You might have heard that Trae Young attempted 39 shots in an overtime game that Oklahoma lost 83-81 at Oklahoma State.
Sure, Young scored an incredible 48 points. Yes, I really, really enjoyed watching Lon Kruger's freshman do what he does, particularly in the second half, when he erupted for 28 of his points.
But, seriously, 39 shots? Part of me hopes this continues because it makes for absolutely incredible spectating. Seeing any boundary broken or any custom rewritten is good TV, particularly in the occasionally hidebound culture of college basketball.
Besides, if Young is able to squeeze more points out of each of his innumerable possessions than his teammates, the smart play really is to give him all the run he can handle. In theory, that could be the case here.
I'm just not sure it really is the case here. For starters, Oklahoma scored just 1.01 points per possession in a losing effort against the Cowboys.
Young recorded seven turnovers, which now brings his total in Big 12 play up to 52. To restate some points that were made in this space just a few days ago, the Sooners as a team absolutely can't afford to have a worse-than-average turnover rate. Some teams can get away with that, often with superb defense, but this particular OU group is not built to win when committing a fair number of turnovers.
After this loss to the Cowboys, Oklahoma has outscored its Big 12 opponents by just three points over the course of seven games. In other words, opposing conference teams are playing offense against the Sooners almost precisely as well as OU, a team led by quite possibly the best player in the country. Something about that picture isn't optimal if you're Kruger.
Furthermore, it's not as if Young doesn't have teammates who are capable of being -- and indeed have been -- good secondary options on offense. Christian James and Brady Manek are shooting a combined 41 percent on their 3s. When Young is at his best, he capitalizes on the presence of teammates like that by drawing two defenders and hitting the open man.
You can't seize those opportunities, though, if you're busy missing 25 shots in 43 minutes. I hesitate to ever say a player has recorded "just" eight assists, but the eight assists OU's freshman recorded against the Cowboys does feel like his floor. It's probably no mistake that Oklahoma as a team fared best when its point guard was getting into double digits for assists.
Make no mistake: Young is still, and should be, the front-runner for national player of the year honors. He was a perfect 12-of-12 at the line against Oklahoma State, an effort that gave him a very good offensive rating for the game and, by the way, made the result as close as it was. Much or even most of the time, Young is brilliant as a point guard.
The question isn't whether Young is really sensational, it's whether Oklahoma would have a better chance of winning more games if the freshman did not record the highest figure for possession usage in the 17-season data set at kenpom.com. I suspect the answer to that question could well turn out to be "yes."
At a minimum, Young and Kruger might reach an agreement to look long and hard at shot selection inside the arc. The freshman is shooting just 42 percent on his 2s in Big 12 play, and he was 6-of-19 on his 2-pointers against Oklahoma State.
Who knows, with a few more assists and a continued green light from beyond the arc, Young could well live up to the expectations he raised with incredible performances against Wichita State, Northwestern and TCU. If it plays out that way, maybe 39 shots in a losing effort in January will prove to have been an experiment well worth trying. I do know one thing: I can't wait to watch Young, either way.