Mitch Young posted a career-best 16 points in the Bullets’ loss to the Perth Wildcats in Perth last weekend.
Enjoying an increased role in the player rotation after his elevation to the starting line-up in Round 12, he also had a career-high 10 shots and made a career-high eight baskets.
— NBL (@NBL) February 3, 2017
Also, his efficiency score of 18, which measures his overall statistical contribution, was an equal season-high as he topped the team scoresheet for the first time.
Amazingly, Young became the eighth different player to lead the team’s scoring in a game this season.
In 27 games Torrey Craig has lead the scoring 11 times (including ties), followed by Dan Kickert (9), Jermaine Beal (3), Tom Jervis (2), Adam Gibson (2), Cam Bairstow (2), Jeremy Kendle (1) and Young (1).
Young came into the season with an NBL career-high of 11 points after two seasons with the Cairns Taipans and one season with the Townsville Crocodiles.
He’s topped that mark three times in 2016-17, posting 14 points against the New Zealand Breakers in Round 10 and the Taipans in Round 13 before his 16-point haul against the Wildcats last weekend.
Young, the 206cm 26-year-old who played college ‘ball alongside NBA star Matthew Dellavedova at St.Mary’s in California, has relished the increased court-time afforded him by coach Andrej Lemanis following the loss of big men Cam Bairstow and Anthony Petrie.
With his court time increasing from an average 10 minutes per game through the first 17 games to 18 minutes per game in the last 10, his scoring average has jumped from 4.2 points to 7.5 and his average efficiency score has climbed from 4.7 to 8.4.
— NBL (@NBL) January 15, 2017
His 8-10 field shooting against the Wildcats also elevated him to third spot on the NBL: field goal percentage list.
He’s now shot the ball at 58.8% across the season to trail only NZ’s Mika Vukona (63.0%) and the Sydney Kings’ Aleks Maric (59.7%).
Young averages 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds per game this season in comparison to equivalent figures of 4.5 points and 3.1 rebounds in his 2013-14 rookie season with the Taipans, 2.7 points and 2.1 rebounds in 2014-15 with the Taipans, and 4.9 points and 4.4 rebounds with the Crocs.
With five double-figure scoring games this season, he now has a career 490 NBL points and is within striking distance of 500 in the Bullets’ last game of the season against the Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong on Saturday night.
In other statistical highlights from last weekend:
Shaun Bruce, another player whose numbers have increased significantly with more court time in the back end of the season, posted his fourth consecutive 10-point game when he had 12 points against the Wildcats.
This replicated his four-game streak for the Taipans in December/January of the 2015-16 season when he was called on to play a more significant role due to injury.
Bruce has averaged 5.8 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in his first season with the Bullets after posting corresponding numbers of 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in his fourth season with the Taipans last summer.
Jeremy Kendle had a career-best six assists and an equal career-best two steals against the Wildcats, and Tom Jervis had an equal season-high three blocks.
Sunshine Coast 17-year-old Tom Fullarton, who captained the Australian team at the world U17 championships in Spain last June, joined the all-time Bullets playing roster when he made his NBL debut. He played the last 1min48sec.
The Bullets head to Wollongong Saturday night to take on the #2 ranked Illawarra Hawks. Tip-off from 6.30pm (Local Time), tune in to NBL.TV or Fox Sports to catch all the action.