The top incoming freshman big man this season hasn’t necessarily lived up to the hype. But he has been the man child scouts expected.
Kentucky power forward Julius Randle was expected to come in and straight dominant, and although that hasn’t been the case, Randle will still be a top pick in the upcoming NBA draft.
The 6 foot 9, 250 pounder from Texas is averaging a double-double scoring 15.7 points while grabbing 10.3 rebounds a game. Most believe that Randle was the third best freshman coming into the season, and he has played like it for the most part.
Randle’s offensive game at this level is mostly considered bully ball. He is stronger than most of his peers at this level and can physically dominant them when trying to put the ball in the basket. He uses his natural left hand and can take any contact when hit to finish.
Since he’s so much stronger, Randle has no problem getting solid position on the block. He uses a nice jump hook going to his left to score, but also isn’t that bad going to his right for a lefty. He has decent moves that will develop over time, but if he wants to be an All-Star down the line, the biggest thing he needs to improve is his jump shot.
The jump shot isn’t ugly by any means, and looks like it should have no problem improving with time, but it just might be his biggest weakness offensively. He has no problem taking his man off the dribble when using a pump fake, but once the outside shot really gets going, Randle will be a problem.
On the defensive side of the ball, Randle won’t ever be the type of guy to completely shut someone down. He is a fantastic rebounder, but won’t lead the league in blocks. He does have the muscle to not get punked on the block, and will try his hardest to keep up with quicker stretch fours who can drive by him.
One of Randle’s best attributes is his desire to compete and win. You won’t see him take a play off and when you need a basket, he wants the ball. Playing for Coach Cal, you know he won’t be able to get away with being a slouch on thwarting defensive end and hopefully that continues at the next level.
Most scouts want to compare Randle to Zach Randolph since they are both lefty’s and physically built. I can see this, but I believe he can be a Chris Webber type player for a franchise in the near future.
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