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PLAYER SUMMARY – Kentucky’s Julius Randle isn’t an overly-explosive athlete, but makes up for it with his strong upper body, solid footwork and high motor. He has a skilled face-up game and a reliable mid-range game. The lefty from Dallas is a beast on the boards – both offensive and defensive – with an instinctive nose for the ball. Most feel he can make an immediate impact for the team who drafts him, based on his offensive skill-set and physical maturity. He has a rare balance of finesse and power. He’s also drawn plenty of praise for his work ethic and coachability – leaving it all on the floor in both games and practice. Defensively, he’s not a rim-protector, but does use his strength to keep opponents away from the basket.
Not a burner, Randle still excels in transition and can finish in traffic – getting to the free throw line prolifically. At the collegiate level, he often bounced off defenders and bullied his way through traffic – something that’ll be limited in the NBA. He can play with his back to the basket, but prefers the face-up game.
On the negative side, Randle is seen as a “tweener” as a power forward, with an average wingspan and whose physical strength won’t be as great an advantage on the next level. There are questions as to whether he’ll be able to find his own shot as a pro against taller opponents and concerns that he struggles to utilize his right hand. His mechanics are far from polished and he has no 3-point range, but he knows his limitation and plays to his strengths. Randle got lost in the shuffle a bit when Kentucky struggled in the early season, but he proved he can carry a team to the highest level.
Randle may not be the flashiest first round prospect on the board, but coaches will know what they’ll get from him every night – and that’s a good thing in today’s NBA.
PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS – For a freshman, Kentucky’s Julius Randle comes into the 2014 NBA Draft process with one of the more accomplished bodies of work – leading the Wildcats to the National Championship game while rewriting the record books in Lexington. The rugged power forward was a third-team AP All-American, first team All-SEC and the Conference’s Rookie of the Year. He surpassed the mark for double-doubles (24) by a freshman – eclipsing DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis and falling just one short of Dan Issel’s mark set in 1970. For the season, the Naismith finalist averaged 15.0 points and 10.4 boards per contest.
PLAYER COMPARISON – In terms of measurable, Randle compares to Kevin Love, with a sturdy 6-9, 250-pound frame but with an average wingspan and below-average standing reach. Being a lefty who doesn’t play above the rim, the comparisons to Zach Randolph are only natural. He’s also been likened to Golden State’s David Lee and to the No. 1 overall pick in the previous Draft – Cleveland’s Anthony Bennett.