Boo Williams Invitational: Randolph Analysis
The 6-10 forward from Raleigh's Broughton High isn't as good as advertised: he's better. The guy simply knows how to score, and can get the job done from anywhere on the floor. In the game I saw against Baltimore Blue, he scored on post-up turn-around jumpers, put-backs, perimeter jumpers, and athletic reverse lay-ups. Though some knock him for his defense, I didn't see any glaring deficiencies in that area. He blocked a couple shots against the Heat, and did a solid job of fighting for rebounding position.
You may have heard that he was in frequent foul trouble over the weekend, and he was. But let's just say the referees weren't of the highest caliber. Despite having his minutes severely limited, he still scored over 20 points per game easily.
Most people reading this may already be familiar with his offensive skills. But what impressed me more than anything about his game is that his motions are effortless. He doesn't have any wasted motion, yet his knowledge of the game is unbelievable. He knew just when to throw a pump fake, just how high an arc to put on his jumper to prevent a defender from deflecting it. While those of us in the stands struggled to find a player to compare him to, I would say he is similar to Tim Duncan in his effortless nature. As far as his particular skills, comparing him to just one other player might not be possible; his game is that diverse. Shav is Shav.
The only thing not altogether positive I could say about Shav is that he is pretty skinny, but he has plenty of time to get stronger and fill out. Also, his ball-handling abilities are better than your average college power forward, as is his shooting stroke. So it wouldn't be a stretch to say he could see some time at the 3 or the 4 in college. And his stroke is as pure as any you will see in a high school player. Even when he missed, his shot looked true as it left his hand.
One recruiting expert I visited with often during the weekend, Jeff Anemone of the ACC Recruiting Update, said he had the opportunity to talk to Shav's father in Hampton prior to the Raleigh-Baltimore game. Randolph's dad told Anemone that Shav is far from a decision, and that the talk about Shav going to Duke being a done deal are not accurate. Simply put, he has not gotten as close to a decision as many people think. So take heart UNC fans. Duke may still be toward the top of the list, but so should UNC. It's far from a done deal.
Matt Michalec is a part-time writer for the Daily Press in Newport News, Va. and has covered basketball on Virginia's Peninsula for several years. He is currently a junior journalism student at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, where he is the sports editor-elect for ODU's student paper, The Mace & Crown. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.