The Oregon Ducks got an early Christmas present this year when the NCAA ruled that transfer guard Joseph Young could play right away. And, when they unwrapped their new toy they found a sharp-shooting playmaker who has the ability to put the team on his back when they need instant offense.
Young, who averaged 18 points per game last season for the Houston Cougars, is a scoring machine on a team that is ranked 13th overall in the country in offense. This season Young is averaging just over 21 points a contest for the Ducks, and he led the team with 23 in a win against North Dakota today, their sixth straight to start the young season. Young wasn’t cleared to play until late in October, so the fast start is a good sign that the team isn’t having any trouble learning how to play with each other.
Picked by most to finish fourth in the ultra-competitive PAC-12, the Ducks are now a contender to win the conference with Young playing, and scoring at a high level. A great all-around scorer, he can finish at the rim and shoots 40 percent from the three-point range. Oregon doesn’t win games with defense (something they must have borrowed from their more-famous football counterparts) so Young and his offensive game have been the perfect fit for their up-tempo style.
The Ducks have yet to be tested this year, but that time will come when conference play begins. And, if they can keep getting performances from Young like they did today, they’ll be more than up to the task.