James Young is a highly touted prospect capable of great things. However, the Kentucky–bound product out of Rochester High School requires a lot of development if he’s to succeed in the SEC and possibly beyond.
Although Young finds himself at No.10 on our prep basketball rankings (he can be found much higher on other national rankings), and is generally considered a close second behind Aaron Harrison as the nation’s top shooting guard, one can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed at the sight of Young’s game. The 17-year old is obviously a high school superstar, but his place in the top-10 has more to do with potential rather than current ability.
Let’s start with the positives- At 6-6 ½ with a 6-11 wingspan, Young possesses fantastic dimensions for a shooting guard. A natural left hander with talent and size is a rare commodity. He is younger than the majority of the 2013 class, but already has the intangibles (good rebounder, great passer) that suggest he can have a bright future. Young’s head is also screwed on straight too; he’s an intelligent and mature young man, but there are noticeable weaknesses in his playing ability.
An obvious deficiency in Young’s game right now is his athleticism, or lack thereof. It’s not that he’s a bad athlete, it just appears like Young is still growing into his frame. He’s not a great leaper, and doesn’t possess a noticeable first step.
In addition, important aspects of his guard skills could use some work. Young could improve his ball handling and off hand, plus his jump shot, although effective, is low and is prone to a side-on release.
Young needs further development, that much is obvious, but he has all the tools to have a successful career with the Wildcats.