The 17U Super Showcase in Orlando, Florida started out with a nationally televised game Wednesday between the Houston Defenders and Boo Williams. Kansas still has its eye on a couple of BWSL prospects including 6-1 Anthony Barber. Barber is definitely quick but he and teammate Allerick Freeman were handled rather easily by the Defender and the Harrison twins, 73-54.
Bill Self watched this game after arriving in Orlando earlier Wednesday. The game drew quite a crowd of coaches. Barber has the ability to go end-to-end quickly but he truly understands that going only one speed makes a player extremely guard-able. Freeman on the other hand is the power player who can get in the lane at 6-4 and finish. KU also appears to be keeping an eye on 6-6 Troy Williams. KU is looking to fill 4 spots in this class on paper and finding a wing is going to be a priority with this recruiting class.
Word floating around about the talented twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison, is that both will eventually choose Kentucky. The only other team mentioned in the mix is Maryland right now according to most.
The focal point for KU and Self at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex was for sure Texas Titan big man Julius Randle. The 6-8 Randle was really good last year in this event and the scary thing is he has improved a lot.
Randle has an infectious smile and always seems to be enjoying himself when he gets to play this game. I like that in a kid. He has a workmanlike attitude and he is amazingly unselfish for a kid with his ability. His knack for being able to rip down a rebound and take it the length of the floor is uncanny in a player his size. His speed is deceptive and his strength is unmatched. It's a tough matchup for any opponent. Randle has been seeing his share of double teams and rarely is it successful. He stays poised and patient and finds the open man.
What has improved the most? Probably his skill level in getting others involved. At times last year he would drive it hard but be a slight bit out of control at times. That is not the case anymore. If I had to pick at one thing it is probably his free throw shooting. I think with the amount he gets fouled he needs to shoot it at a higher percentage.
In a noon tilt on Thursday Randle scored 2 points but was dominant with the ball and virtually unstoppable in seeing and finding whoever was open. In an evening game Wednesday, a parent from the opposing team was chanting "overrated" to Randle. He really picked up his game from there and showed nearly his entire repertoire of moves. He can post up and back a player down but on the perimeter with the ball in his hands he's equally able to dominate.
Thursday night's game against E1T1 was televised and not one of Randle's best. E1T1 did a great job getting in front of Randle and he had a couple of offensive fouls early that seemed to disrupt his rhythm. Randle eventually fouled out and the Titans had no answer for the sharpshooting perimeter from E1T1.
KU, Baylor, NC State, Kentucky, Florida, and Texas have had head coaches front and center for all of the Titans games.
Extra Notes--?*Damian Jones, a 6-9 power forward for the Titans, is getting better all the time and drawing more attention on the recruiting scene.?*KU head coach Bill Self left Orlando Thursday evening and was headed to Fort Wayne, Indiana before journeying to Vegas. KU assistant Joe Dooley is now in town handling the remaining recruiting duties in Orlando.