PITTSBURGH — Trae Young‘s season is done, and his college career is likely over as well.
The 6-foot-2 Oklahoma freshman guard was held in check for large parts of the game by Rhode Island on Thursday, but he did have some electric stretches and finished with 28 points and seven assists in an 83-78 overtime loss to the Rams.
“This is a tough process, but right now my focus is with my teammates,” Young told ESPN after the game. “Later this week I’ll sit down with my family and talk about my future plans.”
Young made all four of his shots in the first half, but struggled early in the second. Young scored the team’s final seven points in regulation, including a pair of free throws with 14.5 seconds left, to force overtime.
But Young was off the mark in OT, misfiring on a couple of deep NBA 3-pointers. Young didn’t have a field goal in overtime until 12.5 seconds left, and finished the game 9-of-18 from the field and 3-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Young came out of nowhere and captivated the nation, especially early in the season as he not only established himself as the country’s top scorer — but also led the D-1 ranks in assists. He described his season as a “roller-coaster” several times after Thursday’s loss.
Young was a McDonald’s All-American, but he played in the shadow of Missouri frosh Michael Porter Jr., in the summer and wasn’t even on most NBA teams’ draft boards entering the season. His father, Rayford, told ESPN that the family had no expectation of the possibility that his son could leave school after one season, but now all signs point to Young spending just one season in college.
“This is something we didn’t expect,” Rayford Young said. “It happened 1,000 miles per hour. I’m so proud of him. We’ve got a decision in front of us now.”
One source close to Young said about the possibility of him returning for his sophomore season: “He’s gone.”
Young’s efficiency waned in the second half of the season, and the Sooners also struggled as a team. After jumping out to a surprising 12-1 start, Young and & Co. limped into the NCAA tourney as a No. 10 seed after winning just two of its last 10 games.
Despite tailing off in the second half of the season, Young still entered Thursday’s game leading the country in both scoring (27.4) and assists (8.8). No Division 1 player has ever finished season leading country in both.
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