Oklahoma’s Trae Young already entered Tuesday night as one of the biggest stories of the 2017-18 college basketball season to date. The freshman guard, who since his high school days has been liberally compared to Stephen Curry by scouts, entered the evening leading the nation in scoring (28.9 ppg) and ranked third in assists (8.9 apg).
Young now leads the nation in both categories.
Despite playing just 29 minutes in Oklahoma’s 105-68 thrashing of Northwestern State, young tied the NCAA record for assists in a single game with 22. Just for fun, he chipped in 26 points on 9 of 16 from the field and 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.
Young now shares the single-game record for assists with Sherman Douglas (Syracuse), Tony Fairley (Charleston Southern), and Avery Johnson (Southern). All three players achieved the feat when they were seniors and all three accomplishments came between the years 1987 and 1989. In fact, Young is the first Division I player since the 80s to dish out more than 20 assists in a game.
Assists became an official NCAA statistic during the 1983-94 season.
Young’s accomplishment is especially remarkable when you consider that Oklahoma’s supposed weakness is Young’s supporting cast, and that Young himself had something of a reputation for selfish play coming out of high school.
Forget Freshman of the Year, at the quarter pole of the 2017-18 season, Trae Young is your early favorite for national Player of the Year.