Impressive reach is just one of the skills that IUPUI's Alex Young (left) will bring to an NBA team. But will his shooting inefficiencies hold him back?
Alex Young has the chance to be just the second player from IUPUI to be drafted into the NBA. So as you can imagine, there has been some attention paid to the other player from the Indianapolis school to have his name called.
The Pacers' George Hill was chosen late in the first round by San Antonio back in 2008, and has had an average career in the league during his four seasons (mostly coming off the bench) according to John Hollinger's PER system.
How does Young stack up against his almost teammate with the Jaguars, and how does that translate into the NBA? We address those questions in our latest NBA Draft Profile.
School: IUPUI (Indianapolis, Ind.| Summit)
Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
Accolades: 3x 1st Team All-Summit, 4th all-time in Summit League scoring
Team Record: 74-57
Young enters the draft both bigger and stronger than Hill when the older guard left IUPUI after his junior season. That isn't a knock on Hill, who had a ridiculously good career in Indy. It is more a statement that Young seems to be more physically ready for the NBA, if only because he isn't giving up four inches to most of the guys on the other side of the ball.
And in some ways, Young was a more successful player than Hill in college. He broke Hill's freshman scoring record, and leaves the school with the third best scoring mark in Jaguars history.
While IUPUI had some success during Young's time on the floor, his senior year was something of a disappointment for the team. As a result Young has had to impress scouts at camps and postseason workouts as opposed to letting his final year on the floor speak for him.
Final Season Averages:
20.4 pts... 2.2 asts...5.9 rebs...1.6 steals...2.4 turnovers..32.8 mins...42.4% FG...33.9% 3 PT...81.7% FT
Scoring has obviously been the strongest point of Young's game while at IUPUI, but it comes with a price. Young was not gifted with a lot of strong players around him, and he had to take the majority of the offense into his hands. That led to him being one of the least efficient, albeit prolific scorers in the country.
According to several scouting reports, his shot selection is not the best, and he can be streaky with his outside shooting. That doesn't mean he can't score from anywhere on the floor. He just has trouble making it consistently.
As a stronger guard, he is able to make a lot of his own offense by penetrating the lane, and getting to the free throw line, a place where he excels shooting the ball. He has also been a strong backcourt rebounder as evidenced by his nearly six rebounds per game.
Young yielded impressive value according to HOOPWAR. His 9.55 per 30 games is among the best for guard prospects, which lends a lot to his scoring numbers, and a solid defensive effort (13.7 points saved per 100 minutes).
Yet compare that to Hill's final season at IUPUI before jumping to the conclusion that Young will repeat his feat. Hill turned in almost exactly the same numbers by his totals, except he did it much more efficiently for an admittedly better Jaguars team.
The result was Hill putting up a similar 13.5 points saved on defense, but an eye-popping 11.75 HOOPWAR/30 thanks to better shooting across the board (54.5 FG%/45.0 3PT%). That could be the difference between Hill's first round selection and Young's fringe second round chances.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Everyone raves over Young's NBA body and his ability to score the ball. His rebounding prowess and his ability to make the offense happen are attractive qualities in the guard.
His quickness and leaping ability will certainly make a mark for Young as teams consider their options on draft day.
The inefficiency in Young's offense will certainly be a concern for teams, especially as they look at the level of talent that he played against in college. That he was unable shoot better against a lesser level of defenders than many of the wing players in the draft will likely drop his stock a bit.
There are also concerns over his ability to finish at the rim. During college, he was able to get to the line, but in the NBA, the same may not happen with more disciplined defenders who will just let him miss as he drives to the hoop.
Young has made the rounds this spring, starting with the Portsmouth Invitational and finishing with 10 tryouts with teams around the league, most recently with a number of mid-major prospects at Indiana (although minus a trade, of which there are always some, there is little chance of him ending up in Indiana, whose only pick is at the tail end of the first round).
He certainly has the skills to impress scouts at the NBA level. He can shoot, he can move without the ball, and he can make the offense happen. His added abilities on defense and rebounding should help him make a lot of teams' draft boards.
Could he be taken at the back end of the second round by a team looking at shooting guards? Yes. Count the Knicks, Magic, Clippers, Mavs and Nets in that group.
The numbers are there for someone to take a chance on the scorer. It just remains to be seen how much comparisons to Hill and his inefficiency hurt him.