Yes, calling a player “Steph Curry 2.0” may be going a bit overboard, especially when he hasn’t graduated college. But collegiate superstar Trae Young is already a top-5 projected draft pick and is on track to becoming the NCAA player of the year. The 19-year-old Oklahoma Sooner point guard has been balling out this season, averaging 28.5 points (leads NCAA), and 10.5 assists (also 1st in the NCAA) per game. He accomplishes these averages by shooting 48 percent from the field as well as 38 percent from three. While these stats are impressive, you cannot say that he is the next Curry just based off of averages. Luckily, he backs up the comparisons to the two-time MVP with his fearless mentality.
Young is a phenomenal shooter from beyond the arc, with a strong emphasis on “beyond.” Just like Stephen Curry, Trae Young is able to shoot from 30 feet out and consistently make shots. Not only is he able to make threes and space the floor, he is also able to drive to the basket with elite ball handling and agility to secure his team two points. One particular aspect of Young’s game is absorbing contact and drawing the foul while driving into the lane. And because he shoots around 86 percent from the line, it makes it virtually impossible to stop him when he decides to B-line it for the hoop.
At this point in Trae Young’s college career, he is statistically playing better than Curry did in his first year of college at Davidson. On Tuesday, Young tied the NCAA men’s basketball assist record with 22. Curry’s highest for his freshman season at Davidson was a meager (in comparison to Young’s) 6 assists. With only ten games in the season, Trae has already scored 43 points in a game against Oregon. Curry had his highest scoring game as a freshman in a game against Michigan, when he scored 32 points. The competition Trae has faced this season so far has not been easy either. He was able to conquer the former number 3 team in the country (Wichita State), along with Oregon, who pretty much has a great basketball team every single season and is a perennial PAC-12 program. Curry, on the other hand, played in a much weaker conference than Young, which would arguably make it easier for him to score more and be more efficient on the court.
While it does seem the Sooner superstar guard does have the upper hand on Stephen Curry at this point in his career, it is truly impossible to predict what he will be like in the future. Last year, this type of treatment was given to Lonzo Ball. He is currently performing at a sub par level in the NBA, which does not live up to the hype that surrounded him in college. Similarly to Lonzo, Curry also had a rough rookie season, so for people to make these extremely early predictions is not necessarily naive, but premeditated. Who knows, maybe Young will come into the NBA as an immediate threat at the point guard position. But until then, basketball fans will just have to wait and see if Trae Young is the real deal.