- Measurables: 6-foot-9, 240 lbs, senior center from Florida
- Key Stats: 11.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks per game, 54 FG% and 60 FT%
- Projected: Second round
Matters to No One But Me …
Patric Young is the type of player NCAA mythologizers love. Despite opportunities to leave college for the NBA, Young has stayed at Florida for four years. That leads to quotes like this from his assistant coach:
“You take Tim Tebow and you take the Heisman Trophy and all that, and I get that,” McCall said. “But if we are able to win a national championship, I think you have to put Patric Young in that same type of category just because of the type of human being he is.”
I don’t know if staying in college four years ultimately helped or hurt Young’s NBA chances. I do think, luckily for him, that his talents translate to pro basketball a little better than Mr. Tebow’s translate to pro football.
Fits with the Pistons because …
First and foremost, defense. Young has had great physical tools — size, athleticism and an impressive physique — since virtually the second he arrived on campus at Florida. Though there is a wealth of data available that shows he probably should’ve left for the NBA much sooner, I also don’t discount that fact that Young undoubtedly became a better, smarter basketball player while at Florida, most notably on the defensive end. He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, he moves his feet well, he’s a decent rebounder and a decent shot-blocker. And that impressive physique he had as a freshman? That’s only got more impressive as he’s matured.
Young’s probably not a starting-caliber NBA player. But Young has been an integral part of winning teams at Florida, he’s hard-working, he’s been well-coached, he’s defensive-minded, he’s strong, he’s athletic and he plays hard and with intensity. Anyone the Pistons take in the second round won’t necessarily be a lock to make the roster, so they could do worse than taking a player like Young, who will undoubtedly work and push everyone in the summer and in camp for a spot. And if he does make the team, his ability to defend might eventually allow him to break into a rotation that includes too few players who are adequate defensively at this point.
Also, the Pistons once had an offensively-limited center who was great defensively, was a monster in the weight room and was extremely hard-working. That profile resulted in a pretty successful NBA career for Ben Wallace, so if Young is going to follow a best-case scenario, that might be the guy to model. Young has light years to go as a rebounder and shot blocker before the Wallace comparison is close to apt, but their physiques, athleticism and defensive ability make them somewhat comparable if absolutely everything goes right for Young at the next level.
Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …
Young was remarkably consistent during his four years at Florida. That’s both a testament to his readiness for college basketball right out of high school and a red flag that he may already be close to maximizing his upside as a prospect. In a deep draft, the Pistons should be picking low enough in the second round that prospects with more upside still should be available. Young might be a good test case for whoever the Pistons’ new regime ends up being — do they go with a surer, albeit more limited, prospect like Young in the second round or do they go after a less productive, high risk/high reward player with more upside?
From the Experts
Young does nothing flashy, but he has an NBA body, is a warrior in the paint, plays great defense and rarely makes mistakes. He’s never going to be a scorer (though he has improved in that area), but he has the makings of a decent backup big in the NBA.
Defensively, Young’s physical tools alone – his top-tier explosiveness, strength, lateral quickness, and length, in particular – allow him to be a competitive defender at this level, even if he is undersized for the NBA center position. Luckily, he also shows solid focus and energy on defense, guarding a variety of variety of NBA caliber post players and doing a fairly good job of holding his position and denying his man the ball. He is not outstanding guarding perimeter oriented big men, where he oftentimes fails to maintain his stance when taken off the dribble and struggles to close out on shooters. He also could stand to improve guarding the pick-and-roll, as he sometimes loses track of his man and allows open jump shots.