Duke men's basketball 2022-23 player review: Ryan Young

Ryan Young goes up for a layup against Boston College.
Ryan Young goes up for a layup against Boston College.

With Duke’s season officially in the books, the Blue Zone breaks down each player's season, including comparisons to their preseason projections. We previously looked at Jaylen Blakes, Jaden Schutt and Jacob Grandison. Next up is Ryan Young:

Ryan Young

  • Year: Graduate student
  • Height: 6-foot-10
  • Position: Center 
  • This year’s stat line: 6.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 17.7 MPG
  • The Blue Zone’s projected stat line: 2.7 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.6 BPG, 12 MPG

Season breakdown: Coming into the 2022-23 season, Duke was touted as the powerhouse with the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation who were meant to lead first-year head coach Jon Scheyer to a successful campaign. However, it was veteran graduate student Ryan Young and his experience that polished the Blue Devils’ potential. 

With freshman Dereck Lively II sidelined to start the season, the Northwestern transfer wasted no time in showing off his skillset. Knocking down all six of his shot attempts in Duke’s season-opener, he logged 12 points and seven rebounds in his first outing in a Blue Devil uniform. Even after Lively’s return, the Stewartsville, N.J., native continued to contribute off the bench as one of the team’s most consistent and reliable players. In the final game of 2022, Young’s 20 points and 12 rebounds propelled Duke to a blowout win against Florida State.

On both ends of the floor, Young impacted the game with his hustle and crafty footwork in the paint. When given the chance, the 6-foot-10 center was quick to post up and back down opposing players and, after a pump fake or two, find the bottom of the net. Of the nine Blue Devils that played over 400 minutes, he led the team in field-goal percentage, capitalizing on an impressive 68.5% of his shot attempts. 

After an early exit from the NCAA tournament, the 23-year-old is expected to return to Durham, using his final year of eligibility. 

Results relative to expectations: Young has exceeded expectations as a veteran center. He filled a huge gap during Lively’s absence and found a way to contribute to winning at home and on the road. It was Young who alleviated Duke’s continuous struggles away from Cameron Indoor Stadium, averaging 7.9 points on 70.5% shooting from the field. 

Even with another annual haul of the nation’s most coveted high school hoopers en route to Durham, we can expect the graduate student to be a key rotational piece in the second season of the Scheyer era.


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