Trae Young has been the best player in college basketball this season by a pretty wide margin. The Oklahoma freshman is leading the NCAA in scoring and assists, and doing so all while leading the Sooners to a top-five national ranking and into Big 12 title contention.
He has set unthinkable career highs in scoring, the latest coming Saturday with a 43-point offensive explosion. And he even tied the NCAA assist record (22) earlier this season.
But on Tuesday night, as OU fell to Kansas State and dropped to 4-2 in league play, the only career high he reached was in turnovers, and he did so for a second successive game. He had 12 on Tuesday after suffering nine Saturday. All told, OU coughed it up 20 times to pave way for an upset in Manhattan, 87-69.
"I played terrible," Young said. "I blame a lot of this loss on me."
Young had, by his own standards, a pedestrian 20 points on 8-of-21 shooting and six assists. The long-range missiles we've all come to expect didn't land against the Wildcats, either -- he finished 2 of 10 from deep and never caught a sustainable rhythm.
Credit where credit is due, though: Kansas State took it to the visiting Sooners; four Wildcats finished in double figures, including a combined 45 points from Barry Brown and Dean Wade to give them their first victory against a ranked foe all season. The Wildcats shot 56.5 percent from the floor, knocked down 9 of 17 3-point attempts, and wreaked havoc on a team that has looked Final Four good all season.
Most important: Bruce Weber concocted a game plan that, somehow, slowed the Player of the Year frontrunner just enough to give Kansas State time to build out a lead it could handle. The result is the biggest victory of the season for Kansas State, which makes the Cats 3-3 in league play with a daunting, yet winnable, two-game stretch that features TCU at home and a road game at Baylor.