Chasson Randle Shows Promise In Tourney

Rock Island won the consolation championship of the State Farm Holiday Classic basketball tournament, defeating Quincy Notre Dame, 61-55. Sophomore sensation Chasson Randle scored 37 to lead Rock Island. Randle is receiving heavy interest from the University Of Illinois.

Chasson Randle is a fundamentally sound basketball player, and he already has a scholarship offer from Illinois. He is smart, sees the floor well, and has a consistent shot. He is a good if not great athlete who has fluid movements and will likely be a four-year college contributor. He led Rock Island to three straight wins in the holiday tournament after an opening round loss to Springfield.

He totaled 17, 23, 15 and 37 points in those games. He made three three-point shots in the opener, two against Thornwood and four against Quincy Notre Dame. Despite his youth, Chasson is a team leader.

Rock Island's opening loss came on the heels of a long bus ride that left the entire team flat and lacking energy. Randle and Coach Thom Sigel were both discouraged after the loss, so their interviews do not reflect their mood most of the time. Sigel thinks highly of his sophomore star, but he was less willing to praise him after a loss.

"Chasson is doing ok. He's still a sophomore, I think you saw that. He's gonna keep working on it. He's had a lot of great games for us."

Sigel was asked if recruiting pressures place excessive pressure on Randle at such a young age.

"He's been great up until the last game when he didn't play well. He's handled it pretty well. You never know exactly what's going through their heads."

Chasson was disappointed losing to Springfield, but he displayed maturity beyond his years when interviewed.

"Obviously, it's real disappointing. We figured we'd play hard and win the game. They came out hard on us, and we came out flat. Things weren't going our way, and we got a little timid.

"It hurts, it really does. But all we can do is come back and try to win tomorrow."

Randle has more responsibilities than most sophomores, but he is accustomed to it and thrives on it. He doesn't see it as a burden.

"No, not really because growing up this is what I had to do at the lower levels. I'm trying to take that role on and do my best."

Chasson's first half penetrations did not always end in buckets.

"I couldn't take the contact early. I'd get hit a little bit going up for layups, and it kind of threw me off a little bit. I guess I just wasn't finishing."

His lack of strength hurt him.

"Yes, that's what it is. I need to bulk up a little more."

Discussions quickly reverted to recruiting inquiries. Chasson is in no hurry to commit to any college.

"I'm taking it day by day. I'm trying to feel out all the schools and scouts and things like that."

Does he have a target date for making a college decision?

"Right now, I'm not sure. My family and I are maybe looking at it coming up this summer, spring maybe."

Point guard Tracy Abrams committed recently to Illinois. The Illini coaches believe he and Abrams could compliment each other while some schools are telling him he would have to compete with Abrams for playing time. Will Abrams' commitment effect the combo guard's decision?

"It really doesn't. It doesn't change my opinion of Illinois. He is a great player and I will like to play with him (should he decide on Illinois)."


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