Junior to Watch: Brian Randle

Brian Randle is considered one of the best juniors in the entire state of Illinois. He's also widely regarded on the national level and may find himself on quite a few top 25 lists as well. It's certainly safe to assume that the 6-8 wing forward from Peoria (Ill.) Notre Dame is a big national target for many of the elite college basketball programs in the country.

But this year has been a bit of a struggle for the dynamic athlete from Central Illinois. He's recently come back from a pretty frustrating ankle injury that sidelined him for a couple of weeks. After Notre Dame started the season hot -- they've cooled to round out their record at 9-7 on the season.

"Most of those losses came when Brian was sidelined," said Randle's father, Charles, from his Peoria home.

Charles tells us that Brian's ankle is much better now, and that his son is back on the floor again -- despite occasional swelling which has affected his ability to create on the offensive end.

"His last couple of games have been better," he said. "He's getting back up there, averaging about 20 to 22 points a game now."

Speaking of "getting back up there," that's what many of the college programs love about the athletic Randle. He REALLY GETS UP there. He's certainly one of the best athletes in the entire class of 2003. He elevates with ease for a variety of dunks, rebounds and athletic moves to the hoop. And he creates very well off the dribble. He can also operate facing the basket as well as in the post with his back to it. Versatility is definitely a strong part of his scouting report.

Randle excels in transition and loves to bring the house down with his impressive vertical leap and hang-time. And just as he did last summer with the St. Louis Eagles -- he's got a lot of college coaches at his games this season.

"We're hearing from all over," said his father. "The most aggressive schools are Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan and Notre Dame, I'd say. But we're getting stuff from a lot of other schools as well. Schools like Duke, North Carolina and most of the big national programs."

And he was kind enough to appease the InsideCarolina.com audience with more elaboration on the UNC interest.

"Well, we've been getting stuff from them on a consistent basis," he said. "You know, US Mail, Fed Ex'es, UPS Overnights. But they're not really recruiting him that hard right now."

Randle will probably decide early, according to published reports.


Thanks to Frank Rusnack at High School Elite for the photo.

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