The RecruitmentBasically from the moment he stepped on a basketball court as a freshman, Julius Randle has been a priority recruit for the top schools in the country. Local schools such as Texas and Baylor were on him from day one, and probably even before he started his high school career. Randle was considered by some to be a phenom before he even got to Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian, so this has been a long journey.
Schools such as North Carolina and Duke got some talk as serious options for Randle while he was a junior, and even Oklahoma when Jeff Capel was in charge was seen a real threat due to the connection with his trainer Jeff Webster who was a standout for the Sooners during his playing days.
Still Randle always maintained that he was open even if others were putting one school ahead of the other and speculating. Heck at different times in the last year North Carolina State, Texas, and Florida were all rumored to be the leader.
However down the stretch it has seemingly become clear that the two schools with the real shot of landing Randle are Kansas and Kentucky. Both the Jayhawks and Wildcats have done a lot of work with Randle, and each school has good reason to feel positive going into the announcement.
With so much time and effort being put in by both staffs, this recruitment has been one with a lot of intrigue, and Randle hasn't given too many public hints throughout the process and nothing has changed lately.
The TalentAt 6-foot-9 and roughly 235 pounds, there isn't much on a basketball court that Randle struggles to do. Despite missing the better part of his senior season due to an injury, Randle is a rare talent that projects as someone who will have a short stay in college before heading to the NBA.
Randle while not an elite athlete, is a very good athlete who can finish around the rim as well as any player in the class. Also he is so strong that he is too much to handle for most when he goes to down to the block and is motivated.
At times during his high school and AAU career Randle has floated around the perimeter too much trying to be a small forward, but part of that is coaches just allowing it. When Randle is told to go down low and dominate he typically does.
With that said, Randle's perimeter skills have improved greatly over the past 12 months. Before going down with an injury at the start of his high school season Randle looked very comfortable shooting it out to the three point line, and then also had the quickness and explosion to beat his man off the dribble and get to the rim.
With the size, skill, athleticism, and strength, Randle is quite simply the complete package. He is a legit contender to finish as high as No. 2 in the final rankings if he proves it at the McDonald's All-American Game.
The PredictionSnow: This has been a tough one to get a pulse on the entire recruitment. While Randle hasn't necessarily stayed out of the media spotlight he has been very good at not giving much away and keeping things in house. Still it seems for all the world that Kentucky and Kansas are the only two still in the mix with him having good visits to both. In the end I think he stays a little bit closer to home and plays his college ball for Bill Self. Prediction: Kansas
Daniels: Rumors have swirled down the stretch of the Julius Randle recruitment. While he has four schools on his list, I think it turned into more of a race between Kentucky and Kansas. Both schools have their advantages but the school I'm predicting Randle ends up at is Kentucky. He's the missing piece to their 2013 recruiting class. With the addition of Randle it would give Kentucky the top recruiting class I've seen since covering recruiting. Prediction: Kentucky