Rhody 83, Oklahoma 78 pic.twitter.com/20H0A1nRSX
— Atlantic 10 MBB (@A10MBB) March 15, 2018
Trae Young’s momentous freshman year is over.
Now we wait to see if his college career has expired, as well.
Trailing by four points at halftime, seventh-seeded Rhode Island rallied Thursday to oust Young and the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners 83-78 in overtime in a round-of-64 NCAA Tournament game.
Young, with dazzling shot-making and play-making ability, soared into consideration for national Player of the Year honors in November, December and January.
He erupted for a season-high 48 points on Jan. 28 at Oklahoma State.
But the narrative of his memorable season, which included four 40-point outbursts, did not have a happy ending.
Young was stymied in his ultimate goal of leading the Sooners on a deep run in the tournament.
He played a steady game against Rhode Island, finishing with 28 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
But Young also had six turnovers, and he missed his first three field goal attempts in overtime.
Meanwhile, Rhode Island’s E.C. Matthews and Fatts Russell made the plays that counted.
Matthews, in particular, was brilliant down the stretch with two three-pointers in the extra period.
As for OU’s future, a lot depends on Young’s decision concerning the NBA draft.
He led the nation in scoring and assists and surely would make plenty of NBA teams better next year.
Most scouts seem to think he is still a first-round pick, as Sports Illustrated has reported, and first-round status still guarantees millions of dollars.
But you wonder after the Sooners’ late-season swoon whether he would consider returning to college, especially under a player’s coach like Lon Kruger.
Oklahoma: Trae Young, 28 points on 9 of 18 shooting, 3 of 9 from three. Also, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 6 turnovers.
Rhode Island: E.C. Matthews, 16 points, 5 rebounds.
Rhode Island, 26-7. Oklahoma, 18-14.
Rhode Island advances in the Midwest Region to face either No. 2 Duke or 15th-seeded Iona.