Oklahoma freshman Trae Young has elevated his team from an 11-20 squad last season to Big 12 title contenders this offseason. Well, until the Sooners recently hit a snag.
The Sooners and Young, a lethal shooter with a knack for racking up assists, have fallen on hard times. Oklahoma (16-8, 6-6 Big 12) has lost six of its last eight games, and the schedule only gets tougher.
Young hasn’t been the highlight machine he was the first few months of the season. His ongoing slump is the biggest storyline following the Big 12 heading into the last part of the regular season, according to ESPN’s Myron Medcalf.
Trae Young is still a great player. He’s still the Wooden Award favorite. He’s still a top-10 NBA draft pick. But this ugly chapter for the freshman showcases the challenges associated with elevating an 11-win team into contention for the conference title and a favorable seed.
Oklahoma is falling right now, and Young isn’t hitting the 3-pointers (7 for 32 in the last three games) he made earlier this season. A rebooted Oklahoma is good for the league. … The teams that beat Oklahoma own a win over a team in a great position to snatch a top-four seed if it can solve this turmoil. But the Sooners can’t do that without a more efficient Young.
Young is averaging 29.5 points and 9.4 assists per game, but he’s been held to less than 20 points twice in the last five games.
Oklahoma will try to turn things around against Texas Tech on Tuesday night. Playing on the road against the No. 7-ranked team in the country might not be the best thing for the slumping Sooners. Beating the Red Raiders, on the other hand, might be the best thing for Oklahoma’s confidence.