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James Young: By the Numbers

 

Photo courtesy: Regina Rickert

After coming off its biggest win of the season against Louisville and great performance against Mississippi State (1st half not so much), Kentucky is apparently back on track. During these past two games James Young has looked terrific. Against Louisville, Young had a team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds and was awarded the National Player of the Week by ESPN for his efforts. Against Mississippi State, he scored 26 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists. After his huge games, I thought it would be interesting to dive into the numbers and see what he is doing right and what he can improve on.

 Here are his season averages as of the Mississippi State game courtesy of ESPN.

SEASON AVERAGES
SEASON TEAM MIN FGM-FGA FG% 3PM-3PA 3P% FTM-FTA
2013-2014 UK 31.5 4.5-11.5 .391 2.3-6.9 .333 3.1-4.6
FT% REB AST BLK STL PF TO  PTS
.681 4.6 2.1 0.3 0.9 1.8 2.1  14.6

 

What He’s Doing Right: Staying Out of Foul Trouble

UNC Ashville

Nothern KY

#2 Michigan St.

Robert Morris

TX-Arlington

Cleveland St.

Eastern Michigan

2

0

0

2

3

1

2

Providence

#20 Baylor

Boise St.

#18 NC

Belmont

#6 Louisville

 Mississippi     State

4

0

0

5

2

2

       2

With the exception of the North Carolina and Providence games, Young has done a tremendous job of avoiding fouls. If Young is indeed going to be our go-to shooter, he needs to be on the floor in order to make shots. With Young playing mostly on the perimeter, this shows he has extreme discipline on the defensive end.  After Camp Cal and their adjustments over the new rule changes so far this season, I do not see Young getting in foul trouble in many of Kentucky’s remaining games.  With Kentucky’s depth however, he can afford to be more active on defense.

What He Can Improve On: Field Goal Percentage

Average: 39.1%

UNC Ashville

Nothern KY

#2 Michigan St.

Robert Morris

TX-Arlington

Cleveland St.

Eastern

Michigan

3-10

2-8

7-16

4-11

8-14

3-11

1-8

.300

.250

.438

.364

.571

.273

.125

Providence

#20 Baylor

Boise St.

#18 NC

Belmont

#6 Louisville

 Mississippi     State

5-7

5-11

7-15

3-10

2-5

5-17

     8-18

.714

.455

.467

.300

.400

.294

     .444

Coming into Kentucky, James Young was supposed to be a knock down shooter. During his early career, Young has shown this, but not very consistently. I think for Kentucky to be elite, Young needs to shoot between 44-48% from the floor. He has only had 6 games like that this season. While two of those were in fact losses to Michigan State and Baylor, other factors were to blame for the losses. While doing well in other areas in the Louisville and Mississippi State games such as rebounding, assisting, and taking care of the ball; this should help with his shooting woes. Another thing to note about his shooting woes, Young shoots too many shots per game, or does he? In arguably his best two games of the season, he has taken 17 and 18 shots, significantly more than his teammates. Apparently he has been given the green light to shoot, but I do question some of his contested 3-point shots. If he continues to hit shots and his percentages continue to rise, let him fire up all he wants.

Free Throw Percentage

Average: 68.1%

UNC Ashville

Nothern KY

#2 Michigan St.

Robert Morris

TX-Arlington

Cleveland St.

Eastern

Michigan

3-6

0-0

2-5

1-2

5-7

2-2

4-5

.500

.000

.400

.500

.714

1.000

.800

Providence

#20 Baylor

Boise St.

#18 NC

Belmont

#6 Louisville

 Mississippi     State

5-6

0-2

3-4

8-10

2-2

5-9

     7-9

.833

.000

.750

.800

1.000

.556

    .777

To my surprise looking at the stats, James Young has one of the worst free throw percentages of the core 7-8 guys. Granted Alex Poythress, Marcus Lee, Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, and Dominique Hawkins all have worse percentages than Young, there numbers are really skewed. Here are the number of attempts they average per game:

Alex Poythress

Marcus Lee

Willie Cauley-Stein

Dakari Johnson

Dominique Hawkins

1.55

1.2

2.8

1.9

.6

Even though James Young’s free throw percentage is better than these players, these numbers are skewed due to their low attempted numbers. Young shoots 4.9 attempts per game. For one, Young is too good of a shooter to be shooting so poorly from the line, and second, Young is too good at getting the ball to the basket to just be shooting 5 free throws per game. Another interesting fact, in 9 of Kentucky’s 14 games, Young has attempted more three point shots than free throws.  If Young can get that average up to 7-9 free throw attempts per game, like he did in the Louisville and Mississippi State games, defenders will respect his ability to drive and get fouled, thus freeing up his three point shot. Also, when his free throw percentage goes up, I believe his confidence will continue to rise, thus resulting in a higher field goal percentage. One thing to note however, his percentages does seem to be on the rise; he just needs to maintain them. If he can average >80% from the line, which is very realistic for him, that will be huge come tournament time.

With conference play officially underway, this is a crucial time in the season. Coming off a possible season changing win against Louisville, a statement 2nd half performance against Mississippi State, and a long stretch of practices to fix their flaws, the sky is the limit for this team. When it comes to James Young, his confidence should be on the rise. If he can get his free throw and field goal percentages up while continuing to stay out of foul trouble, look for this Kentucky team to reach another level. GO CATS!

(Stats from espn.go.com)

Follow me on twitter: @Perk_21KSR

Article written by Aaron Perkins

2 Comments for James Young: By the Numbers



  1. jk.
    4:09 pm January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Great article, Matt Jones needs to have you on the radio show!



  2. really
    7:00 pm January 9, 2014 Permalink

    Nice read