Evaluating Trae Young, Jeffrey Carroll, and Khadeem Lattin

January 4, 2018

By Alan Lu

I took the time to watch Trae Young and Oklahoma take on Oklahoma State in a Big 12 basketball game that took place on January 3rd.  This was really another chance to see Trae Young, as he has been having a terrific season, and he ended up playing really well to help get his team the win over Oklahoma State, as he almost had a triple-double against them.  Here are my thoughts on how he played, as well as how the others fared on this day.

Oklahoma’s freshman point guard, Trae Young had a tremendous showing in his team’s double-digit win over Oklahoma State, as he had a strong all-around game to help his team get the victory.  Early on, multiple defenders were swarming him, but Young showed great decision-making skills as he really excelled as a distributor, and that enabled him and his team to get their offense flowing.

Young did a very good job of getting score off the dribble.  He is a quick, shifty guard that handles the ball very well, and he can regularly split double teams to get scores around the basket.  Also, he did a very good job of scoring on floaters, and he also excelled at drawing fouls upon the opposition.  In addition, he also showed a good ability to get scores on drives in transition.  However, Young struggled to consistently knock down threes in this game.  He did make one pull-up three from beyond the arc, but he had trouble consistently knocking down outside shots against Oklahoma State.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Young did a great job of getting his teammates the ball, as he can frequently make long, accurate passes to set up scores for them.  He possesses great court sense, and he can often find cutters, roll men, and he also can throw lob passes on the break to get his teammates buckets, but sometimes, he may commit turnovers due to being careless with the ball, and other times he ended up committing offensive fouls, as he collided into a defender while trying to kick it out to a shooter, and he ended up incidentally elbowing an opponent on the baseline another time.  Young also did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He would frequently come away with defensive boards, and he would push the ball up the floor to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.

He also played solid defense.  Young was quite active defensively, as he managed to jump a pass to get a steal, and he also was able to force a turnover when defending his man off of a drive.  He also excelled at contesting jumpers to force misses.  In general, Trae Young played very well to lead his team to a blowout victory over Oklahoma State, and he is a tremendously skilled point guard that looks to be a lock to go in the lottery in 2018.

Oklahoma State’s senior swingman, Jeffrey Carroll had a significantly better showing than how he fared in his first game of the season against Texas A&M.  He made a lot of hustle plays to help get his team points and rebounds, and he also showed off versatile scoring skills against Oklahoma.  Carroll did a good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to score on a put back off of an offensive board, and he also would run the floor to score on fast breaks.  Plus, he showed an adequate ability to get scores off the dribble, as he was able to score on a runner, and he also excelled at drawing free throws.  Plus, he also managed to use a pivot to draw free throws on a drop step move once.  But every once in a while, he would miss shots in traffic.

However, he struggled to consistently knock down jumpers in this game.  Carroll was able to make a couple of deep threes from beyond the arc, but he had trouble making jumpers routinely when he was on the floor.  He also displayed below average playmaking skills.  Carroll was able to get the ball to shooters a couple of times, but he ended up committing a lot of turnovers.  In this game, he was inaccurate with his passes, and he also lost a ball out of bounce off of a drive to the basket.

Carroll also rebounded the ball really well.  He was very active on the glass, and he would frequently leap up to get defensive boards to collect them for his team when he was on the floor.  He also seemed to play good defense.  Carroll was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also contested a pull-up, mid-range shot to force a miss.

Oklahoma’s senior big man, Khadeem Lattin had a fairly good showing, as he scored efficiently when he was on the floor, and he was effective as a playmaker, rebounder, and shot blocker to help his team.  Lattin did a very good job of finishing plays around the basket to get scores.  He excelled at throwing down powerful dunks, as he would run the floor to beat his man down court, and he also caught a lob pass to score on an alley-oop dunk once.  Plus, he also managed to score on a put back.  However, he did miss a turnaround jumper after posting up, and he also missed a mid-range shot another time.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Lattin excelled at making passes from the post to get assists for his team, and he is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving.  Also, he can throw accurate outlet passes.  But he did commit one turnover, as he threw a ball away that ended up getting intercepted.  Also, Lattin did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was quite active on the glass, and he hauled in numerous boards on both ends of the floor.

Plus, he also played solid defense.  Lattin was able to block a shot to protect the paint for his team, and he also was able to jump passes to obtain steals.  He also frequently contested shots to force misses, as he can defend jumpers as well as in the paint.  In general, Khadeem Lattin quietly had a good game, as he made a lot of solid plays to help get his team the win.  He will still need to expand his skill set offensively as he may not be a dynamic scorer, but he is an athletic big man that could project to be a rim protector in the NBA, as he could be a potential second round pick in 2018.

Other Notes:

Oklahoma’s 6-9 freshman forward, Brady Manek did a great job of knocking down spot-up threes off the catch, and he has a very quick release when he shoots the basketball.  He also managed to block a shot on a drive, though he occasionally struggled with his position defense, as he also ended up allowing a score in the post as well as on a mid-range shot.  Still, Manek played very well, as he ended up scoring 28 points and he made six three-point shots in his team’s win over Oklahoma State.

Christian James showed off versatile scoring skills, and he particularly excelled at making threes off the catch.

Oklahoma’s Kameron McGusty and Oklahoma State’s Thomas Dziagwa both excelled at knocking down threes off the catch to space the floor for their teams, respectively.

Jamuni McNeace excelled at finishing plays above the rim to get scores for his team, and at rebounding the basketball when he was on the floor for Oklahoma.  He would run the floor to catch lobs to score on alley-oop dunks in transition, and he also threw down a dunk off of a roll to the rim.

Oklahoma State’s 6-9 senior big man, Mitchell Solomon did not have a great game, but he did show some scoring and passing skills.  He was able to score on jump hooks, as he displayed adequate low post scoring skills.  He also managed to score on a high post drive, as he was able to draw an additional free throw.   Also, he was able to score on a tip-in after getting an offensive rebound.  However, he had trouble knocking down jumpers, and he also struggled with his position defense, as he had trouble defending drives as well as in the post, and he eventually fouled out of this game.

Oklahoma State’s Yankuba Sima had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Oklahoma.  He showed decent low post scoring skills, as he can score on jump hooks with either hand, and he also rebounded the ball well.  But sometimes he would commit fouls due to over-aggressiveness, as he committed an over the back foul when going for an offensive board, and he ended up picking another foul on the defensive end another time.  Right now, he will need to improve his skill set offensively and play more under control, but he could be a player to watch in the future.

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