Former Rutgers guard Jacob Young, who announced he was leaving hours after the season ending loss to Houston in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, committed for next season to Oregon on Wednesday night.
Young was a key part of the success that the Scarlet Knights experienced the past two seasons. He was arguably the best penetrator the program has has in decades and his on the ball defense was elite. While he was streaky offensively at times and struggled with turnovers, there is no denying that Young is a major loss.
The thought when Young left Rutgers after the season was that it was his intention to forego a potential sixth year after the NCAA ruling due to COVID-19 and pursue professional options. Based on the timing of his transfer coming in early June, that likely was his plan. However, as this offseason progressed, murmurs of other high major programs pursuing Young grew louder. Ultimately, he decided wait on pro options to play for the same program that his older brother Joe played for. He played for head coach Dana Altman for two seasons from 2013-2015 before making the NBA and then playing professionally in China.
Young sat out the 2018-2019 season due to transfer rules after playing his first two years at Texas. He averaged 8.5 points, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steal in 21 minutes per game as a junior. Last season, Young was the best player for Rutgers at times and was a major reason for the team’s success. He averaged 14.4 points, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals in 29.9 minutes per game as a senior.
Young joins Myles Johnson (UCLA), Montez Mathis (St. John’s) and Mamadou Doucoure (LaSalle) as players from last season’s roster who have transferred from Rutgers. He is also the second player to transfer to Oregon in recent years as Eugene Omoruyi did so in 2019. He helped lead the Ducks to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season.
The announcement doesn’t actually change anything for Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell as Young wasn’t expected back. Replacing a guard with the skill set of Young isn’t easy and Pikiell’s approach appears to be shifting the roster to a bigger, multi-positional lineup instead.
The impact Young made in helping this program produce two of its best seasons in many years should not be understated. His contributions were significant and hopefully he finds even more success throughout the rest of his career.