How Will James Young and the Harrison Twins Fit Together in UK's Offense?
Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
Talent doesn't always work out. Teams can be brimming with talent but fail to reach expectations because of incompatible playing styles or coaching incompetence. For the Kentucky Wildcats under John Calipari, that has never been the case.
And that is why James Young and the Harrison twins (Aaron and Andrew) selected the University of Kentucky as their collegiate destination. They know that Calipari will find a way to make their playing styles gel, and above all else, win games.
All three recruits are perimeter players. Young's natural position is shooting guard, same as Aaron. Though Andrew is the only point guard of the trio, all three can handle the ball well.
But can it work?
A quick look at two teams from 2011-12 can help us find the answer.
The Duke Blue Devils and Florida Gators were both Top 15 teams at the end of last year. Both had an elite amount of talent on the perimeter, and both had a guard picked in the top 10 in the 2012 NBA draft.
Duke did not win a game in the NCAA tournament. Florida went to the Elite Eight.
There were many differences between these two teams, but one was clear: Even though Duke had talent in the backcourt, their guards were not as cohesive as the Florida guards.
Every player has to buy in to a team philosophy. Austin Rivers might have to an extent, but he did not develop with the Duke offense like Bradley Beal did with the Florida offense.
So, yes. Elite guards can coexist. But everyone involved needs to buy in.
Who will lead the Wildcats in scoring in 2013-14?
If Calipari's coaching philosophy is any indication, these players have already bought into the Dribble Drive Motion Offense.
And what team would be able to stop three perimeter players of this caliber? Aaron Craft's perimeter defense doesn't grow on trees.
In an offense predicated on breaking down the defense, the Harrison twins and Young will be able to do exactly that...at will. The twins may be better slashers than Young. Andrew will be the primary ball-handler, and Aaron and Young will be spotting up on the outside.
With a fast closeout, defenders will be able to prevent the outside shot. Both Aaron and Young can drive by a defender that bites for a pump fake or is too headstrong. Taking defenders off the dribble is a given with these three on the floor.
Young will score from all over the floor. He can spot up and shoot. He can attack the rim and finish. His pull up jumper is akin to Doron Lamb's lethal mid-range jump shot.
Young could easily lead the Wildcats in scoring in 2013-14.
As for Aaron and Andrew? Something tells me they already understand each other's style of play pretty well. They may not put up gaudy point totals each game, but both are capable of taking over.
Scratch that. All three of these studs are capable of taking over the game on offense.
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