Oklahoma freshman point guard Trae Young has built up a solid case to be on the short list of national Player of the Year candidates in non-conference play, as he entered Tuesday’s game leading the nation in scoring and third in assists.
With Young going off against then-No. 3 Wichita State on Saturday to the tune of 29 points and ten assists, it was obvious that Northwestern State would have its hands full with the freshman phenom Tuesday night.
Young was outstanding in the Sooners’ 105-68 victory, scoring 26 points and dishing out 22 assists.
The assist mark broke the school and Big 12 single-game records, and Young tied the NCAA record for most assists in a game as well. Young is the fourth player in Division I history to tallying 22 assists in a single game, joining Sherman Douglas (Syracuse vs. Providence, 1989), Tony Fairley (Charleston Southern vs. Armstrong Atlantic, 1987) and Avery Johnson (Southern vs. Texas Southern, 1988). Douglas was the most recent player to rack up 22 assists in a game prior to Tuesday night.
The question now is whether or not Young can duplicate this feat at some point in the season. Johnson is the only player to have multiple games of at least 20 assists in his collegiate career, with the current Alabama head coach doing it four times.
Prior to Tuesday the last time a player dished out at least 20 assists in a Division I game was in 2008, with Alabama State’s Brandon Brooks doing so in a game against Jackson State.
Of the 105 points the Sooners scored Tuesday night, Young had a role in 76 of them. Fellow freshman Brady Manek added 22 points and Christian James 13 for the Sooners, who are ranked 17th in this week’s Associated Press Top 25.