ESPN100 and 5-Star Point Guard Trae Young is close to reaching an end to his recruitment, tentatively planning to announce his commitment this Thursday, February 16th. By all counts, it appears that his choice has come down to three schools: Oklahoma, Kansas, and Oklahoma State. In an interview with 247 Sports, Young stated that one of the things he looking for in a school is that he wants to go where he’s needed.
So how does OSU, OU, and KU stack up in that regard?
While OU’s longtime starting PG, Jordan Woodard, is set to graduate following this season, his backup/2 guard, Kameron McGusty has been living up to the hype he had when he stepped foot on campus. McGusty has been averaging over 10 points per game and may very well be next in line to take the starting role. Future stardom for McGusty could make things interesting for competition with Trae Young if he were to join the Sooners, but the two could make a fearsome duo for the rest of the Big 12.
Similar to OU, the Jayhawks’ longtime starter, Frank Mason III, is in his final year of eligibility and his backup, Devonte’ Graham has been seeing lots of time at both the 1 and 2 spots. The much more experienced Graham has averaged 13 points and 4.5 assists per game and could carry a lot of momentum into his senior year. The wild-card comes from the rest of KU’s recruiting class. The Jayhawks have already signed 4-star PG Marcus Garrett while ESPN100 5-star PG Trevon Duval is still considering joining the class. Also, the Jayhawks will have Malik Newman eligible next season. Newman was a former five-star recruit out of high school and began his collegiate career with Mississippi State, until transferring to KU this season.
This leaves the spot very crowded and open for an interesting competition if Young were to commit to Kansas. He’d have to come in ready to compete with a loaded roster, though.
With Jawun Evans’ status unconfirmed for next year, the starting spot may or may not be up for grabs. Returning backup Brandon Averette also could make a push for the starting role if Evans were to go pro. Mix in 4-star point guards Zack Dawson and Amauri Hardy and the position could be very, very crowded come next season if Evans stays. However, the 2-guard spot left by senior Phil Forte could make an excellent spot for any of the committed guards that don’t get the starting role, and Averette has been a driving force and stellar change-of-pace coming off the bench.
This combination could pave the way for Young, granted he wins the fall competition, to start at either the 1 or 2, depending on Jawun Evans’ decision at the end of the season.
By all accounts, there seems to be no obvious place where Trae Young will be most needed next year. Will it be Oklahoma, Kansas, or Oklahoma State, or will Young surprise everyone and pick a completely different school? (247Sports still has Kentucky as his third most-likely destination, even though it’s widely regarded that they are no longer in the running).
It looks like we will all have to wait anxiously for his announcement on Thursday.