Trae Young Attributes Recent Struggles to 'Getting Guarded Like Nobody Else'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2018

Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Oklahoma star guard Trae Young said some of his recent struggles, and the struggles of the Sooners in general, is due to opponents game-planning in unique ways to shut him down.

"I'm getting guarded like nobody else in the country is being guarded, scouted on like no one else in the country is," he said, per Jake Trotter of ESPN.com. "It's a mystery coming out each and every game to try and figure out how a team is going to guard me and how I'm going to dictate how my team wins."

Young also revealed after Saturday's 77-66 loss to Texas that he was dealing with a sore knee following a collision with Longhorns' guard Kerwin Roach II.

"My knee was hurting me the whole game," Young said. "I wasn't getting the same burst I usually get."

Oklahoma has lost five straight games and nine of their last 13 after starting the year 12-1. While Young is averaging 29.1 points and 9.3 assists per game, he's struggled mightily from beyond the arc in his past five games, making just 10 of 51 threes (19.6 percent).

He's averaged 23.6 points in his last five games, though it's taken him an average of 20 shots each contest to get there. What's become clear from Oklahoma's recent struggles is that Young can't always carry the load.

"It's a lot tougher for me to score now than it was in the beginning," Young noted. "It's a process. Right now, it's tough."

It didn't help that the Sooners shot just 30.8 percent from the field against Texas.

"We just have to keep working at it," Oklahoma's head coach Lon Kruger said. "There is no shortcut to it. A lot of it is confidence about getting shots to go down and feeling good about it. We need to get more movement away from the ball. Get the ball moving off the pass a little bit more. We've got to find the spark. We need shots to go in for sure."

The Sooners have gone from a tournament lock to a team that is fast headed to the bubble, especially if they don't reverse course quickly. They have just four games remaining on their schedule, including a matchup against Kansas on Monday night.

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