Height/Weight: 6’10”, 247 lbs
Age: 22 years old
Projected NBA Position: Center
Pro Comparison: Ben Wallace
Twitter Handle: @BigPatYoung4
Patric Young’s bruising playing style and athleticism helped him control the paint for Florida, and now he looks to bring his strength and energy to the NBA.
His first couple years in college were met with high pro expectations, but he never progressed into a highly productive scoring weapon in the post. In addition, he wasn’t as dominant a rebounder or shot-blocker as scouts would have liked.
Nevertheless, there’s a spot for him in the league if he can outwork opponents and constantly move them out of position. If he can make life miserable for them, he’ll be a uniquely gifted role player.
Young’s mountainous, chiseled physique is impossible to miss. He’s 247 pounds of the exact type of muscle you want in a big man. At the NBA Draft Combine, he reeled off 25 reps at 185 pounds, which is two reps short of the combine record.
He doesn’t always use this strength optimally, but he’s great at carving out position in the post, finishing through traffic and boxing out for rebounds.
Young is also quite athletic, as he can move quickly from side to side and leap up to 37″ for dunks, putbacks and blocked shots.
Length-wise, he’s underwhelming. He’s 6’10” with shoes on, which is short for a center, and his standing reach is just 8’7.5″. Young’s only saving grace in this department is a 7’1.75″ wingspan.
If Young is going to earn a regular role and thrive in the NBA, it’s going to be through defense. The ultra-strong anchor is also a quick mover and a sharp situational stopper.
He’ll be able to guard power forwards and centers using his blend of agility and size. He’s great at cutting off angles and getting in good, squared-up position. Don’t expect a boatload of blocks, but he’s going to alter a lot of shots based on timing, athleticism and effort.
Young’s team defense is equally impressive, as he prevents many post-up opportunities by denying position while keeping an eye on the ball. He’s always alert to shift swiftly to the middle from the weak side.
As we touched on before, his best bet to stick in the league is to make life miserable for opponents and disallow Plan A.
Physical Offensive Presence
As a scorer, Young won’t do a whole lot in the NBA without his teammates’ help.
But it goes both ways, because he’ll be able to help his teammates out in a big way. Not only will he work hard on the offensive glass, he’ll present a nice target in the post and leave no doubt when he gets an at-rim chance.
More importantly, he’ll set rock-solid screens and serve as a good pick-and-roll partner.
But most importantly, Young will wear down his adversaries on that end of the floor, so they have less energy to work with when they turn to offense.
“Defenders struggle to keep him from getting deep position due to his physical nature and strength,” said DraftExpress.com video analyst Mike Schmitz. “Gets teams in foul trouble.”
Young made modest improvements to his offensive game over his four years in Gainesville, but he still looks raw when he goes up for shots.
He doesn’t have advanced moves, and even when his basic moves work, he doesn’t have the touch to finish the play. His NBA scoring diet will consist primarily of dunks and point-blank opportunities. In addition, he doesn’t have an outside jumper to stretch defenses or keep them honest.
The other main concern is his length. Young’s standing reach is 8’7.5″, which is generally in the small forward range.
Taller big men who have decent athleticism are going to be able to out-reach him for rebounds, baby hook shots and jumpers. He’s also going to get his shot blocked or altered frequently, despite his athleticism and strength.
Young’s role will be a peripheral one initially, if he even has a role at all.
He needs to outwork everyone from the start of training camp in order to warrant regular-season minutes, and he also needs to show more polish offensively.
In a best-case scenario, Young could become a poor-man’s version of Kenneth Faried or Ben Wallace. From a size and hustle standpoint, they’re similar. Patrick Hayes of ESPN Truehoop’s PistonPowered.com explains the Wallace correlation:
(Young’s) profile resulted in a pretty successful NBA career for Ben Wallace, so if Young is going to follow a best-case scenario, that might be the guy to model. Young has light years to go as a rebounder and shot blocker before the Wallace comparison is close to apt, but their physiques, athleticism and defensive ability make them somewhat comparable if absolutely everything goes right for Young at the next level.
Even if he falls short of a Wallace-type impact, he could still serve as a reserve big man. His strength, defensive intangibles and end-to-end vigor will provide some juice to the frontcourt.
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