Oklahoma freshman Trae Young’s ascension from blue-chip recruit to college basketball’s most celebrated — and hated — player has been quite the ride.
Few have seen Young’s evolution to superstardom as close as ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, who spoke with the Tulsa World’s Guerin Emig for a column on Friday.
After Young was showered with “F— you” chants at Texas Tech on Tuesday, Fraschilla compared Young’s treatment from opposing fanbases to the likes of Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, forward Kevin Durant and … New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
“Trae Young has become Tom Brady,” said Fran Fraschilla, the preeminent analyst for ESPN’s Big 12 basketball coverage. “No matter what he does, opposing fans or people that just happen to be jealous are going to always find things to criticize about him. Because he’s become a major media star.
“While I think he’s handled it with great grace, the fact is he went from being the good guy to all of a sudden the villain.”
Despite Oklahoma’s recent slump (losing seven of its last nine games) and struggles in road games (the Sooners haven’t won a road game since Dec. 30), Young still leads the nation with 29.1 points per game and 9.3 assists and appears to be the frontrunner for national player of the year.
Young and Oklahoma are back at home on Saturday for a rematch with Texas. The hoops version of the Red River Showdown is set for a 12 p.m. ET start on ESPN.
Oklahoma will try to change its recent luck, while Young, in particular, will try to get going from 3-point land — the area where it seems the freshman can make any shot — again after seeing a dip in production.
For the rest of Emig’s column on Young’s switch from “good guy” to college basketball’s villain, go to Tulsa World.
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