Sam Young is the next Josh Howard

06.18.09 9 years ago 13 Comments

*Reprinted from Dime #49’s NBA Draft Preview*

You know how Sam Young story is going to go. Sometime around January 2013, when Young is starting for a contender and his name is beginning to surface in All-Star talk, the mainstream will catch on: Who is Sam Young? How did everybody miss this guy? People’s Exhibit 397 that the Draft is an inexact science: Sam Young.

If that sounds a lot like Josh Howard‘s story, that’s because it is. Look at the similarities between the two. Barely recruited at the original high schools, both went to Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) and grew into legit D-1 prospects. They signed with underdog major-conference programs destined to be overshadowed in their own state. They produced impeccable four-year college resumes (Young was Big East tourney MVP as a junior, third team All-American as a senior). They underwhelmed pre-draft workout observers as classic “Good at everything, great at nothing” types, buried — in the only profession besides modeling and gymnastics where 24 is too old — by underclassmen with more mystery/potential. The rest is yet to be told, but Young will probably also get picked later than he’s supposed to, and will probably make somebody regret it someday.

At a rangy 6-6, 210, Young was one of the most sophisticated scorers in college ball, working that Globetrotters pump-fake, reliable jumper and strength going to the rack to buy himself 19 points a night in the Big East. Throw in sticky defense, toughness and leadership of one of the country’s best teams, and he’s got “pro” written all over him.

Young won’t make much of a ripple on Draft Night, though. He probably won’t be in the Green Room, and might wait an hour or so too long for his phone to ring. But when it does, the NBA team on the other end should be proud of itself for taking a future All-Star.

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