2006 (Redshirt): Won the most improved player award at the team banquet.
2005 (Freshman): Named to the Big East All-Rookie team.
Personal: He led Friendly High School to two state titles. Friendly was the Class 2A champs in 2003 and the Class 3A champs in 2004. He averaged 24.6 ppg and 14 rbg as a senior. He was a first team All-Metro selection by the Washington Post. He was also all-county as a junior and senior. Led Hargrave Academy to a 28-1 record with the lone loss coming to No. 1 ranked Laurenberg Prep. One of seven preps to sign a Letter of Intent in 2004-05 at Hargrave.
HEADER SAMUEL DAVID YOUNG Small Forward University of Pittsburgh Panthers #23 6:05.6-219 Clinton, Maryland Hargrave Military Academy Friendly High School
OVERVIEW A model of consistency, Young never missed a game during his four-year Panthers career, as he set the school record by appearing in 143 contests. One of the most prolific scorers in school history, he ranks fourth on Pittsburgh's all-time record list with 1,884 points, as he also boasts the two best season scoring totals in team annals, registering 668 points as a junior and 690 as a senior.
Young would produce double scoring figures in 96 of 143 games, registering 10 double-double performances. He had at least five rebounds in 74 contests, logging at least 30 minutes of action in 62 of those games. He reached 20 points in 32 games, including three 30-plus point efforts. His 716 field goals made rank fifth in Pittsburgh history, as he showed solid long-range shooting ability (.356 three-point percentage) and used his excellent leaping ability to finish tied for eighth in school annals with 109 blocked shots.
Young is a multi-talented athlete, but also has an interesting personal touch to his character. He drew inspiration for playing the piano and took lessons from his blind brother Michael Spriggs. Sam has taken several piano courses at both Pittsburgh and in high school. He was also featured while playing the piano on ESPN during Pitt's game at Syracuse in 2007. He often plays piano in hotel lobbies on Panthers road trips.
Young is also an accomplished poet who recites his poems at open mike night at a local coffeehouse. He has written 23 different poems and has been approached by a book publisher. Most of the poems focus on his desire for playing basketball.
The Pittsburgh staff calls him a gym rat who can play basketball all day long. It is normal to see him sleeping in the Petersen Events Center locker room after a full day of working on his game. Young, who displays a 35-inch vertical jump, is also interested in gymnastics because of his natural ability. When he was visiting Pitt on his recruiting trip, the coaches took him on a tour of the athletic facilities. When he saw the gymnastics equipment, he started doing several tricks and back-flips.
Young also performed a gymnastics routine for ESPN before a game in 2005-06. Prior to his senior season at Friendly High School, he promised his coach that he would do back flips if his team won the state title, then held true on his promise after he led the team to the championship.
As a youngster, Young concentrated on football. He did not even pick up a basketball until he enrolled for the ninth grade at Friendly High School. He sported jersey No. 23 throughout his prep and college career, honoring his favorite sports figure, Michael Jordan. He led Friendly High to a pair of state titles (Class 2A in 2003 and Class 3A in 2004). He averaged 24.6 points, 14.0 rebounds, six blocks per game and scored at least 16 points in all but one game for the Patriots as a senior.
That performance earned Young first-team All-Metro honors from the Washington Post, adding All-County accolades, as the team compiled a 25-2 record. He scored the game-winning basket off an offensive rebound to defeat Oxon Hill 78-76 in the closing seconds of the Prince Georges County title game. As a junior, he led the team to a 25-1 record, as he was named to the Washington Post All-Metro team and the All-County squad.
In summer league action, Young was voted one of the top-10 most outstanding players at the Las Vegas Showcase during the summer of 2004. He also competed at the LeBron James Skills Camp this past summer.
Before attending Pittsburgh, Young played the 2004-05 season at Hargrave Military Academy, where he was selected the National Prep School Player of the Year by Scout.com. He earned first-team Prep School All-American honors by that recruiting service, as he averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds per game. He led Hargrave to a second-place national ranking with a 28-1 overall record, the lone loss coming to top-ranked Laurinburg Prep, scoring 19 points in that contest.
Young was ranked the nation's No. 71 recruit by Rivals.com. He was named one of the nation's five best fifth-year players by HoopScoop.com. One of seven Hargrave players to sign an NCAA Division I National-Letter of Intent in 2004-05, the academy has produced a number of NBA and NCAA Division I basketball players, including at least 30 players currently competing at NCAA Division I.
Young chose Pittsburgh because of its basketball program and city. He was named to the Big East Conference All-Rookie Team in 2005-06. He played in all 33 games, moving into the starting lineup for the team's three Big East Tournament games. He ranked second on team in field-goal percentage (.521, 98-188), third in rebounding (4.4 rpg) and averaged 7.9 points per game. Despite playing most of the year as a reserve, he reached double-figure scoring in 12 games.
In 2006-07, Young played in all 37 games, earning the team's Most Improved Player Award, as he reached double figures in 16 games on the year, including eight of the season's last 11 contests. He averaged 12.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in Pitt's three NCAA Tournament games, finishing the year with 265 points (7.2 ppg), as he averaged 3.0 rebounds and blocked 17 shots while starting two contests.
With the arrival of frosh sensation DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh's frontcourt developed into one of college basketball's elite in 2007-08. Young took over power forward duties, as he started all 37 games. He was an Associated Press All-American honorable mention and Wooden Award and Naismith Award finalist. He was named to the USBWA All-District I Team and selected to the NABC All-District II first-team. He became the fifth Pitt player in the last nine years to win Big East Most Improved Player Award honors.
The All-Big East Conference first-team selection became just the seventh player in school history to earn such an honor. He ranked among conference leaders in scoring (third with 18.1 ppg)), field-goal percentage (10th at .503), offensive rebounding (14th with 83) and minutes played (18th with 1,187). He was the recipient of the Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player Award winner after averaging 20.0 points (31-63 FG), 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in four games. He earned the team's Most Valuable Player Award, as he set the school's single-season records for scoring (668 points) and double-figure scoring games (36).
As a senior, Young earned All-American second-team and All-Big East Conference first-team accolades. He started all 36 games at small forward, breaking his own school single-season record with 690 points scored, an average of 19.2 points per game. He hauled down 225 rebounds (6.2 rpg), as he blocked 30 shots, had 40 assists and recorded 35 steals in 1,146 minutes of action. The two-year starter registered double figures in scoring in 78 of his final 83 games.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Creative rebounder who possesses an unmatched desire to improve, and has become a fan favorite with his spectacular highlight-reel dunks, logic-defying rebounds and surprising blind-side blocks...A slashing power forward, Young takes advantage of his quickness to score vs. taller players in the post and utilizes his size and trademark pump fake move to create space on the outside...Very athletic, as he plays good defense and rebounds with aggression...Hard working gym rat who continues to add new elements to his game each year...Prior to his junior year, he worked on his outside jumper, then went out and hit 37.7 percent of his three-point attempts over the past two seasons...While he has garnered lots of minutes at power forward, he is better suited for small forward duties, as he shows the toughness, athleticism and quickness to make the smooth transition to playing out on the wing...Improving perimeter shooter who does a good job of setting his feet and spent this past summer at the LeBron James Camp working on improving his ability to shoot off the dribble...Has the strength, leaping ability (35-inches) and wingspan (6'10") to be a steady defender and rebounder...Has solid back-to-the-basket shooting ability and does a good job of getting space to execute his swift turnaround jumper...Despite giving up some bulk to the more physical power forwards, he shows good ability to finish around the basket and displays great hands to produce in catch-and-shoot situations (converted 44 percent of those chances)...Versatile inside/outside shooter who has greatly improved his mid-range jump shot and has slowly developed his three-point range...Has very good quickness and balance running the floor and has been quite effective on the fast break as he drives hard to the basket, drawing contact along the way and has mastered the shot fake to go with nifty hesitation moves that lets him get the separation needed to get off a clean shot...Has the reach and elevation skills to play above the rim and the developed body to handle three- and four-type forwards, especially on the defensive end...Has the lateral agility and basketball IQ to maintain position and stay in front of the perimeter shooters, as he is quite effective contesting shots (109 blocks for his career, seventh in school history)...Uses his body well to absorb contact and finish around the rim, but needs to improve his shooting touch from the foul line (69.2 percent shooter)...Drives hard to the rim and slower forwards struggle when having to defend Young when he tries to finish in transition...Has the power to play inside, but is more comfortable shooting away from the basket, thanks to his ability to set his feet, extend and deliver with a high release that makes him a dangerous threat coming off the catch-and-shoot along the perimeter or when coming off the screens...Solid one-on-one shooter with the moves and loose hips to take the defender off the dribble...Moves effortlessly when going laterally and can score from either side...Uses his second gear effectively to recover and get back on his man when the shooter happens to gain a step on him on the way to the basket...Times his leaps well, using full extension to contest shots.
Negatives: Has improved his range on his jump shot, but is not really creative with his inside shooting game...Has the size to handle small forwards on the defensive end, but needs to be tougher trying to establish position under the boards vs. power forwards...Marginal passer with limited ball handling skills and is turnover prone when he keeps the ball on the floor for more than a dribble or two (also still needs to work on his own ability to shoot off the dribble)...Despite his toughness, he seems more complacent stepping out and firing from the perimeter rather than driving to the rim and attacking the basket...Over-aged prospect (24) who made steady strides at small forward last year, but will need another season or two to settle into that position...Not effective converting on isolation plays (made just 30.4 percent of those attempts last year), as he struggles to create his own shot...Marginal performer on the pick-and-roll, as he lacks the ball handling skills to distribute...Has a good second gear, but lacks explosiveness with his initial step and slashers have had good success scoring on him when he gives them a side (bit slow to recover)...When working inside, his shot appears too awkward, as he will get too off-balanced, especially when he tries to force his shot and settles too much for fade-aways when he can't get space inside (has good hip swerve, but for some reason, he reverts to a straight-line charge when driving to the basket).
Compares To: JAMES POSEY, New Orleans -- Young has greatly improved his perimeter skills, both as a shooter and defender. He understands his limitations, but is a solid rebounder who does a good job of timing his leaps to contest the outside shot. He lacks the ability to create his own shot, especially with his inside game and will revert to fade-aways or pumping in a mid-range jumper when he should be angling to the basket. He is a strong finisher when given space to operate, but is a marginal ball handler and passer who struggles to shoot off the dribble. Still, he shows good work ethic and the wingspan and strength to be efficient with his back-to-the-basket shooting attempts.
--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas
2008-09 SEASON All-American second-team selection by CollegeHoop.net and Sports Illustrated, adding third-team honors from The Sporting News and the Associated Press...All-Big East Conference first-team choice, becoming just the fourth player in school history to earn that honor twice in a career...Finalist for both the Wooden and Naismith Awards...Also a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award...NABC All-District V second-team pick...Started all 36 games at small forward, scoring a school single-season record 690 points (261 of 520 field goals, 50.2 percent, 19.2 ppg), as he hit on 37.2 percent of his three-pointers (54 of 145) and shot 74.0 percent from the foul line (114 of 154)...Had 225 rebounds (6.2 rpg), including 69 from the offensive glass, as he blocked 30 shots (0.8 bpg), had 35 steals and 40 assists (1.1 apg), to go with 88 turnovers...Scored in double figures 33 times, including 15 20-plus point efforts and three 30-plus point performances, as he also recorded four double-doubles.
2007-08 SEASON Associated Press All-American honorable mention selection...Wooden Award and Naismith Award finalist...Named to the USBWA All-District I and NABC All-District II first team...Named the Big East Conference's Most Improved Player, becoming the fifth Pitt player in the last nine years to win that honor...All-Big East first-team choice...Ranked among the Big East leaders in scoring (third), field-goal percentage (10th), offensive rebounding (14th) and minutes played (18th)...Named the Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player Award winner after averaging 20.0 points (31-63 FG), 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in four games...Earned Pitt's Most Valuable Player Award...Set the school's single-season records for scoring (668 points) and double-figure scoring games (36)...Started all 37 contests at power forward, producing four double-doubles, as he scored more than 20 points in 15 games and reached double figure scoring in 36 of Pitt's 37 games and double figure rebounding in four contests...Averaged 18.1 points per game, making 254 of 505 field goals (50.3 percent), 44 of 115 three-pointers (38.3 percent) and 116 of 168 free throws (69.0 percent)...Had 83 offensive rebounds and 232 total boards (6.3 rpg), as he handed out 45 assists (1.2 apg) to go with 87 turnovers, 42 blocked shots (1.1 bpg) and 41 steals (1.1 spg).
2006-07 SEASON Played in all 37 games, starting twice at power forward...Earned the team's Most Improved Player Award...Reached double figures in 16 games, including eight in the season's last eleven contests...Averaged 7.2 points (265 total) and 3.0 rebounds (111), as he blocked 17 shots, had 21 steals with 25 assists and was charged with 42 turnovers.
2005-06 SEASON Named to the Big East Conference All-Rookie Team...Played in all 33 games with three starts...Ranked second on team in field goal percentage (.521, 98-188), third in rebounding (4.4 rpg) and averaged 7.9 points per game...Reached double figure scoring in 12 games... Totaled 261 points (7.9 ppg) with 144 rebounds (4.4 rpg), 20 blocks (0.6 bpg), 22 steals (0.7 spg), 28 assists (0.8 apg) and 50 turnovers.
CAREER NOTES Started 78 of 143 games, including his last 73 contests...Ranks fourth in school history with 1,884 points, topped by Larry Harris (1,914; 1974-78), Clyde Vaughan (2,033; 1980-84) and Charles Smith (2,045; 1984-88)...Holds the top two spots on the school single-season record list with 688 points scored in 2007-08 and 690 in 2008-09, topping the previous mark of 651 points by Don Hennon (1957-58) and matched by Vaughan (1983-84)...Reached double figures in scoring 96 times (topped only by \ Smith's 106 on the school record chart), as he had 32 20-plus point games (eighth in school annals) that included three 30-plus point performances and 10 double-doubles...Holds the school career record by playing in 143 games, topping the old mark of 137 by Jaron Brown (2000-04)...Shot .356 from three-point range, the 12th-best career total by a Panther...Blocked 109 shots, tying Bobby Martin (1987-91) for seventh on the school all-time record list...Made 716 field goals (1,438 attempts, 49.8 percent), ranking fifth in Pittsburgh history behind Hennon (707, 1956-59), Billy Knight (750, 1971-74), Vaughan (770, 1980-84) and Harris (803, 1974-78).
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Friendly (Ft. Washington, Mary.) High School, playing basketball for head coach Gerald Moore, Jr. ...Led the team to a pair of state titles (Class 2A in 2003 and Class 3A in 2004)...Averaged 24.6 points, 14.0 rebounds, six blocks per game and scored at least 16 points in all but one game for the Patriots as a senior...That performance earned Young first-team All-Metro honors from the Washington Post, adding All-County accolades, as the team compiled a 25-2 record...Scored the game-winning basket off an offensive rebound to defeat Oxon Hill 78-76 in the closing seconds of the Prince Georges County title game...As a junior, he led the team to a 25-1 record, earning Washington Post All-Metro team and the All-County squad honors.
SUMMER LEAGUE Voted one of the top-10 most outstanding players at the Las Vegas Showcase during the summer of 2004...Also competed at the Lebron James Skills Camp this past summer.
INJURY REPORT No injuries reported.
PREP SCHOOL Played the 2004-05 season at Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) for head coach Kevin Keatts...Selected the National Prep School Player of the Year by Scout.com, as he also earned first-team Prep School All-American honors by that recruiting service... Averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds per game...Led Hargrave to a second-place national ranking with a 28-1 overall record, the lone loss coming to top-ranked Laurinburg Prep, scoring 19 points in that contest...Ranked the nation's No. 71 recruit by Rivals.com...Named one of the nation's five best fifth-year players by HoopScoop.com...One of seven Hargrave players to sign an NCAA Division I National-Letter of Intent in 2004-05; the academy has produced a number of NBA and NCAA Division I basketball players, including at least 30 players currently competing at NCAA Division I.
PERSONAL Communications major...Son of Margaret Craig...Born Samuel David Young on 6/01/85 in Washington, D.C...Resides in Clinton, Maryland.