INDIANAPOLIS—He steamed as he paced parallel to the court, until the break in the action finally brought him to a quick stop.
When the gold-clad Jaguars made their way to their the bench, following a sloppy second half sequence against Western Illinois, Ron Hunter let them have it.
Especially one player.
"Coach got into him, he got under his skin," said forward Robert Glenn. "He told him he better go out there and work hard, quit throwing up quick shots."
It wasn't the first conversation that Alex Young had with his coach that night. The other had come about 20 minutes before.
Read: Bassett's Shot Gives Ohio Win Over IUPUI At Conseco Fieldhouse
"We had a nice little talk," said Hunter of his sophomore guard, whom he also had a meeting with at halftime. "Its not something I would say on camera."
Call it motivation with a twist of tough love, but the pep talk was necessary. On an emerging Jaguars team, having Young shoot 1-of-7 in 20 minutes-as he did Saturday night-won't cut it.
"We need him to play like he did in the second half," said Hunter-who'se conversation produced 12 second half points on 5-of-7 shooting guard in a 13-point win over Western Illinois. "When he play's that way, we think we're unbeatable."
That's true. In all 11 of the Jaguars' victories this season, Young has put double digits on the scoreboard, and primarily shot the ball with over 40 percent accuracy.
Read: Jaguars Stay Unbeaten At Home With Win Over Duquesne
"I do what I can to help the team out," said Young, who is the second leading scorer on the Jaguars squad, averaging 17.6 points per game so far in the 2009-2010 season. "If they need me to make shots, whether defend or make shots, than that's what I'll try to do."
Its a role of responsibility that Young is more prepared to take, according to himself and his teammates, thanks to full freshman season of playing time and off season workout schedule. In his first season out of Northwest High School in Indianapolis, Young saw 23 minutes of action a game, averaging 10.8 points, 3.5 rebounds while shooting 44 percent from the field.
As a sophomore, the number of minutes has jumped to 30, with his point total jumping up to 17.6 per game, with his rebounds jumping to just under four a game, and his field goal percentage increasing to 46 percent.
"He's shooting the ball a lot better, he's way stronger, and a lot quicker than he was last year," said Glenn of Young. "I think he's been putting in a lot of work to try and get better and succeed."
It's behind the arch, according to Young, where the work has truly paid off. His percentage of made treys has increase from 26 percent last season to 43 percent during his sophomore season.
"Last year, I didn't shoot well at all from the three point line and I was just OK on defense, and those are two critical things in my game," said Young. "So I just wanted to come out in my second year and improve on both of those."
Read: IUPUI Starts Conference Race Fast
Both of those factors came into play after a rough start against Western Illinois at The Jungle Saturday. In the second half, Young hit 5-of-7 shots he took-including two three-pointers, while scoring 12 points to add to his 16 for the game.
What caused the offensive output, according to Hunter, was his improved play on defense, which is something he has learned since making his debut with the Jaguars over a season ago.
"It's just the maturity," said Hunter of Young's improvements in his second season. "He understands, he works at it, he gets in the weight room, it's just the maturity. The best thing about a freshman is that they become a sophomore.
"He's grown up and he's maturing, he's becoming a leader, and his best basketball is yet to come."