Tyrese Maxey the next Trae Young.

Every year in college basketball there is a freshman who was either barely a McDonald’s All-American or just missed the game that comes into college basketball and takes it by storm.  Recently, we have seen Trae Young and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander fit this label then come into college basketball and light it on fire.  In these guys’ case, they later became NBA lottery picks and are doing very well in the NBA.  When the season started, there was a report that this year the NBA scouts do not see any of the players from Duke or Kentucky going into the lottery.  The problem with scout predictions is that trying to predict how basketball players will develop is an inexact science.  The players who are the top guys in high school very rarely end up being the top guy years later.  Trying to translate a player’s production in high school basketball to college or the pros is like trying to predict how a player that averages thirty in church league will fair playing in AAU elite tournaments: there is no comparison.  In the first game of the season it is very clear that Tryese Maxey is the next in line to blow up college basketball like Trae Young.  In his first game against a veteran and number 1 ranked team in the nation, Michigan State, he dominated by putting up 26 off the bench, hitting threes way past the three-point line, and showing off athleticism that will allow him to easily be productive in the NBA.  If one thing is a fact about preseason mock drafts, it’s that by the end of the season the real draft will look nothing like it.  Go back a few years ago and Bruno Fernando, the 2nd round drafted center who now plays for the Hawks, was projected to go top three.  Tyrese will face an uphill battle coming off the bench for Kentucky, but one thing that has shown to be true in the last few years is that coach Calipari doesn’t allow his players to show their full array of skills.  No one thought Devin Booker or Tyler Herro had the chops to be NBA superstars.  Fast forward and Devin Booker is a bona fide superstar and lead dog for the Suns.  Tyler Herro on the other hand, is scorching nets for the Heat and looks like a viable candidate for rookie of the year; and much like Booker is he is looking like a draft steal.  I think NBA scouts might have finally caught on to Kentucky’s wings and would be foolish to let Tyrese slip out of the lottery.  He might not end the season with Trae Young-like numbers, but I would be willing to bet that he leads Kentucky in scoring and will be in the conversation for freshman of the year.


I am an avid football and basketball fan following the two sports for the last 25 years.

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