Young on the brink of breaking ECU single-season assists record
Piratesí sophomore point guard is closing in on former mentorís mark
With 14 more assists, Brock Young will pass Jeff Kelly and move into sixth place all-time on the career assists list at East Carolina.
Oh yeah, Young still has a minimum of seven games remaining in his sophomore season.
Some schools—including hometown NC State—opted to pass on the Broughton High School ( Raleigh) star. However, his lack of height—Young is only 5’11—and any other potential deterrents didn’t keep East Carolina from bringing in the magnificent ball-handler.
Needless to say, Mack McCarthy and the Pirate basketball program have received everything they bargained for and then some from their second-year floor general.
As a freshman, Young had the luxury of learning how to play the position on the Division I level while backing up single-season assist record holder Darrell Jenkins. He averaged 4.8 points and 2.7 assists while playing in every game and starting a couple during his first season in Greenville.
While his assist to turnover ratio of 81 to 70 certainly wasn’t anything to write home about, Young showed in spurts the potential he possessed. Sometimes good passes would lead to ugly results because of his teammates not anticipating the looks.
However, after maturing for a year in Coach McCarthy’s offensive system and developing the necessary familiarity and rapport with his teammates, Young has emerged as one of the nation’s premier point guards.
Through 23 games, he leads the nation by averaging 7.6 assists per game. With 175 dished out, he needs just seven to pass Darrell Jenkins’ all-time record of 181 from last year.
Young, who has reached double figures in assists seven times this season, had a career-high 12 assists in the Pirates’ 99-85 victory at UNC-Wilmington in December. He proceeded to match that mark in a win over UNC-Greensboro and a loss to Houston.
When he’s not creating opportunities for his teammates, he’s using his quickness to dribble through and around the opposition to make ones for himself. When teams have focused most of their attention on Sam Hinnant and James Legan, Young has stepped into a scoring role. He has scored 16 points or more on eight occasions and is averaging 11.7 to rank as the club’s third leading scorer. Playing in front of his hometown crowd at the RBC Center in December, Young poured in a career-high 25 points against NC State.
His ability to score and create for others has resulted in five double-double performances via the point and assist route this season.
Young, who plays 32.5 minutes per game—second most on the squad, is a particularly invaluable asset late in games. In addition to his typically sound decision-making, he is almost automatic at the free throw line where he has converted 82.5 percent of his 200 career attempts.
Defensively, his quickness and intensity make him a pest for opposing ball-handlers. He leads the team with 1.5 steals per game.
He also rebounds the ball well for a point guard, as he pulls down just over 3.5 boards per game.
The primary weakness of Young’s game has been the lack of consistent perimeter shooting, but even that phase has been coming around in recent weeks. He knocked down all three of his long range attempts in the Pirates’ most recent game at Tulane and is now shooting 34.5 percent (19-of-55) from beyond the arc for the season.
With over two seasons to play in the purple and gold, the sensational “soph” is only 157 assists away from Travis Holcomb-Faye’s career record of 413. Assuming he stays healthy, he will surpass that total sometime during the middle or end of his junior year and shatter it before his career is over.
As Young continues to develop and the talent around him deepens, East Carolina fans are going to be treated to some long-awaited success on the hardwood.
No-look passes and precise alley-oops to high-flyers such as fellow sophomore Jamar Abrams are becoming a common occurrence.