Patric Young, 6-foot-9 power forward, Florida
2013-14 stats: 11.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, 1.1 BPG .541 FG%, .596 FT%
In some ways, Young had a disappointing college career, entering Florida as a highly-touted recruit, yet not reaching his ceiling as an individual talent. But despite not being a talented offensive player or putting up big numbers, Young showed that he could impact contests on the defensive end and with his understanding of the game. With the pro-ready physique he’s had since his high school days and the willingness to do the little things, Young might be perfectly suited to be an NBA role player.
Career highlights: A top-notch student in high school, the McDonald’s All-American and in-state recruit averaged 3.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game off the bench as a freshman, earning SEC all-freshman team honors, before becoming a starter his sophomore year and posting averages of 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 61.8 percent from the field, including a career-high 25-point, 10-rebound outing in a win over Arizona. Young’s junior year was very similar statistically, as he averaged 10.1 points and 6.3 rebounds, along with 1.6 blocks per game, earning second team all-SEC honors as Florida advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive campaign. As a senior, Young averaged 11 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game, again earning second team all-conference honors, winning his third straight SEC scholar-athlete of the year award and helping Florida advance to the Final Four, while completing his career without ever missing a game.
Strengths: Young’s athleticism and chiseled frame immediately stand out, but his intangibles are perhaps his best assets, as he’s a versatile defender with the ability to excel in pick-and-roll coverage, stay in front of smaller players on the perimeter, play physically in the post, block shots from the weak side, get back in transition and make hustle plays. He’s an efficient offensive player with a good understanding of his limitations, scoring primarily in transition, diving to the basket and offensive rebounds. A powerful finisher above the rim, Young has developed a reliable jump hook in the low post, but his best quality on offense might be his screening ability.
Weaknesses: Even with his physical tools, Young never evolved into much of a scoring threat in college and though he seemed content to accept his role as a major contributor to a winning team, it’s concerning that an important aspect of his game didn’t develop much. Young lacks shooting range outside of right around the basket, struggles shooting from the foul line and is a very mechanical post-up player. He isn’t a dominating rebounder and as strong as he is, Young only possesses average size for an NBA power forward.
Draft projection: Due to his high character, winning background and clear traits of a successful role player, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Young drafted in the second round, ahead of players with more upside, flashier games and better college statistics, but even if he doesn’t get selected, he stands a good chance of ending up on an NBA roster. Young’s maturity should help him endear himself to coaches and executives in summer league and no matter what training camp he ends up in, his intelligence and work ethic will give him a leg up in snagging one of the final guaranteed contracts for a team. At the same time, Young must work to make himself become at least a semblance of an offensive threat, but a stint overseas or in the D-League, where he would have more freedom to grow as a scorer, wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing for him as he begins his professional career.