The University of Kentucky has announced that James Young will forego his remaining college eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA draft. This comes as no surprise to those of us paying attention. Here is an excerpt from UK's official release:
"My time at Kentucky has been special to me, something I’ll always treasure, but I feel that I’m ready to take the next step to the NBA,"" Young said. "I’ve learned more this year, on and off the court, about life from Coach Cal and the staff and appreciate all of their guidance and support. I can’t say enough about my teammates; the journey helped us build a bond that we will always share for the rest of our lives. I would like to thank the best fans in the country, the Big Blue Nation, and I hope you guys will continue to support me as I move on. I will always bleed blue. Succeed and Proceed!"
Young was seen by most draft analysts to be one of the two Kentucky players most ready to make the jump from college to the pros, and now it is official. Congratulations to James on a fine, if brief, career at UK, and all of the Big Blue Nation wishes him well as he moves on to the pinnacle of his profession.
Young is the kind of player NBA scouts love, with good athleticism, good shooting and outstanding length. He's going to have to improve his defense a lot at the next level, because by my lights, he was among the least effective defenders at UK this year despite his physical gifts. You have to do more than just run and shoot in the NBA.
Young is also going to have to improve his handle and his off hand, although I have to give him some credit — we saw a couple of right-handed layups in traffic from him at the end of the year, and so it's clear to me he is working on the problem, and that's great to see. Young has been a bit inconsistent as a shooter, but his form is excellent, and I suspect he will quickly become one of the more reliable shooters from the arc at the next level.
Congratulations, James! We'll be following your NBA career with interest.
Addendum: Coach Cal tweets:
James has done everything we’ve asked of him all season, investing himself in his brothers for the betterment of the team.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) April 17, 2014
Whatever team drafts James is not only getting a superb athlete, they are getting the ultimate teammate.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) April 17, 2014
Addendum 2: Lest we forget (I never will):