This is the latest installment in our “Past and Future” series, detailing each player’s last season and what the future holds. Remember to check PGU for the next installment!
The transition from high school to college is rarely easy, even for top level recruits. Gabe York, who was a top 50 player in a deep class and one of the most dynamic offensive players in the country, is an example of just how difficult the jump can be.
York, known for highlight reel dunks and sweet shooting from deep, barely got an opportunity to show his talent last year. The reason was not his offensive game, which is truly special, but rather it was on the defensive side of the ball. As is the case with many freshmen, a lack of defensive focus in practice kept York off the court.
Considering that Arizona had three experienced guards ahead of him, it makes sense that York didn’t get much opportunity as a freshman. But during his sparse playing time, he did show some flashes of what made him such a highly rated recruit. In just 87 minutes of play, York converted 8 three point shots and showed an aggressive offensive game.
It wasn’t long ago that York was named the MVP at the 2012 Adidas Nations, an event that featured some of the world’s best players, including Arizona center Kaleb Tarczewski. There is no question about York’s talent, it’s just a matter of the young guard earning more time through sustained effort in practice and capitalizing on the opportunities that come his way.
As one of four guards in the backcourt rotation, York will be fighting for minutes again as a sophomore. However, he has an opportunity to carve out a meaningful role off the bench.
With TJ McConnell and Nick Johnson likely starting at the guard spots, York has a chance to be an offensive spark off the bench. Arizona lost much of their three point firepower this offseason, so York’s ability to hit the long ball could prove to be a valuable asset.
The same question remains from his freshman year, though. Can York’s defensive effort earn him more playing time? The answer will likely determine how successful York’s sophomore season can be.