
Young: The summer after my 8th grade year was when it started. I went to the Future 150 Elite 24 camp and won the MVP award. Some of the best players in the country were there. And then the 5-Star and Pagnos camps were great for me after that. But it all blew up this summer when I started playing AAU.
BECB: Who has been an influential person in your life and why?
Young: My dad has been a very influential person. My dad just knows what it takes to get to the next level. I'm open my ears to everything that he says because I know that he has been through the whole process and knows what it takes.