OU’s Trae Young back in Big 12 spotlight again this week


Trae Young is just being Trae Young. And no one is enjoying the fallout more than fans of Oklahoma basketball.

Young has become the universal talk of college basketball this season. He leads the nation in scoring with a 28.8 average and is third in assists – as a true freshman, mind you.

On Saturday, on the road against the No. 3 team in the country, Wichita State, Young went to work early and often against a soft Wichita State defense, firing in a pair of long-range treys on his way to scoring 16 points in the opening nine-minutes of the Sooners’ stunning 91-83 upset of the Shockers.

Piling on to the Oklahoma scoring barrage in the first half against Wichita State was fellow freshman Brady Manek. The two native Oklahomans (Young is from Norman and Manek from Harrah) combined for 37 of the Sooners 54 first-half points and between them made nine three-pointers in the game.

The two Sooner teammates are the Big 12 Player of the Week (Young) and Newcomer of the Week (Manek) for their outstanding play in OU’s impressive win over Wichita State. This is the fifth time out of a total of six weeks this season that Young has been named either Player of the Week or Newcomer of the Week in the conference. A week ago, Young was named the United States Basketball Association’s National Newcomer of the Week.

Manek was four of six of 10 from the field in the game and four of eight from beyond the three-point line in the first half. His 16 first-half points was more than any two Shockers combined in the opening 20 minutes.

Young ended up with 29 points, right on his season average. He has scored 28 or more points in his last seven games and led Oklahoma in scoring on all nine of its games this season.

Wichita State head coach Greg Marshall was impressed with Young’s performance against the Shockers, but not that surprised.

"“I haven’t coached against a freshman that plays the game at that level, said the Wichita State head coach in his postgame comments.“Hedging, switching, we tried everything against him. Trae Young is not going to get rattled. He’s too good.”"

In claiming both Player of the Week honors this week, Oklahoma is the first school to claim both Big 12 weekly honors in the same week since Texas did it in December 2015.

Young appears to be getting better with every game he plays. He is already showing up on NBA draft boards for next season. The longer this season he plays at his current level, the greater the chances his career in an Oklahoma uniform will be just a year in duration.