During his last summer on the circuit as Clemson's coach, Oliver Purnell became intrigued by an under-the-radar point guard from one of the country's top AAU programs.
“I saw Brandon [Young] an awful lot with Team Takeover that summer,” Purnell recalled. “I was always very impressed with him. He really had a tremendous upside.”
Purnell was far from the only major Division I coach in the summer of 2009 who became enamored with Young, a Randallstown native who eventually signed with DePaul over Central Florida, Marquette, Massachusetts, Miami and South Florida. While the Tigers never became involved in the Friendship Collegiate Academy standout’s recruitment, Purnell never forgot the 6-foot-4, 195-pound point guard.
Five months after Young signed his letter of intent, Purnell stunned the college basketball world by leaving Clemson to take the Blue Demons’ head coaching job. Priority No. 1 for Purnell was convincing Young to stay on board.
“It was clear that [You...