By LARRY VAUGHT
He wasn’t one of the Kentucky freshmen to earn preseason all-Southeastern Conference honors. He’s not one normally mentioned as a lock to be a lottery pick in June’s NBA draft. Still, James Young is a player that ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes thinks will make a big impact for Kentucky this season.
“I think he is a long kid that can cover a lot of ground on one bounce. He is really hard to guard when he has the ball in his hands. Plus, he can shoot it. You have to guard him,” said Dykes, a former UK assistant coach, during the SEC Media Days here.
Freshman teammate Julius Randle was named the preseason player of the year and freshmen Andrew Harrison and Dakari Johnson were named to the preseason all-SEC second team. Yet Dykes thinks Young offers just as much as any of them.
“His length is a problem on the perimeter for teams,” Dykes said. “I think he has gotten better in the last month from what I have heard about knowing how to get fouled and finish plays at the rim through traffic and contact, something he didn’t have to do a lot of in high school.
“I don’t think people outside the Big Blue Nation know much about him, but I think college basketball by the time conference play begins is going to know a lot about James Young and that he’s going to have a dramatic impact on Kentucky’s season.”