Kalif Young has flown under the radar for most of his high school career, but last night the legendary Duke Coach K spent some Delta miles to send an assistant up to Canada to watch Kalif play. Indiana coach Tom Crean also sent his top recruiter to watch Young play as well. Syracuse will also send a representative north of the border today. With these two major schools sniffing around I wanted to give a little background and scouting report on him. There is no profile for him on ESPN and 247sports has a very limited profile on him.
When I first saw Young’s name flash across my twitter timeline I immediately recognized it from the Athlete Institute/Orangeville Prep program in Canada. This is the program that Jamaal Murray played for and Thon and Matur Maker currently play for. This program is one of Canada’s top prep programs and they play some of the top basketball schools in the United States. This program gives Kalif Young some of the recognition and exposer with top coaches at games to watch the big name players.
Over the years Young has moved out of the limelight and into the spotlight for Orangeville Prep. He was previously Thon Maker’s backup who was just a raw big man but now he has blossomed into a rebounding machine. He is a little small at 6’9″ for a high major center but with his 240 pound frame he should be able to hold his own. He has become stronger throughout the past year and developed his skills to help him succeed. I watched a couple of games and highlight films from 2014 and one thing that stood out was his handle with the ball. He was a very good ball handler for a player of his size and stature. He could lead a break after getting a rebound and has the court vision to find a shooter on the break. He also got the ball at the top of the key and was able to drive by him to the rim. His ball handling is extremely advanced for a big and will only get better once he is in college.
Kalif Young’s best skill may be in rebounding. He has been a rebounding monster on both ends of the floor and is able to use his big frame to carve out space for himself to get the rebound. He has notched the 20 rebound mark a couple times this season for Orangeville Prep. This is a skill that should be able to translate easily to Division I basketball right away, giving Young something to contribute right away as the rest of his game develops.
Defensively Young has an extremely high ceiling. His shot blocking ability looks to be developing at a rapid rate and he still has some bounce and quickness to that 25o pound body. His arms are very long and he manages to block shots without fouling most of the time. He will have the ceiling to be a versatile defender in college with the ability to shut down a stretch forward or bang down low with a bigger guy. Combine the man to man versatility with the rebounding and block shots and that is an extremely valuable big man.
Offensively is where Kalif has the most development in front of him. I have seen some flashes of brilliance with clips of him making 3-pointers at the end of the shot clock but I am not sure if that is an exception due to the shot clock or a regular shot for him. (See link below) One highlight film showed zero offensive plays at all. In Orangeville’s last exhibition he did show the ability to play in the low post showing a nice spin move and a up and under fake. This part of his game is still developing but seeing him show those low post moves bode well for the future.
Buzzer beater to send it into overtime. @tundratipoff pic.twitter.com/9AkCNY1pZS
The strong suits of his offensive game right now are his exceptional passing and his ability to get an offensive rebound. He was given the ball in the low post multiple times and when the second defender came he calmly found a wide open shooter. Those shooters weren’t always successful but in college the majority of those open 3’s will go down.
Overall, Kalif Young has an extremely high ceiling and can contribute in college as his game still develops. After watching more tape I am surprised more recruiting services aren’t talking about Young who in my opinion is one of the top remaining post players in this class. He already has offers from Pittsburgh and Providence but I can’t imagine his list staying at those 2 with Indiana and Duke both flying to Canada to watch him. I wish Kalif the best as he makes his college decision and I hope he makes the best decision for his development.
If you would like a see more recent footage of Young check out the video below. He is #13 in black. He gets the ball in the post a couple times in the first couple minutes.
Check out the first possession of this clip to see a nice post move by Young