Ohio State fans have been extremely lucky to watch Kyle Young do Kyle Young things ™ for the past four seasons, and luckily for us, Young’s decided to give it one more go-round in the scarlet and gray. Young announced today that he plans on utilizing the NCAA’s bonus year of eligibility so he can return to the Ohio State basketball program for a fifth season.
Young has missed more than 20 games during his four years at Ohio State due to various injuries. As a sophomore, he missed several weeks with a stress fracture in his leg. As a junior, he missed multiple games after underdoing an emergency appendectomy just hours after Ohio State’s 67-59 loss to West Virginia (he still pulled down 11 rebounds in 22 minutes while his appendix was ready to burst). This past season, he sustained two concussions in a matter of four weeks, causing him to miss a few regular season games as well as two games in the Big Ten Tournament and Ohio State’s NCAA Tournament loss to Oral Roberts.
While Young’s body doesn’t have the mileage on it that most four-year players do, his injury history is longer than most folks’ grocery list. Especially considering the head injuries he sustained last season, many people believed he would go pro so he could make money while he still can — you can only take so many head/brain injuries before your career is over.
Regardless, Young must have received positive feedback from his doctors and family, because he’s decided to return to Columbus for one more crack at a Big Ten Title. He’ll return to a loaded roster that should retain nearly all of its major contributors from last season, including Seth Towns, Justice Sueing, Justin Ahrens, and possibly the duo of E.J. Liddell and Duane Washington Jr. Seth Towns should be healthy and closer to his Harvard-form than he was last season, and former Penn State point guard Jamari Wheeler also announced that he would be transferring to Ohio State for his final year of eligibility. With Young also returning, this Ohio State team has a chance do big things.
During his first four seasons in Columbus, Young averaged 6 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest across 108 games, 65 of which he started. He more than quadrupled his three-point percentage from his freshman to senior year (10% to 43.3%), and nearly doubled his free throw percentage from start to finish as well (45.5% to 84.6%). He averaged 8.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last year, and will look to improve on those numbers during his final season with the Buckeyes next year.
At least a few more Buckeyes will make similar announcements in the coming weeks. Last week, we broke down who might be on their way out and who is without a doubt returning for the 2021-2022 season. You can check that piece out here.