Ohio State senior forward Kyle Young recently announced that he had decided to return for a fifth year and utilize the NCAA’s free year that was granted to all student-athletes this past year due to the COVID pandemic. On Friday, Young spoke with reporters about why he wanted to come back and the decision-making process. The highlights of his entire session with the media is below.
— He had been thinking about this the majority of the year, but it was on his mind more and more at the end of the year because he knew a decision was going to be needed. The way the season ended didn’t sit right with him. He didn’t want this to be the last year he played in a Buckeye uniform. He did talk with agents about his options, whether it was overseas or what. But in his heart he loves this place and he wanted to come back and play with this team again.
— Was it a tough decision to come to? It was a tough decision. “The whole process of it was overwhelming.” “I’m happy with the decision I made.”
— He graduated last summer with a degree in sports industry. He is towards the end of his Masters program in sports management. He should have it by the end of summer or next fall.
— His recollection of the Purdue game? Coming off of the Michigan game where he suffered a concussion earlier in the year, he was feeling great and had no issues. Then he got hit in the second half against Purdue. It was a hard hit, but he didn’t feel any symptoms. But it wasn’t until he sat down in the huddle after a timeout that everything came on. It was tough because he had to miss the rest of the season. “It was tough to watch.”
— His role moving forward with the addition of transfer Joey Brunk? “I plan to continue developing my game.” Offensively and defensively. He’s still going to be doing everything he’s always done, like guarding the five. He is just working on developing his game and work on his shooting and offense.
— He didn’t get into too many specifics of his professional options when making his decision.
— How does he want to end his career? He wants to be able to have an impact on how the season ends. He wants to experience a full year. A normal year. This past year was great, but it was difficult. Then compete in the postseason like they know they can. Also being able to compete in front of Buckeye Nation one more year is big.
— Joey Brunk and Jamari Wheeler are both good guys. Wheeler plays hard and competes. He’s had a relationship with Brunk for years. “He’s going to be a huge add for us too.” Both fit with OSU’s program and what they’re about.
— It took some time for him to get back to feeling normal after that second concussion. He took some time after the season before he started doing anything again. But he is 100% now and feels normal.
— Retiring from the game was never really a thought given the two concussions in a short timespan. He tried to not let that be too big a factor in his decision because injuries can happen anytime and anywhere.
— He has gotten more comfortable on offense through consistent, hard reps. He focused on his shooting in the offseason and he applied it better this season, especially against Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament. He hopes to grow from that game and expand his game.
— Terry Johnson is his guy. “I wish him nothing but the best.” He’s 100% behind the move if it’s best for Johnson and his family. “Coach T in his time here really helped me a lot.”
— He shot a lot of free throws last summer to help improve his shooting from the stripe and it worked.
— Everybody on the team has a determination to come back and work harder to make a difference for next season. Now it’s about putting in the work when nobody’s watching.
— It will be nice to have 6-11 Joey Brunk defensively. He doesn’t mind guarding the other team’s biggest player, but it can wear down your body.
— He wants EJ Liddell and Duane Washington to do what’s best for them and their families. “I will be happy with whatever they choose to do.” Obviously it would be amazing if they choose to return but he’s not trying to persuade them.