2014 NBA Draft Profile: Julius Randle
Julius Randle appeared in and started all 40 games as a freshman at Kentucky, and led the team in points (15.0) and rebounds (10.4). He set UK single-season freshman records in rebounds (417), double-doubles (24) and free throws made (204). Randle was named SEC Freshman of the Year, while also being selected to the All-SEC First Team and All-SEC Freshman Team.
On Tuesday, June 17, Randle went through a solo pre-draft workout in front of Lakers brass at the team's practice facility. PHOTO GALLERY
Below is a transcription of his comments to assembled media members:
Q: On what type of workout the Lakers put him through:
Randle: They wanted to see my versatility, how I shoot the ball. Put me on different spots on the floor, seeing how my hands are, testing my skills out.
Q: On reports regarding problems with his foot:
Randle: I met with the best foot doctor in the country and he said he wouldn’t do anything with my foot. There’s no scheduled surgery or anything. I feel healthy; athletically I’m moving great, (there are) no problems recovering and I’m ready to go.
Q: On if concerns about his foot have been brought up by previous teams he worked out prior to the Lakers:
Randle: I say only one team has made a big deal out of it. I think a lot of it comes from maybe teams trying to use some motives for me to fall in the draft to them or certain teams may want me. I can’t worry about that.
Q: On if the solo workout was a choice by him or the Lakers:
Randle: Kind of both. There’s no reason for me to go up against anybody. You’ve seen me all year. I think the team’s biggest thing is they want to see my skill. I had the longest college season out of anybody in the country. Teams don’t want to see me bang, but rather see my skill.
Q: On how he would rate or compare himself to the other big men (Joel Embiid, Noah Vonleh, Aaron Gordon) entering the NBA Draft:
Randle: I feel like I’m the best one. I don’t put myself second to anybody. That’s my attitude on the floor, my attitude when I compete. It’s just how I was raised to be.
Q: On growing up a Lakers fan and the emotions of working out at the Lakers facility:
Randle: It was definitely a humbling experience. I looked at the court, I looked at the purple and gold and I realized as a little kid that kind of just gave me chills right now. Growing up, I was the biggest Laker fan. Probably more of a Kobe fan, but I was the biggest Laker fan. It was humbling coming from where I came from and going through everything I went through. To finally be on this court playing and practicing is definitely crazy for me.
Q: On reports of him shedding weight after the season:
Randle: I played a little heavier than I usually do at Kentucky. But I just wanted to make sure I was taking care of my body and getting in the best possible shape I can. The biggest difference from high school to college was the longevity and duration of the season – the grind of every day. From college to the NBA, it’s going to be an even bigger jump. I wanted to make sure my body is in the best possible physical condition and ready for that wear and tear cause I want to have a long career.
Q: On how much weight he has dropped in preparation for the NBA Draft:
Randle: I’m like 5-10 pounds lighter. The biggest thing is I trimmed my body up as far as body fat and body composition. I really focused on that and eating healthy.
Q: On what it would mean to him personally to be drafted by the Lakers and to play with Kobe Bryant:
Randle: It’d be amazing. I heard Kobe is a little tough on rookies, but I don’t care. To be in an organization like this, with such great owners, with such a great front office. The city of Los Angeles expects nothing but championships. What more can I ask for? I’m a little prepared for it cause coming from Kentucky, you lose one game and they go crazy.
Q: On the type of feedback he’s received from teams he’s worked out for previously:
Randle: Great feedback. Everybody has been impressed with what I’ve done. The feedback has been great. I put myself in a position to be able to excel.
Q: On if teams told him what they’d like to see him improve upon in his game before the NBA Draft:
Randle: I don’t think we got in depth with that. Teams see my potential and the type of player I can be, and I think that’s what they’re worried about. If I’m on their team, then we’ll get more in depth of what they want me to work on and stuff like that, but nothing specific.
Q: On his defensive capabilities:
Randle: I think I got a lot better at it towards the end of the year. Last year was the first year where I was held accountable on the defensive end as far as stopping my man. It wasn’t just my man, but taking care of the guy next to you. That was the first year I was held accountable for it, but I got better at it. I can move my feet well. I’m fast and athletic, so as far as me on the defensive end, I don’t think it’ll be a struggle because I’m such a competitor.
Q: On how his game fits into a system that can play “small ball” (i.e. Miami) or go big up front (i.e. Memphis):
Randle: I think I’m interchangeable because I’m very versatile as far as things I can do on both ends of the floor and I think I can play many different styles. I don’t think only one style fits me. I think teams are going to see my versatility and know they can use me in many ways, whichever way is best for the team.
Q: On what the next step for him is to try and improve his game:
Randle: Just keep getting in great shape, keep shooting the ball, keep working on every aspect of my game. You’re never going to be perfect at anything. There’s always something I can improve on.
Q: On if there was anything or any part of his game at Kentucky he didn’t show on a regular basis:
Randle: I think coach (John) Calipari did a great job of using me. When you play with that much talent, guys are going to have to sacrifice. You sacrifice a little bit of your game, but I’m not worried about that. I know I’ll get back to some of the things I can do. It’s not all about offense. He challenged me in other areas that are going to help me to get better that will help me tremendously at this level (i.e. defense, playing through whole possessions, mental edge).
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Randle finished fifth in the three quarter sprint (3.27 seconds) and sixth in max vertical leap (35.5 inches) among all power forwards/centers at the NBA Draft Combine.
Other NBA Draft Combine Measurements
Lane Agility Time: 11.45 seconds
Shuttle Run: 3.14 seconds
Standing Vertical Leap: 29.0 inches
Hand Length: 8.75 inches
Hand Width: 8.25 inches
Standing Reach: 8 feet, 9.5 inches
Wingspan: 7 feet
"(Randle is) a double-double machine blessed with unusual NBA strength and quickness. Plus, he's a beast on the boards, and uses his strength to create separation in the paint on the offense end. NBA GMs are always looking for legit power forwards who can control the paint on both ends of the floor. Randle can do that given his body, and he should be able to come in and contribute from day one. However, there are reservations. Randle was billed as a great shooter coming out of high school, but didn't show much of a perimeter game at Kentucky. He also seemed to struggle with length around the rim and doesn't have much of a right hand. Finally, as (Kevin) Pelton has pointed out, his effort defensively has been mediocre at best at times."