To finish out our Cardiac Hill review sessions, I have Aron once again to give me his insight on Mike Young. The sophomore forward had a successful campaign by nearly all accounts. Young nearly doubled his scoring and rebounding from his freshman season, and became a featured player for this young Panther team. Heading into the second half of Young's career here at Pitt, many are optimistic he can even take his game to an even higher level. Here is what Aron has to say about Mike Young.
Final Stat Line - 13.4 Points 7.3 Rebounds 1.3 Assists 53% Field Goal 69% Free Throw
Best Game - 16 points and 12 rebounds against Florida State's massive front line.
Worst Game - 0 points and 4 rebounds in 21 minutes against Virginia.
Aron, Mike Young increased his scoring and rebounding, while also improved his field goal percentage. In many respects he seemingly took big strides this season. Are you pleased with Young's progression to date?
I think it is hard not to be pleased with his progression. To go from a lifelong forward to playing the five for the Panthers was a huge adjustment, one that I think he handled well. He was getting big rebounds and playing admirably against competition with much more size than him like Okafor and Rakeem Christmas to name a few.
There is no reason to think that if he makes the same strides he made between his freshman and sophomore seasons this upcoming off season that he won't be an all-ACC type of player.
Much of the talk around Young is his position. Mike Young is a natural forward, but was forced to play center. How did he perform this season playing a different position? Can Pitt get away with Young starting at center next season?
In an ideal world Mike Young is not Pitt's starting center. Look, he played great, but playing the five forces him to be confined to the paint. I do not think that anyone will disagree with me when I say that his superior strength is his athletic ability and the things he can do if is not stuck in the paint like shooting jumpers and taking guys off the dribble.
When I talked to him before conference play he told me that he didn't think that there was a five in the country that could stop him because of his athletic abilities at that position. I think that holds true however, if he is able to get some time at the four next season he would be that much more prolific.
Heading into next season, many it's pretty clear Mike Young and Jamel Artis are options 1A and 1B for this team on offense. Do you feel comfortable with that? Also, do you think Young making his way onto one of the All-ACC teams is a reasonable expectation?
Yes, as I said above, Young is an all-ACC caliber player, I think he and Artis are a great 1A and 1B tandem, you have James Robinson coming back, and I do not care what fans say about Robinson, he is the most overrated yet under-appreciated player in the game. His assist-to-turnover ratio is off-the-charts and I expect he along with Durand Johnson, Artis and Young to form a terrific core.
Lastly, what are some parts of Young's game would you like to see him improve on for 2016?
I think ideally Young should continue to work on his range in his shooting, he is a great scorer but with an improved long-range shot he could be unstoppable. Other than that it is tough to look at his game and pick something that he needs to work on, just needs to continue to mature and progress at the rate in which he has been.