James Young came to Kentucky out of the state of Michigan. It seemed a forgone conclusion that Young would end up with John Calipari as he was not shy about telling people that Kentucky was his dream school and that Tayshaun Prince is one of his favorite players. Young ranked in the top ten of most recruiting services and was viewed as a one and done (Succeed and Proceed) caliber player. He was the first to announce his NBA attentions and quickly signed with Jay Z's Rocnation agency. What skills will Young bring to the NBA?
Important Stats at Kentucky:
Points per game- 14.5
Rebounds per game- 4.1
Three point shooting percentage- 34.9%
NBA Draft Combine Measurable:
Height- 6'6" with shoes
Weight- 213 pounds
NBAdraft.net- #15 to the Atlanta Hawks
Draftexpress.com- #12 to the Orlando Magic
Strengths: James Young is a scorer, first and foremost. He has a knack for getting to the basket, sometimes at will when the mood strikes him. He is a lefty shooter with a smooth stroke that get be deadly from beyond the arc. While he can be a deadeye shooter, Young's bread and butter at Kentucky was slashing to the basket. He was the X-factor for Kentucky and proved to be a match up problem for a lot of small forwards that he faced. He was too quick for most and some found trouble guarding his shot around the perimeter. Young was also a good rebounder for his size.
What Needs Work: More than one would think for a possible lottery pick. He was billed as a knock down shooter but struggled with consistency from three point range all season. When he was hot, watch out; but when he was in a funk it was prolonged. He was much criticized for his at times inept passing ability and his tendency to commit turnovers. His court vision needs definite improvement. Something else that needs work is his defense. There were times during the season when he was almost a liability when defending an opponent. One of the best examples of this was during the Sweet Sixteen against Louisville. Luke Hancock was having his way with Young, who eventually fouled out. Alex Poythress stepped in and guarded Hancock and in turn shut down the Cardinal player for the remainder of the game.
Final Analysis: Young has the raw talent to be a very good NBA player, but he isn't great at any one particular skill yet. He shows flashes in every offensive aspect but did not really excel. He was the second best scoring option on the team and the second most NBA ready. His decision to go isn't a bad one as the things he needs to improve on are all fixable with practice. It also must be mentioned that Young was a two guard in high school and played the three at Kentucky. He has stated in interviews that he will be a shooting guard in the NBA, so he may be more comfortable in his natural position.
Draft Express Scouting Video: