Scouting Julius Randle

Five-star power forward Julius Randle is headed to Kentucky. Here is a detailed look at the game of the five-star prospect.

Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian Julius Randle made his commitment on Wednesday and chose Kentucky over Kansas. The 6-foot-9 power forward is one of the top players in the country and here is what he will bring to the floor right away in college.

On Offense

Picking apart Randle's game isn't easy and honestly not very worthwhile a lot of the time because he does everything at such a high level, pointing out his deficiencies is honestly nitpicking at the highest level.

Still on the offensive side of the ball Randle is at his best when he is down low and simply dominating with his combination of size, strength, and athleticism. When Randle plays within five feet of the basket there isn't a player in high school basketball who can do anything with him. He has a great touch around the rim, enough explosiveness to be deadly, and then has the strength to finish through contact.

The other area where Randle is extremely effective is when he catches the ball in the mid-range and makes a decisive move right to the basket. At this point he is still slightly better going to his left off the bounce than right, but he is good with either hand to the point where when he attacks and is decisive there isn't much a defender can do because he is so strong and quick.

Randle's first step is so quick that power forwards have a hard time keeping him in front, and a smaller defender just has absolutely no shot because Randle will power right through for a dunk.

An area where Randle has made a lot of improvement is with his perimeter shot, but this is both a good and bad thing. Randle is now a reliable shooter to 18 feet with range out to 22 feet. In fact he has even developed a strong step back jumper that can be a good thing, but this improvement has also led to Randle floating too much.

At times Randle simply can fall in love with the perimeter jumper. He simply tries to be a shooting guard instead of a power forward too much, and that limits his effectiveness at times. It isn't a situation where he isn't playing hard because he is, he just isn't using his skill set in the best manner and in essence makes himself easier to defend instead of putting the defense in the worst possible position.

On Defense

While Randle is dominant on the offensive end, he is no slouch on the defensive side. While Randle isn't an elite shot blocker, he is more than capable of protecting the rim. Randle will block shots, mostly with his left hand, and can do it while guarding the ball and from the weakside.

While he is a solid shot blocker, where Randle is excellent on defense is as a rebounder. Randle has a good feel for how the ball is going to come off the rim and also does a solid job of blocking out opponents. Instead of waiting for the ball to come off, Randle goes up and gets it and is always attacking.

Also as a position defender he is very good. Randle is strong and does a good job of pushing players off the block, but then also has quick enough feet to defend in the mid-range and on the perimeter against power forwards.

At times he can lose focus, but that is normal for a high school player and isn't a major negative in the grand scheme of things as that comes with maturity and experience.

Overall

Quite simply there is a lot ot love about Randle's game. He is an elite prospect and one of the better power forward prospects to come down the pike in quite some time. He has drawn comparisons to guys like Chris Webber and others during his high school career, and who knows if he will be that good, but there is no doubt he is elite.

Randle has won every step of the way during his high school career and has a desire to be great. Now he is a member of one of the best recruiting classes, if not the best, ever and will have a bright stage to show off his versatile and impressive skill set.


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