After debating an official visit this upcoming weekend to Missouri, four-star point guard Brandon Randolph decided on Wednesday to end his recruitment and pick the Xavier Musketeers. Here is a look at what Randolph will bring the Musketeers when he makes the cross country move from Inglewood to Cincinnati next season.
Even though he is classified as a point guard, a better term for Randolph would be "points guard" because what he does best is attack and score the basketball. Randolph is very fast using the dribble and is capable of getting to the rim and going coast-to-coast against nearly any kind of defender.
That speed and solid ability to handle the ball makes him tough because Randolph is one of the stronger guards in the 2013 class from the point position. He can get out in transition as well as anyone, and in transition his decision making is actually fairly good.
While speed is one major asset for Randolph another is being able to score from all over the court. He isn't a pure shooter by any stretch, and he can get sloppy with his footwork, but when Randolph gets hot from the perimeter it can be quite impressive. With a smooth release he should get more consistent with reps, and that is one of the things that is so bright about his potential.
While in transition Randolph shows a pretty good feel, he will have to improve when the game slows down. He doesn't have elite floor vision nor does he have a great idea yet of how to run an offense in the half court setting. He has made strides with these things in the last year, but still if there is room for growth him that would be it.
With the pace at which Xavier likes to play and the use of ball screens that they have in their offense, Randolph is the type of guard who playing on or off the ball should find a way to be very effective in their system.
While Randolph is currently far superior on the offensive end than he is on the defensive end of the floor, it is actually on defense where he should be better at the college level.
Randolph has good size at 6-foot-1 which allows him to matchup with most point guards or shooting guards, and then is so strong that he should be able to re-direct guards who try to drive to the hoop on him.
Add in that Randolph is a good athlete who moves well laterally, and all of the physical tools are there for him to be an excellent defender at either guard spot.
The issue is right now that Randolph has never been asked to give maximum effort on the defensive end of the floor. Like most high school players he doesn't show the greatest feel for how to defend and isn't always aware when defending away from the basketball.
While the Musketeers have two very talented guards already on their roster in Dee Davis and Semaj Christon, there was definitely a need for another guy who can breakdown a defense and score from the guard position. That is the role Randolph will be asked to fill.
Really over the better part of the last decade Xavier has run a lot of two point guard lineups out on the floor and has shown no aversion to using point or combo guards at the two or even the three in multiple lineups in order to spread the court and push the pace.
Also on defense Xavier likes to apply a lot of pressure on the ball in a man-to-man half court setting and that should fit well into what Randolph is capable of doing.
While he still has a ways to go to become a refined point guard and a good defender, physically Randolph is there and given the development curve of guards at the school this looks like a good fit for both parties.
* Brian Snow and Josh Gershon contributed to this article.