Pitt basketball: Michael Young’s report card

Player: Michael Young

Position: Forward

Year: Freshman

2013-14 Averages: 21.6 mpg, 6.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg

What he did well: The freshman forward was a nice addition to the Pitt basketball team this past season. At 6-foot-8, he possesses a fairly lethal outside jumper that compliments his inside game. He was fairly effective on the defensive side of the ball as well, helping stabilize the inside of the Panthers’ zone.

What he needs to work on: While he is a forward with outside shooting range, his inside game needs work. Young needs to get stronger over the summer in order to compete with some of the other big men in the ACC. He struggled from time to time to be a presence down low and will be counted on to contribute in the paint next season. With senior center Talib Zanna graduated, Young will need to step his game up immensely.

He was extremely productive and helpful in setting screens at the high post position all season but failed to do too much from the low post. He needs to work all offseason on getting stronger off of the block and having better post moves. He was not sloppy with the ball down low but he was not a major threat from the low post.

2014-15 role with the team: Young will be a starting forward for the next three years as he continues to mature and become a terrific player under Jamie Dixon. He will not be the leading scorer next year, but he will a catalyst for the offense. Given his natural size and long-range abilities he will play a large role in moving the ball around on offense.

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Expect Young to log major minutes for the Panthers who will again not be exceptionally deep at the forward position. Young showed that he has a lot of endurance and will be capable of playing important minutes for the Pitt basketball team next season.

Additional Comments: All things considered, Young is the perfect player for Jamie Dixon. He is a large but fast player that can spread the Panthers offense out. While he has his weaknesses, it is important to remember that he is still a freshman and early in his development. He was terrific as a freshman and should have continued success for the Panthers for years to come.

Grade: A-

Reason: Young received a fairly high grade considering that his stats were not that impressive. It’s the little stuff that he did without scoring that I found earned him high regard. His uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time and help set up the offense was what earned him an A-. Also the fact that he was able to play such a major role so successfully for the Panthers in his freshman campaign also earned him his high praise. Young will continue to grow as a player throughout his time at Pitt and be a stabilizing inside force for years to come.