Decision time is looming for one of the nation's elite prospects and one of Kentucky's last remaining targets in the Class of 2013.
Five-star Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian Academy forward Julius Randle has led his team to the TAPPS Final Four and has his eye on another championship with just two games remaining in his stellar prep career. The 6-foot-9, 235-pound Randle, ranked No. 5 in the Class of 2013 by Scout and FOX Sports, will play in the semifinals on Friday and the championship on Saturday if the Lions advance as expected.
Not too long after that, he plans to make his college decision.
"He has six schools on his list -- Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky, N.C. State, Texas and Florida," PCA coach Chris Mayberry said. "He is done taking visits and thinks he'll have a decision soon. After we're done with our season and spring break, he'll take about two weeks to think it over with his family, then make an announcement, I believe, in mid-March."
Randle does not currently have a leader, according to Mayberry.
"I think this is going to be a really tough decision for him," he said. "All of these are good programs, winning programs. It will come down to things like the coach relationship, academics and a coach who can help him follow his walk with the Lord."
Mayberry noted he hasn't spoken with the UK staff during Randle's recruitment. "It's been a little unusual in that regard," he said. "They're the only ones I haven't spoken with. I think they're dealing directly with the family, just the way they choose to go about it."
Asked what the Wildcats' chances of adding his star player to their already No. 1-ranked national recruiting class are, Mayberry said: "I think it's pretty good. I know he had a great visit to Kentucky and really enjoyed it."
Randle recently returned from an ankle injury that had sidelined him for most of his senior season. He returned with a bang two weeks ago, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in his first game back. He followed that effort up with a 35-point game in his second game back on the court.
"Obviously, it's great to have him back out there," Mayberry said. "It's a shame he had to miss so much time because he had really worked on his game and added a lot since his junior season. His shooting and overall skills have really improved."
Kentucky wants at least one more frontcourt player in its 2013 class that currently includes Texas twin guards Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison, Michigan swingman James Young, California forward Marcus Lee, Florida center Dakari Johnson and Kentucky forward Derek Willis. The Cats are still pursuing Randle, California's Aaron Gordon and Canadian phenom Andrew Wiggins. All three are national Top 10 prospects.
End of Randle recruitment drawing closer
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