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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. --- The debate for the No. 1 spot in the Class of 2013 rankings is ongoing among basketball observers, but there's no doubt who Roy Williams has pegged for that spot.

"He tells me all the time I'm his favorite player and he really wants me there," said Julius Randle of his conversations with UNC's coach.

Williams has been on-hand for each of Randle's games thus far at this week's Peach Jam, signifying the extent of his interest. And Williams was far from alone. The sideline was packed with coaches every time the 6-9, 245-pound forward took the floor, a spectacle he termed "crazy."

Ask Randle about the schools recruiting him and he lists them without distinction.

"Pretty much everywhere," he said. "I would say it's even - Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Baylor, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Memphis, Florida – just everywhere."

Ask him about the coaches he's developed a good relationship with, and he prefaces with a reluctance to say one coach stands above the rest and then starts to rattle off head coaches and assistants before trailing off rather than name them all.

"Coach Capel, Coach Williams and Coach Robinson, Coach Donavan … Coach Self, Coach Manning … coaches everywhere, everybody."

So what does a school do to stand out? For North Carolina, it's Roy Williams taking charge of the recruitment.

"Whenever they call me it's always Coach Williams," Randle said.

Randle's AAU coach with the Texas Titans, Scott Pospichal, spoke of the impression the head Tar Heel made at Randle's school on a visit.

"Roy Williams came to Prestonwood one day and spent about 45 minutes to an hour just talking to us," Pospichal said. "You'd swear you're talking to your uncle or a family member. He was just the most engaging man – you can see why kids want to play and be a part of Roy Williams."

Yet Randle maintains a poker face, either because he is truly and completely without preference among all the schools recruiting him, or because he's just grateful to be in this position. The latter seems the safe bet, as Randle explained that he tries to maintain regular phone conversations with all the coaches that are interested. And that's no easy task when you consider how often that means he needs to be on the phone.

"If a coach calls, I'll answer - if I missed a call, I'll call them as soon as I can - it's not a problem because it's a blessing in itself to have them recruiting you," he said.

There's a ways to go in this recruitment and before his school list can be whittled down, Randle wants to take more visits.

"Maybe when the summer is over I'll look at some schools I want to go to that I haven't been to before or that I want to revisit," he said, noting that Duke is the only school on his list he hasn't visited yet so it will be one of his upcoming trips.

And right now the timetable is to take his official visits in the fall of 2012 before making a decision.

In the meantime, though some coaches are already convinced, Randle will continue on the circuit with confidence that he's worthy of the No. 1 spot in the rising junior class.

"I don't think anybody is better than me to be honest," he said. "I have the mentality that I want to establish myself as the best player on the floor."

"It's natural for me to play hard all the time and compete. … If I come out with the mindset of playing hard all the time, I don't think there's anyone that can really stop me. And if I've got a chip on my shoulder because I'm not the No. 1 guy, I know I'm going to play hard and it'll only bring out the best in my game."

Julius Randle Profile

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