As elite recruits near the end of their recruitment, the prospect and his family become more and more reserved, often shunning outsiders from any inside information. McDonald’s All-American point guard Trae Young is doing the exact opposite.
Young’s family invited USA Today’s Jason Jordan into their home as they discussed Young’s six finalists: Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Washington. To narrow his options, Trae, his father Ray and his mother Candice listed pros and cons for each school. The pros for Kentucky will not surprise you.
“The track record is second to none to me,” Ray says. “Then you’ve got K.P. (Kenny Payne), we really liked him. Honestly, the best thing about that visit was seeing Coach Cal outside of the basketball arena and spending time with he and his wife. I love how Kentucky prepares you to be a pro because that’s all it is in Lexington — Kentucky basketball.”
Ray’s unending praise for Kentucky incited laughter by the other two.
“Oh, yeah, you’ll probably need another page for all these pros you’re about to list,” Trae says while laughing.
“Well, you already know how I feel,” Ray says. “If it was up to me this would be my pick. Coach (John) Cal, man! Coach Cal!”
When they turned to the cons, Young’s mother revealed a surprise: Kentucky’s Wildcat Coal Lodge is the worst dorm of the schools Young is considering.
“But the housing… They’ve got the worst dorms out of all the schools,” his mother said.
“Yeah they did,” Trae says with a laugh. “But to Coach Cal’s point, you don’t pick a school based on the housing.”
“Yeah, but you’ve gotta live there for nine months,” Candice replies. “I mean come on now it was one room, the sink was in the bedroom; definitely traditional old school dorm room.”
“Yeah, the rooms couldn’t compete with Kansas, Oklahoma State and those other schools,” Trae says. “It’s not up to date.”
Often referred to as “the gold standard in college basketball,” the $8 million Wildcat Coal Lodge opened five years ago in 2012. In January of 2016, Governor Matt Bevin announced $21 million will be allotted to the lodge to expand dining for all student-athletes after the cafeteria at Blazer Hall was removed.
After going through all six schools, Young’s family narrowed it to three. The first to be cut from the list was Kentucky. After Quade Green committed to Kentucky, it essentially ensured Young would not attend Kentucky. Even though his father wanted Kentucky to make the top three, Trae and his mother said the places that fit him best are Kansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
“It’s the situations; I feel like these three schools are the best situations for me now that we’ve listed everything. I feel good about these three,” Trae said.
Even though Kentucky is no longer being considered, for those who love basketball recruiting, this inside look at that decision process is a must-read.
According to T.J. Walker of Cats Illustrated, Ray Young said the jab at UK’s dorms was in jest. “They couldn’t find anything seriously wrong with UK so Mrs. Young noted the dorms weren’t as great as other dorms.” That sarcasm is obviously difficult to discern in Jordan’s feature.