Feb. 28, 2014
By Sean Brennan
Special to BIGEAST.com
In our latest installment of "Getting to Know...," we chat up DePaul senior guard Brandon Young to find out why he is one of a kind in Blue Demons' history, why even a single win in the BIG EAST tournament next month would mean the world to him and his hopes of one day joining an elite DePaul club that has just two members - George Mikan and Mark Aguirre.
BIGEAST.com: There are a host of distinguished names in DePaul basketball lore that you have surpassed on the school's all-time scoring list during your four years with the Demons. Guys like Rod Strickland, Terry Cummings, Quentin Richardson, Clyde Bradshaw, Skip Dillard and Tyrone Corbin. You're currently sixth on the list with a great shot of finishing third and passing the great George Mikan. What do you make of that?
YOUNG: That's just me working hard, me giving it my all day in and day out. It's just a great honor to be mentioned with that great group of guys that have been here at DePaul. It's a blessing to be mentioned with those guys. It's kind of sad not to have that many wins under my belt, but I'm still happy at the end of the day to be mentioned with that group of guys.
BIGEAST.com: You're the only player in DePaul history to log 1,800 points, 500 assists and 100 three-pointers in your career so you are kind of in a category all by yourself. How does that feel?
YOUNG: It feels great to have your own category. Hopefully no one will beat it because I'd like to stand at the top. But if somebody does beat it one day I'd understand because they'd be putting in the hard work and giving their all out there on the court. But it is great to have your own record and have other people recognize it.
BIGEAST.com: When you chose to come to DePaul did you ever dream you'd put together this body of work that you have managed the last four years?
Oh not at all. I just wanted to come here and win and go to the NCAA Tournament. That's all I wanted to do was win. I wasn't thinking about any individual statistics, just whatever I could do to help my team win.
BIGEAST.com: You mentioned before that you haven't piled up as many wins as you would have liked during your career. That being said, do you think maybe your accomplishments have gone unnoticed to some extent by fans who don't realize the kind of career you've put together at DePaul?
YOUNG: I would say some because a lot of people just look at our win-loss (record) and we've had a lot of losses. But I would think some people don't realize how much passion and how much hard work I put into this game. So yeah, I would say some people don't realize my achievements.
BIGEAST.com: What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far with the Blue Demons?
YOUNG: The highlight of my career would be when we played Pittsburgh at home (Jan. 5, 2012) and I hit a layup and got fouled by (Pitt's) Ashton Gibbs. Then I hit the free throw to put us up one and we won the game and the fans just stormed the court. It was such a great feeling to get a win like that versus a great team and to just be on the court with the fans. It was that college, storm-the-court experience that you always dream of.
BIGEAST.com: What about the low point?
YOUNG: Just losing in general. I hate losing just as much as I like winning, that's how much passion I have for this game. I'd have to say just losing in general. I don't like it.
BIGEAST.com: You're in the new BIG EAST and you're in your final year, but you also have never won a BIG EAST Tournament game in your career. Is this DePaul team, which has been playing well of late, capable of pulling off a few wins at the Garden in March?
YOUNG: Oh of course, without a doubt. We have a great group of guys that just want to get better and just do whatever it takes to win. We have Billy Garrett and Tommy Hamilton, two outstanding freshmen who are really advanced for their age and don't really play like freshmen. But if we all buy in and stay focused I'm pretty sure we could have a good chance of pulling this thing out.
BIGEAST.com: What would a tournament win mean to you in particular?
YOUNG: It would be great. I think I'd be lost for words. It's something I've thought about since I was young. But I'm not going to get too overhyped about it, just going to take it day by day.
BIGEAST.com: Have your four years at DePaul gone by fast?
YOUNG: Oh yeah, it feels like just yesterday I was a freshman with Cleve (former teammate Cleveland Melvin) and now I blink my eyes and I'm a senior. It went by pretty fast but I've enjoyed every minute of it though.
BIGEAST.com: You still have two regular season games left (at St. John's and home vs. Butler) before the BIG EAST tournament. But have you thought about what it's going to be like when it does come to an end for you?
YOUNG: No, I haven't thought about that yet because there's still basketball to be played. I don't want to think about that right now. I just want to focus on basketball and see who far this can take me.
BIGEAST.com: When the time does come though, will it be hard to take off that No. 20 for the final time?
YOUNG: Yeah it's definitely going to be very difficult taking off that No. 20 for DePaul. But I'll be able to look back when it's all over and say I gave it my all at DePaul. I stuck it out and played with DePaul pride and passion.
BIGEAST.com: What are your plans after you leave DePaul?
YOUNG: Well, hopefully I can get a job somewhere playing basketball, hopefully the NBA but if not then overseas. Basketball is what I love to do so I wouldn't mind getting a job somewhere. But if basketball doesn't work out I have some other options, maybe becoming a sports analyst and talk about basketball.
BIGEAST.com: There are only two uniform numbers that have ever been retired at DePaul, one is George Mikan's No. 99, who you still might pass on the all-time scoring list, and the other is Mark Aguirre's No. 24. Because you are in your own category like we talked about earlier, do you think someday down the line you might see your No. 20 hanging from the rafters at DePaul?
YOUNG: I hope so. That would be a great feeling and truly a blessing. If they do that it would be the happiest day of my life and something that I could talk to my parents about and to my kids if I have kids someday. That would be an honor if they ever did retire my jersey and I'd be up there with two other great players from DePaul.