De'Andre Randolph one of the Best Unknown Secrets

De'Andre Randolph is a player that most of you from Illini Nation have not heard of, but by the time his senior season is over, you will (along with other big time schools across the country).

Who is this De'Andre Randolph, you ask? He's one of the best players in the state of Illinois that at one point was falling through the crack, but not anymore. He's a 6-3 senior from Rock Island High School; the same school that produced former Cincinnati great Pete Mickeal. No longer is this kid a sleeper. Since his most recent scoring outburst against Quincy two weeks ago when he scored 35 points, people have taken more notice. Randolph followed that up with two more outstanding games, 26 and 27 respectively. I was in attendance the night Randolph scored 27, and it was like watching Richard McBride all over again in high school, but with better ball-handling skills and a much better vertical leap.

Scoring is nothing new for this senior. Last year against Rochelle he scored a career high 39 points. "I know teams try to stop me from scoring. My coach Tom Sigel does a great job of getting me open looks. When I get the ball coach tells me to use my God-given athletic ability to get the job done," said Randolph.

Don't know if you believe in genetics, but get this - Randolph is the brother of Chicago Farragut guard Chris Singletary, who is currently ranked as one of the top three players in the class of 2006. "My dad is the assistant coach at Faragut Darrin Malone and he tells people all the time that I'm the better player in the state and can do more than Chris. But because he's from Chicago he may get more press," Randolph said.

The best player that Randolph has gone head to head with this year is Illini-signee Jamar Smith. "Jamar is a good player. The one thing he does better than me at this point is move without the ball, but I more than held my own against him," Randolph stated. Right now Randolph is averaging 31.1 ppg game and schools are taking notice. Randolph didn't hesitate to give me the list of schools on his wish list. "Right now I love Illinois. They would be first, then Wake Forest, UNC, MSU and DePaul," Randolph said.

Since Randolph has been "filling" it up, the college coaches are taking notice. When I saw this young man play he had a dunk that brought everyone out of their seats, so not only can he handle the ball, he's also a great leaper.

Stay tuned because you will hear a lot more from this rising star.

Photo by Jenny Butler R.I Argus/Dispatch

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