Deuce Young: Slumping or Exposed?

  • Today, against lowly Tayhoss, Deuce went 7-21 and 3 of 10 from trey.

    In his previous game, Deuce went 0-9.

    Is Deuce slumping, or has he been exposed?

    Many first year players play impressively for awhile until opposing coaches discover their weaknesses and scheme to stop them.

    Some first year players also come up against freshman fatigue in late January, or February, when the number of games played starts to exceed the number they have ever played in a single season high school season.

    And sometimes first year players are exposed for not being quite what they have been hyped to be before arriving.

    Which are we to believe describes Deuce Young?

    Let’s start with his height?

    Is Deuce really 6-2? I’m not buying anything over 6-1, more likely 6-0.

    Next, Deuce is listed at 180. Its possible. But he seems pretty slender, slight even. Let’s guess he is really 170.

    Next, has Devonte ever had to play this many games against guys that are way longer and stronger than him most of the time? No. This is all new to him. Earlier in the season, Deuce was a very springy, water buggy type of player that was squirting all over the floor and opening big impact spaces to shoot very effectively. Now in February, Deuce is starting to look a step slower.

    Next, opposing coaches are starting to understand what Deuce’s opponents can and cannot do, as well as what Deuce can and cannot do. Deuce seems to be being kept more and more out of doing what he likes to do. That is tough on any player, especially a young player that has been a big start most of his career and never been stopped and forced to adapt to the larger players and the increased defensive abilities of opponents.

    Where is this going?

    Deuce may just be having a slump and he could come out of it against KU for 35 points. That would be bad for KU.

    But it could just as easily be that Deuce is struggling mightily with not being long and strong enough to do what he likes to do. And opposing teams may be making it doubly tough to do what he likes to do. And the Deuce may just be destined to be more of a distributor at this level of the game, and less of a scorer. But on this OU team he is being made more and more to be a volume scorer. He scored 26 points against Texas, but it took 21 shots to do it.

    Texas had a big shot blocker that allowed Texas perimeter players to stretch out their perimeter defense a few extra feet. Apparently that extra two feet is a much bigger deal in February than it was in December. In December, Deuce just stepped out two feet farther and gunned in the threes. But in February, apparently Deuce steps out and the old stems just aren’t finding it as easily to get the shots off accurately.

    KU has a rim protector also, plus an assortment of perimeter players capable of stretching out beyond the trey stripe.

    Its going to be interesting to see if Deuce can regain his efficiency against KU, or if Self Defense can force him farther down the path of being exposed.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Rest of team was exposed. He is just reverting to the mean as teams adjust.

  • @jaybate-1-0 I was thinking about this yesterday, I think you are right and he has hit the Frosh wall. Look at DG Mr. 40 min man, senior, Hudyized, grinding through while the young flower withers. He’s a man. Young is still a boy. KU 89 OU 72!!! Go Hawks!

  • He is going to go off against us for 40 points now probably.

  • @BShark I don’t think so. He looks, really, really tired. And now he has to come back and play again on the road, travel, fatigue, the weight of back to back sub standard performances. The pressure is all on Trae. And I bet Bill blankets him with Vic who looks fresh.

  • Here is another angle to this…Should Dok not also be hitting the wall? He is playing his first full year (granted he has more Hudy time to provide him a stronger base), so in theory he should be fading but he is getting stronger/improved performances. Is our conditioning coach just way better than all the rest?

  • @Fightsongwriter doke plays for a team. Trae young plays for the ESPN team called Trae young

  • @Fightsongwriter

    Doke does not play nearly the minutes Young does. Towards the end of the game he was completely gassed. Typically, bigger players tire a lot sooner than the smaller guys.

  • Did you see his comments that Trace Young made yesterday about him being schemed against and defended like no other player anytime, anywhere has been?

  • @Bwag Gotta have crazy hair to distract from the giant head.

  • Bwag said:

    Did you see his comments that Trace Young made yesterday about him being schemed against and defended like no other player anytime, anywhere has been?

    Well maybe if OU had better players around him they could take better advantage of this. Lol.

  • Trae is wearing down. It really is that simple. His teammates were exposed in November… it has always been known that OU would only go as far as Trae took them. Their margin of error is almost zero.

    But if we think Trae is done and OU is done… we are in for a big shock come Monday. This game is the definition of “trap game!”

  • @JayHawkFanToo Irrelevant. The Wall is the Wall and they all hit it according to their position. I recall the Twins hitting it hard their frosh year. Dok while (Captain) Obviously was gassed, has continued to build and improve and fought through the fatigue wall. Trae does not appear to be able to do this.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Nice one. If he was an AAU team he’d be, “Hype, There it is!”

  • @Fightsongwriter

    The wall implies something to break through.

    Doke hit the wall about five games ago.

    He is still making a friend of pain. He is learning to fight through the wall.

    The trouble for Deuce is that his team is strung to need him to hang 25-30 points against solid teams for OU to win.

    When a team like Texas has a rim protector that allows their defenders to stretch out another 2-3 feet than normal on the trey. Shooting percentage on the trey drops significantly with each two feet farther out. If a player is short and relies on his springs to get up to shoot over longer, stronger defenders, his shooting percentage drops even more.

    So: to get his points, then he has to drive inside and try to shoot short treys against Bamba. When he starts going inside, his young body and lack of 2-3 years of college grade weight training combine to get him really beaten up and to rarely make the basket on the drive, so then he only gets two free throws. He’s a great FT shooter, but 2 for 2 is still not a short trey, or a long trey. Over time, Bamba and some prison bodies makes it very discouraging inside to a youth body, so he gets into driving from 2-3 feet farther out–a longer drive–and then has to usually shoot off balance on little pull ups. Pull ups are the worst of all worlds: 2 points usually off balance and no foul and free throw. No stopping of play. No resting for a guy being asked to take 21 FGAs per game.

    Yes, Deuce could easily get hot and go off for 30 against us. Devonte has already proven that Deuce is a little too quick for him. But Devonte will adjust. Self will get more help. And Devonte is now in shape to play this insane 40-minute man stuff. Deuce is still the skinny freshman having to fight through the wall. Odds are we make Deuce miserable. But odds don’t always prevail. The Deuce has extra motivation vs. KU. There is something about Deuce’s dad telling Self that Self would never showcase Deuce the way Kruger will that gives Deuce a little extra juice to prove Self wrong and prove Daddy Deuce right. Deuce Juice may be the very thing that helps Deuce get through the wall. But…the odds are against it on the back end of a 2 in 3.

  • Guess what Trae, your prediction was WRONG!!! You won’t even sniff unseating KU from the B12 crown. Hit the weigh room and come back next year when you can maybe hang with the big boys.

  • @Fightsongwriter If Trae comes back he is making a huge mistake.

  • @BShark yawn, move along, nothing to see in Norman. Flash in the pan comes to mind. He’s not steph curray.

  • I will be surprised if he doesn’t have a LONG NBA career.

  • Bwag said:

    Did you see his comments that Trace Young made yesterday about him being schemed against and defended like no other player anytime, anywhere has been?

    Not quite, and his comments did not reference anthing other than this season.* And he is actually right: prepping for most teams involves prepping for the entire team. For OU, coaches have been keying on shutting Trae down. Anyone remember Sparky Anderson saying he was doing everything possible to make sure Brett didn’t beat the Tigers? Didn’t care if anyone else did, but it couldn’t be Brett? That is the attitude coaches are taking on Trae, but OU has no all-stars in their supporting cast like the Royals did in 1980.

    • “I’m getting guarded like nobody else in the country is being guarded, scouted on like no one else in the country is,” Young told reporters after the game. "It’s a mystery coming out each and every game to try and figure out how a team is going to guard me and how I’m going to dictate how my team wins.

    “It’s a lot tougher for me to score now than it was in the beginning (of the season. It’s a process. Right now, it’s tough.” (

  • BShark said:

    I will be surprised if he doesn’t have a LONG NBA career.

    My advice to the Deuce is to jump to the L as soon as he can.

    He doesn’t want to come back to another season like this one.

    OU is 6-8.

    He appears a 6-2 volume shooter without much muscle.

    If the NBA will draft him now, go NOW! Take the money.

    Another season of the team at .500 and being a 6-2 volume shooter is not going to push The Deuce’s draft rank higher.

    He appears another classic case of a very good high school player being “marketed” and the following happening:

    Reality < Hype.

    This doesn’t make him a bad player.

    It just makes him a volume shooter that cannot even keep his team above .500 in conference play.

    Again, can he go off for big night against KU and sink us? Yes. He’s a good shot. Just like the guy that took us down for UM in the tourney a couple years back.

    But can The Deuce take OU to a conference title, the way that Michigan point guard did, and then win a few in the March Carney based on the kind of player he is right now?

    As father jaybate 1.0 used to say:

    “Wake up and smell the coffee, son, I taught you the difference between hype and reality quite some time ago. The kid can play, but we’re not talking about a guy leading NBA teams to rings. We’re talking about a guy failing to keep his college team above .500 in conference.”

    Devonte lost Billy Preston and he has somehow got his understaffed team tied for first.

    The Deuce lost a player and he has somehow got his team under .500.

    Chopped liver he ain’t.

    But steak tar-tar he ain’t either.

    (Note: normally I would not be writing about an opposing player even this much, but The Deuce made a big deal out of saying he chose OU over KU, because he wanted to end KU’s 13-title run; then his dad appeared unnecessarily to passive-aggressived Bill more or less to effect that he liked Bill and KU, but that Bill just wouldn’t ever have let The Deuce play the way he was capable of. Self (and KU) didn’t deserve that junk.)

  • Well, his dad wasn’t particularly wrong because Self wouldn’t want one player shooting as much as Trae does, but he still should not have said that.

  • point guard minutes are more mentally fatiguing than big man minutes.

    it’s similar to the state of arousal experienced by the starting pitcher during a 9 inning game compared to, say the center fielder.

  • @BShark

    I think a lot of Lon Kruger. He’s a good coach. A very good coach.

    But Self is a great coach–a genius of sorts.

    I am a big believer that young men and women need to take the opportunity to learn and be exposed to genius, if they have the opportunity.

    Until you are mentored by, or taught by, or work under a genius, you just don’t get this level of intelligence exists and what it is about, and how much can be learned by non geniuses from them.

    Genius is not the be all end all of the world.

    A genius is the first to tell you that genius is just an aspect of human talent and ingenuity and accomplishment.

    Geniuses have told me that genius is NOT the key to their success, but instead a great trump card to have.

    Genius is not a substitution for mastery of technique and tireless pursuit of getting better at what you do and certain god given abilities necessary for success in certain fields.

    Self’s basketball genius would not be near so helpful were it not packaged in a phenomenally hard working human being with a contagious enthusiasm and a winning smile and a true love for the game and a respect for his profession and for those in it.

    But Self does have this basketball genius.

    And I wouldn’t really appreciate it and recognize it had I not had the privilege over the years to have been mentored by one genius, to have worked for another, and to have met several others in brief encounters of a few days.

    Trae Young and his father were IMHO foolish to pass up the opportunity for Young to play for and experience Self’s genius. In their defenses, perhaps they have never been exposed to genius before and so they did not recognize it in Self. But someone that understood sure as hell should have clued them in and given them a nudge.

    Experiencing genius doesn’t always lead to rosy outcomes. Geniuses are flawed and things don’t always work out between them and others, same as things don’t always work out between non-geniuses and other non geniuses. But once you experience them doing what they do with genius it forever changes your notions of where the ceiling of human accomplishment in your and other fields really is.

    Until you experience a genius like Self in his field of activity, you don’t know what you don’t know.

    I don’t slobber and grovel toward genius. Its is not an attribute to be slavish, too, because one is just asking for abuse by the genius. Geniuses are like other human beings. If they are given an inch, they often think they can take a mile. I treat genius like any other human attribute. Until you have stood next to a 7 footer, you just don’t know what tall is. Until you spend some time with someone that can sing professionally with great virtuosity, you just can’t understand what being truly musical is like.

    IMHO a person should never turn down an opportunity to be with a genius, if the situation does NOT impede a person from developing in the way he needs to develop.

    Trae Young did not need to develop as a volume shooter. He already knew how to do that by high school. He can learn a lot of Okie Baller basketball from Lon Kruger, same as he could have from Bill Self. But no matter how swell it goes for Trae Young in Norman, he is not going to have spent his year of college ball with a bonafide basketball genius. He is going to enter the NBA not knowing how high is high in basketball IQ.

    If Trae Young is lucky, he will meet a basketball genius to play for in the NBA, but basketball geniuses are rare at any level of the sport during any period a player plays in. In the NBA, there was Red Auerbach, there was Jerry West, there was Phil Jackson, there was Pat Riley (maybe), there was Popavich, there was Red Holzman (maybe), there was Chuck Daley (maybe). Maybe Steve Kerr will turn out to be such a coach. Players are drawn to him in that sort of way so far.

    Trae Young turned down a certain opportunity to play for a basketball genius in order to show case his game more with Kruger, in hopes of getting drafted higher. In turn, he has a slim chance of winding up with a genius sometime in the NBA.

    I’m VERY big on money.

    VERY. BIG.

    But part of making money involves knowing what you are up against–knowing how high the ceiling really is–knowing its strengths and weaknesses.

    For this reason, I am also VERY big on playing for, or working for, or being mentored by, a genius when possible.

    They get it.

    And they can help you get it.

    Regardless of what you do afterwards.

  • I thought OU had a very high ceiling watching them last year, and that was without Young. I think James, McNease, Doolittle and McGusty have all fallen short of my expected progression. And Lattin hit his ceiling, then reverted because this season is lost.

    I think Trae Young has been a bad fit for Oklahoma. I think his brand of hero ball has resulted in a lack of teamwork and has not allowed others to play through their mistakes. I think Lon’s giving in to letting Trae shoot half their shots has been a grievous error in judgement, even if Lon is capable of being a good coach and usually is one.

    I also don’t like Trae Young’s thought process, saying things like “I’m getting guarded like no man in this country”. To me, this freshman needed a dose of humility he didn’t get, and Lon has failed him.

    I agree wholeheartedly with you @jaybate-1-0 that a year under Self would have been much better for him. I’m not convinced that a year of Trae Young would have been much better for us.

  • approxinfinity said:

    I thought OU had a very high ceiling watching them last year, and that was without Young. I think James, McNease, Doolittle and McGusty have all fallen short of my expected progression. And Lattin hit his ceiling, then reverted because this season is lost.

    I think Trae Young has been a bad fit for Oklahoma. I think his brand of hero ball has resulted in a lack of teamwork and has not allowed others to play through their mistakes. I think Lon’s giving in to letting Trae shoot half their shots has been a grievous error in judgement, even if Lon is capable of being a good coach and usually is one.

    I also don’t like Trae Young’s thought process, saying things like “I’m getting guarded like no man in this country”. To me, this freshman needed a dose of humility he didn’t get, and Lon has failed him.

    I agree wholeheartedly with you @jaybate-1-0 that a year under Self would have been much better for him. I’m not convinced that a year of Trae Young would have been much better for us.

    McGusty is actually worse this year. The problem with Lattin is he doesn’t get enough looks. He is fairly efficient this year and solid on d as always.

    Interesting take on the whole situation. Honestly seems like Young could have used an ass kicking, which Self would not have been afraid to provide. Maybe it worked out best for everyone that he picked OU. I don’t need anymore of the Self is an ogre narrative and in the meantime Self is playing a FR that struggles to shoot 20 minutes a game because he does all the little things that Trae can seem at times to be too good for.

  • @BShark I would not be surprised if trae goes, we never hear from him again. He will get abused in the league with that frail frame.

  • @Fightsongwriter I think the rest of the OU team has quit on Lon. Maybe too much Trae Young hype. Maybe there’s some resentment going on. Not sure, but losing 5 in a row can wear any team down mentally

  • @Fightsongwriter People said that about Steph too.

  • @Fightsongwriter I honestly don’t see that. I think Trae Young will make many NBA All-Star games.

  • My amateur verdict? Exposed.

    KU is going to beat the fraking oil fields out of OU tomorrow night.

    20+ point KU win in this game. I’m calling it, right now.

    no mercy, no quarter in this game.

  • @BShark But where would Curry be without the complementary pieces, particularly Thompson?

  • @mayjay Curry at this point would be fine anywhere. Dude’s a stud.

  • @KUSTEVE If I am a major college level player, I would want my shots too. And now he is shooting a lot and not making, so that will really get other guys irritated.

  • @KUSTEVE @BShark Curry is 6-3 and not near as frail. Young will not be able to get shots off and other guards will be bigger, stronger, faster. You heard it here first. He will flame out.

  • @dylans GS went nowhere in Curry’s two years (2009-10, 2010-11) before Klay came, finishing 13th and 12th in their conference (26 and 36 wins, respectively). 13th again (23 wins) in their first year together (2011-12), but Curry only played 26 games. Their first full year together (2012-13) was breakout of the Splash Brothers, as GS finished 6th with more than double their win total (47), and upset their 1st rd playoff opponent. 6th again (51) in 2013-14, and 1st in 2014-15 (67 wins), with the NBA title.

    Golden State’s improvement came when Curry got Klay as an alternate threat. The same thing happened with MJ and Pippen: Jordan before Pippen improved the Bulls by 2 games from his rookie year to his 3rd year; they improved by 10 more the next year when Pippen came on board.

    They are all studs, but the issue for OU is whether a stud alone can be successful. KU in 1988 had several players, but no stars, who helped fill the complementary player role, and that is why Danny and the Miracles pased into lore–very unusual to have one superstar so far above the rest of the team. One great stud and one near-great stud can together make a great team, but seldom does a great stud do it alone.

    Studs like Trae this year can get gaudy stats, but by themselves it is usually going to be in overall disappointing seasons. See, Anthony, Carmelo, NYKnicks, who “led” them to an average of 35 wins from 2011-2017 (including a 17-65 year), 2 playoff appearances, while he avg’d 24.7 pts/7 rebs.

  • Trae Young isnt Steph Curry. Carmelo isnt Steph Curry. Curry is a generational talent. Yes it took him two years to get healthy. Yes Klay Thompson and Draymond Green came along. And Durant wanted to play with him. But these guys fit together well because Curry is easy to play with and fun to play with. I would never accuse Carmelo of being a team player. Can Trae Young pass well? Absolutely. But to assume that what we see today tracks to becoming Steph Curry is a big leap forward.

  • If Deuce thinks he’s been being guarded and schemed against like no other guy in the country, he hasn’t seen anything yet. When Self gets a second cut at Deuce, the Deuce is going to think he is a boat that got winterized with shrink wrap!

    Seriously, it appears that Deuce just didn’t understand how tough it gets to get looks, when college coaches with college athletes at their disposal, and lots of tape to study, and some time to prepare, get a second look at you.

    In high school, Deuce was just too good not only for the players, but for the coaches, to figure out how to stop.

    But in D1, they may not figure you out the first pass, but if they see you again that same season, look out.

    And your own D1 coach can’t really save you from much of it until the second halves of games and even then D1 coaches will throw some new wrinkle at you the second half, to off set the wrinkle your coach will give you for the second half.

    Deuce is used to going out and getting his shot when he wants it.

    Deuce is learning that sometimes he cannot get his shot when he wants it, and sometimes he cannot even figure out why he cannot get it.

    It is enormously frustrating for young players. It always has been. It always will be. That is why one should marvel when an OAD can really perform at a high level of efficiency his freshman year.

    I think very few can and I am including in this guys that WILL go on and have good pro careers.

    I think Calipari briefly figured out how to avoid this vulnerability in most OAD freshman. The way Cal got around it was to have 6 to 10 OADs on the same team. He had so many of them that not even as great of a defensive coach as Self could figure out how to hamstring a whole team full of Deuce Youngs. When a team has 6-10 OADs an opposing coach with an ordinary team of seasoned 3-5 year players with maybe one OAD still doesn’t have the man power to hamstring ALL of them at once.

    Think about Deuce Young. If OU had 5-9 other guys just like him, there would just be too many great talents to contend with–to hamstring. You just wouldn’t have enough guys to match up with all the Trae Youngs. This was Calipari’s secret. And even he could not get them to the Ring but once, before the dump trucks stopped coming in such great numbers.

    But just one Deuce Young on a team?

    Man that’s not enough.

    One Deuce Young gets a full allotment of help defense and he gets frustrated sooner or later.

    If one Deuce Young gets frustrated and doesn’t live up to his hype in his teammates eyes they start asking what is in it for us with him show casing for the draft?

    Also, its really tough for a 17-18 year old freshman, no matter how well he shoots it, to lead a group of older players into war and on an extended campaign. Sooner or later the age issue arises among young men.

    I always remember Ted Owens keeping Delvy Lewis at point and starting Jo Jo White at shooting guard. Jo Jo White could have run circles around Lewis at Point Guard. But to have made Jo Jo the point guard would have been to introduce the age issue into the heart of the team’s chemistry. Just because you are the best player does not necessarily make you the best team leader. There are intangibles involved. Jo Jo at the 2 was a perfect fit, because he did not have to be THE team leader except when the chips were down and the rest of the older guys knew he was the guy to be taking the shot. But otherwise, he was still the youngest guy among the starters and the one with with the least experience.

    Remember Sherron hitting the team with RusRobb and Chalmers. At one point Self said Sherron was arguably the best player on the team, but Self was smart enough not to force Sherron into the position of trying to be the alpha dog over Russ Rob and Chalmers to say nothing of BRush. All those players knew just how terrific Sherron was, there was just no way, even though Sherron was a born Alpha male if there ever were one, that he was going to come in and be the daddy of Russ Robb, or Mario, or Rush. WAS. NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN. Not because of talent. Not even because Sherron was not alpha enough to do it. But because the team chemistry would have been wrecked. Sherron was arguably the greatest third guard in KU history, maybe in college basketball history. And it didn’t hurt him. And he went onto greatness as the alpha of 3 more teams.

    Deuce got in a very tough position largely of his dad’s and his own making. That team lacked a guy he could play second fiddle to. Deuce knew it. His dad knew it. Kruger knew it. But showcasing Deuce’s game was apparently the most important thing to Deuce. So he apparently chose OU. He could have come to KU and played the shooting guard to Devonte’s point, dazzled everyone with his game, and still gone to the pros after one season, or he could have come back as a sophomore at KU and had one INCREDIBLE season. But the showcase my game now shizzle took precedence. He went to OU to try to make the top 15 in the draft his first year. As much as OU sucks now, and as much as Deuce is falling short of his hype, the gambit will probably still pay. He probably will be in the top 15 at Nike-OU (or are they UA?), and he probably wouldn’t have been Top 15 as second fiddle at adidas-KU.

    And then of course there is the whole Petroshoeco issue. At OU he gets the Nike (right?) factor that seems to help so much with branding and with going high in the draft, and with getting drafted by a good franchise. And this will probably pay off for Deuce, too.

    So: I get why he went to OU. It helps him get Nike treatment in the draft and branding. It helps him showcase.

    But he probably doesn’t become as good as he could be. He doesn’t have as much fun as he could have. He doesn’t get to learn from a genius. He doesn’t get the KU experience in the program and on the hill and in the legacy. He doesn’t get any of that. He gets to look up at the soles of some super men playing pro ball a couple years earlier while he clips an extra million, or two.

    It really is about the money.

    But as grammy jaybate 1.0 used to say, you make your bed, you lie in it.

    No tears for the Deuce.

    Playing on a 6-8 team. Losing 5 in a row. Getting schemed against by college coaches with no one else to think about but him.

    That’s the Sealy Posturepedic the Deuce chose.

    He can sleep in it.

  • the only thing more predicable then predicable is that OU and Young will give KU everything they got tonight.

    They all see the headlines, what’s wrong with OU? What’s wrong with Trae? He’ll have 30 tonight, its not like we defend

  • @BeddieKU23

    He will have a big game. He is a volume shooter. They always have big games—even when they are inefficient and losing.

    They need to update Grantland Rice.

    “It’s not whether you win or lose./ It’s how you showcase your game.”

    If he and OU can beat KU, he and OU will be 7-8!

    If not, they will be 6-9!

    W&Ls just don’t matter to OU now.

    Its about showcasing Deuce!

    Here is what I wish for.

    I wish KU to win.

    And I hope DG plays better than last time and everyone else plays as well.

    Oh, and I hope Doke makes 8-10 FTs!

  • I don’t see Kruger letting this team come in and continue to struggle. If they do the season is lost pretty much. He’ll find a way to get to them and they will shoot out of their minds

  • @BeddieKU23 yea, but they still lose to the good guys

  • StLJhawk said:

    @BeddieKU23 yea, but they still lose to the good guys

    I hope so. I just think its going to be another 1-2 possession game where we pull our hair (what’s left of it anyway) out as we do every game.