Arizona basketball in mix for Houston transfer Joseph Young


The Wildcats could scoop up one of the best transfers in the country, who averaged 18 points per game as a sophomore for the Houston Cougars.

Houston Cougars transfer Joseph Young, who averaged 18 points per game as a sophomore, could end up at Arizona. CBS Sports Network's Jon Rothstein reports that the 6-foot-3 shooting guard has the Wildcats on a shortlist that also includes Baylor, Florida and Oregon. The Texas Longhorns are also a possible landing spot.

Young made a large leap in between his freshman and sophomore campaigns. His scoring jumped by seven points in relatively the same amount of minutes thanks to improved shooting percentages and a much better ability to get to the foul stripe -- he went from 1.6 free throws per game to 5.0.

The 87 percent free throw shooter hit 42 percent of his three-pointers and 45 percent overall. According to KenPom ratings, he was one of the most efficient scorers who did the most out of relatively little usage. Per ESPN:

He averaged 18.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, and he was extremely efficient to boot, shooting 42 percent from 3 and 87.5 percent from the free throw line. He finished with a 124.0 offensive rating on 22.7 percent usage, one of the best 30 marks at that usage tier in the country. He was really good. And now, after a not-small ordeal to get Young to Houston in the first place, he is moving on.

Young's father was the director of basketball operations in Houston and decided to leave the program this year. The practice of recruiting through job-offering family members is common across the NCAA, though it's important to know that Young's dad was a former Houston hoopster himself.

The Houston Chronicle has the full story on that.

But back to the Wildcats. Once again, surprising roster turnover (Grant Jerrett's jump to the NBA) won't inhibit Sean Miller's program but rather give it options.

The playing time might inhibit Young choosing the Wildcats with Nick Johnson locked into the shooting guard spot, but there's definitely a hole to fill at UA in terms of having a go-to scorer. Arizona could use more shooters, after all, because any mix of Aaron Gordon, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski isn't going to cut it in terms of opening up the floor. Going small might help out.

Johnson has yet to prove himself as the type of player who might become an offensive threat to take over a game, and backup guards Jordin Mayes and Gabe York haven't had the chance to show they'll be relied-upon shooters.

Young is an intriguing grab. It's of course a to-be-determined situation but again, options are nice.

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