Phoenix Suns prospect watch: Two point guards dueled in Big 12


Phoenix Suns scouts should’ve gotten a really good look at two college point guard prospects competing against each other in a Big 12 conference showdown.

It’s not to early too be scouting for the NBA draft this summer for the lottery bound Phoenix Suns. It’s no secret that the Suns are struggling at the point guard position this season and getting a legit prospect in the draft would go a long way. One of those young prospects is Oklahoma University freshman Trae Young. Young has all the potential to be the point guard of the future for the Suns. Young has been taking the nation by storm, however Young had his first real challenge when his team took on senior point guard Jevon Carter and West Virginia University in a Big 12 show down. Both Young and Carter showed why they should be selected by the Suns in this summer’s draft.

The match between the two contrasting point guards was intense. WVU won the game despite of a 29 point outing by Young. However, there’s so much that can be taken away from this contest in regards to both playmakers.

Jevon Carter

Carter showed elite NBA level defense against a top prospect in this matchup. He ended the game with 17 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists, three steals, one block and three turnovers, while shooting 6-13 from the floor, 2-5 from behind the 3-point line and 3-5 from the free throw line. His impact went far beyond the his box score, he dominanted defensively and the clip below shows just how much.

Carter is an elite defensive prospect in the upcoming draft. Carter has shown improvement in each of this seasons at WVU.

Per Game Table
2014-15West Virginia35423.8.360.423.314.7702.
2015-16West Virginia353527.7.383.459.306.7442.
2016-17West Virginia373632.0.439.487.389.7745.
2017-18West Virginia151533.7.423.443.395.8465.
CareerWest Virginia1229028.6.403.459.348.7823.

Provided by CBB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 1/7/2018.

The Suns have multiple second round picks and could use one on Carter. Once the Suns draft him, they could sign him to a two-way contract. If Carter can show he’s able to play offense in the NBA, then he could be a Patrick Beverley prototype for the Suns. Carter could be a nice third or second string point guard for the Suns in the future.

Trae Young

Young had a rough night against WVU Mountaineers. He had 29 points, four rebounds, five assists, three steals and eight turnovers. His shooting was not pretty either, he made 8-22 field goal attempts, shot 3-12 from behind the arc and made 10-13 of his foul shots. It just shows how ready Carter and the Mountaineers were for Young.

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There are several positives that can be taken away from this game. First and foremost, this was a learning experience for Young. He will get better from this and next time these two teams meet he should have a better game. Young actually had a better second half than first, which reveals he was able to adjust and show growth during the contest. It was also evident that Young’s shots were going down, so he got to the free throw line13 times in the game showing he has the awareness offensively to adjust and adapt his game. His three steals showed he can get down and dirty on defense when necessary.

For those worried about the poor shooting and the eight turnovers, fear not. Most NBA teams don’t press full court the majority of a game like WVU does. West Virginia (aka Press Virginia) is one of the top defensive teams in steals per game, so it shouldn’t be surprising if any point guard struggles against them. Another thing to remember is that most NBA point guards aren’t as good as defenders as Carter is, so Young won’t have to worry about being defended that well on most nights in the NBA. Young should still be high on the Suns’ draft board and they should try very hard to draft the point guard.

Next: Three keys to the Suns’ recent hot play

Watching these two guard throughout the rest of the college season is a must for the Phoenix Suns front office. Unless the Suns get lucky in the NBA lottery or start losing a lot of games, it will take a trade to acquire Young in the draft, but he’ll be worth it. Carter should be an easy selection in the second round of the draft that the Suns should jump on. The Suns could easily solidify the point guard position in this next draft if they select these two prospects.