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June 15, 2009

Extended Weekend Draft Stuff: Sam Young

Filed under: Basketball,Draft,NBA — Chas @ 11:25 am

Apparently the NBA Draft version of overthinking is age. Sam Young is 24, you might have heard. That means teams don’t consider his ceiling as high at this point.

My admiration of Miami guard Jack McClinton is no secret, but at his age (24) it’s hard to convince a team that there’s a lot of “potential” left in him. Same thing for 24-year-old Pittsburgh forward Sam Young, who will hear a lot of the same things as we get closer and closer to the draft. While it’s a heck of a lot more likely both those players get selected in the second round for that exact reason, it shouldn’t be overlooked that either one of those guys would be tremendous, NBA-ready additions to any team. Both guys have teams that are very interested, but their age makes it unlikely they go in the first 30 picks.

Others see Young still in the first round, but knocked to the bottom of it by that same limitation.

A two time all-Big East selection, Young possesses a polished all around game with a knack for performing best in his team’s biggest games. The small forward averaged 23.5 points per game in the NCAA Tournament, leading the team to the Elite Eight. Despite all of these accomplishments, however, Young will likely slip out of the draft lottery and into the latter part of the first round largely because of his age.

At 24, Young is older than even most of his classmates which, by NBA Draft standards, is ancient. He might as well be Abe Vigoda. Few players in this draft have the combination of skills, athleticism and experience that Young has yet he still isn’t considered a top prospect in this draft.

“My age is always going to be an issue,” Young said of his draft status. “In this business you always look for youth and because I’m not as young as some of the other guys it is just something that is going to come up.”

Regardless of where Young is picked, or by whom, he is confident that he will be able to help his team because of the experience and maturity he gained during his four years at Pitt.

“(Age works to my advantage) because of my maturity level,” Young said. “I want any team to know that when they recruit me they aren’t going to get a kid. They aren’t going to get a guy who is going go off and act crazy off the court. I’m going to be one of the team leaders as a rookie.”

Confidence, apparently, isn’t an issue either.

The age issue is why it was so surprising Sam Young did not even put his name in the NBA Draft last season as a junior. He had to have been told that after his senior year, he would get the age thing thrown at him.

Yet he never even flirted with putting his name in the draft. He declared right away that he was coming back to Pitt for his senior year and never wavered. Pitt was very lucky to have a player like Young.

Most mock drafts have Young at the end of the first round somewhere at #20 or lower. A couple have dropped him to the second round. SLAM gave real love to Young by pegging him at #16 to the Bulls. It’s a very enthusiastic review.

Sam Young had a workout before the New Orleans Hornets that seems to have gotten mixed reviews.

Sam Young out of Pitt seems like a classic tweener. He has an NBA-ready body and impressed Hornets head coach Byron Scott with his strength during the workout.

“Young is very strong and can get his own shot,” said Scott.

But the 6-foot-6, 220 pounder struggled with his footwork and appeared slow in trying to guard one-on-one during the session. Young also has an unorthodox shot that lacks arc and has a somewhat sideways rotation.

I know I’m biased, but I have trouble seeing Young not taken in the 1st round. Even if it’s with the final pick and may smack of a different bias as the Cavs beat reporter, Brian Windhorst observed in an interview.

AP [Amar Panchmatia]: My favorite in this draft has been Pittsburgh’s Sam Young. Young reminds me of James Posey in that he has a big strong body to deal with small forwards to go with good footwork and quickness to keep up with smaller guards. His length and defensive abilities may be just what the Cavs need to match up with teams like Orlando that have so much size on the perimeter. However, I haven’t seen Young’s name linked to the Cavs in any particular workouts. Do the Cavs have any sort of interest in Young, and do they view him as a guy who could really fit in right away into Mike Brown’s defensive scheme?

BW [Brian Windhorst]: Danny Ferry and Pitt coach Jamie Dixon are very close. The Cavs go to Pitt to watch games as Big East teams come through all season. I’m sure they have tons and tons of information on Young. What I am sure they like about him is that he’s long. The Cavs are going to be looking for long (when I say that I mean wingspan as much as height) players in this draft.

AP: Based on what you know about this team and the players who may be available when the Cavs pick, who would be a good fit with this current squad based on where they are right now and where they want to go?

BW: Let’s consider the last five #30 picks. There was JR Giddens, Petteri Koponen, Joel Freeland, David Lee and David Harrison. That’s a D-leaguer, a Swede not in the NBA, A Brit not in the NBA, a quality big man who is overrated because he puts up mostly hollow numbers for a horrible team in a big market, and a guy who’s career in the NBA is now over.

In general, you can get three things at this point in the draft. 1. Development Europeans. 2. Point guards. 3. Undersized big men (Big Baby and Leon Powe were taken in the mid-30s). The only thing the Cavs really need of those three is a point guard. So that is the direction I could see them going. However, I could see them looking to move up to get a potentially good, long wing.

Sam Young was listed by Windhorst at the top of the list of wing players the Cavs are considering.

That hoopsworld blurb that is listed first in the post is misleading. It says that Young won’t go in the first round, but then click on the link and you see that every one of the sights experts has him being drafted in the first round. If Sam doesn’t go in the first round in this draft, then NBA GM’s are dumber than I thought. Young is as good, if not better, than Trevor Ariza who just played an integral role for the Lakers in the championship series. Posey is a great comparison. The kid won’t be an All-Star, but he is athletic, will be able to defend, and should be able to hit wide-open threes. Plus he is a tireless worker off the court, therefore I doubt he doesn’t get better. Drafting for potential in the twenties is stupid. By the time the kid realizes it, he will be a free-agent. Why not just draft a kid who can help now? Most of the teams drafting that late have already been in the playoffs. Man would it be awesome to have Sam in New Orleans. Imagine how many alley-oops he would get with Chris Paul at the point!

Comment by omar 06.15.09 @ 11:45 am

Additionally, here is another blurb on the site:

Steve’s Weekly Update: Three players have really helped themselves in workouts – the top being Sam Young. Sam had two very strong group workouts and followed that up with great team workouts. Young could be the guy on draft night that goes much higher than expected, but sources say no one has gotten to the point of commitment, but it does seem that Sam has cemented himself as a first round lock, now the question is can he work his way up?

Comment by omar 06.15.09 @ 11:47 am

New fb recruit: from Pantherlair- link to

from Post-Gazette link to

Comment by w bill 06.15.09 @ 12:03 pm

Sam Young’s age will work to his favor. The average NBA player lasts about 3 years. Young is phyically and emotially ready for the stress of the NBA. That alone is a big upside. Anyone how watched his shot improve from his junior to his senior year knows he is capable of big improvements in a short time. I think that Young will have a long productive NBA career.

Comment by HbgFrank 06.15.09 @ 12:37 pm

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)—Forward Luke Harangody is withdrawing from the NBA draft and returning to Notre Dame for his senior season.

Good for Luke.

Comment by BigGuy 06.15.09 @ 5:18 pm

How can one say Sam has little upside potential? From off the bench and raw his freshman and sophomore years he led the team as a junior and senior, and All-American as a senior to boot.

In my opinion, Sam Young meant more to Pitt basketball than any other player I know. I wish him the best and will root for him on whichever team is smart enough to draft him.

Sincerely, Right Reverend Steve from Joisey.

Comment by steve 06.15.09 @ 6:46 pm

This is why the NBA is stupid. Back in the day a Jermaine O’Neal would be drafted, sit on the bench for three years, play some his fourth, be a free agent and leave. Why not use up a guy for the 4 years he will be on your team? Sam (and McClinton) fit this perfectly for a team like Charlotte that needs someone now to fit in. Not for one year and leave.NBA is stupid.

Anyone else here that Pittsburgh had the lowest ratings in the NBA finals of any major city? Not sure if the sample was taken on a day the Pens played.

Comment by BDuBB 06.15.09 @ 9:35 pm

Pittsburgh is extremely uneducated about basketball. It is a pathetic. Basketball is the single most played sport in the United States and the second most popular sport in the world. Pittsburghers act like it is brand new and struggling for credibility. Ultimate fighting gets more respect around here. It is nauseating to see how excited fans get for hockey. Most of the fans, have never, ever played hockey. The majority don’t even know the rules. Yet, when the NBA or basketball in general comes up, a look of scorn and disgust comes across their face. Pittsburgh is a bizarre city.

Comment by omar 06.16.09 @ 9:22 am

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