Oklahoma’s Trae Young, the Superstar Nobody Saw Coming

The college basketball predictions arrived in early November, as they always do, with their purveyors, like their counterparts in politics, expecting little punishment for the sin of getting things wrong.

But this season, those time capsules of preseason conventional wisdom contained a particularly stark oversight. Trae Young, this season’s most important, most electrifying and, arguably, just plain best player, somehow hardly earned a mention.

In a universe where the best basketball prospects are minutely dissected from their freshman years of high school, the collective whiff among the cognoscenti is stunning. It contains lessons for evaluators prone to overlooking players who spurned more distant programs with bluer blood in favor of a hometown team — and also, perhaps, for future prospects who want to shine immediately.

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