Shore League Preview: Derrick Randall

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Nearly a year after his verbal commitment to Rutgers, South Kent (South Kent, Conn.) forward Derrick Randall officially joined the Scarlet Knights in late May when he enrolled for classes. spoke with the 6-foot-8, 26th ranked forward in the country to talk about his transition to college and preparations for the Jersey Shore League.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — After his time at South Kent (South Kent, Conn.), Derrick Randall wanted the true college experience. Randall, a 6-foot-8 forward, has only been at Rutgers for one month, but already loves the experience.

"It's great at Rutgers," Randall said after a voluntary workout at the Louis Brown Athletic Center last week. "It's not like how prep school was where everything was restrictive, restrictive, restrictive. You have to eat at certain times and stuff. I now have freedom. I can get food whenever. I can go out and get fresh air and now I see people all the time. It's not like I'm stuck in the woods or whatever."

Randall, midway through a course entitled "Pan-African Movement," said that Rutgers courses are a tough adjustment.

During the summer, most courses at Rutgers run three to four hours in one sitting.

"The classes are something I have to get used to," Randall said. "I wasn't used to a four-hour class before, but I like the professor and I'm learning a lot.

"It's a relief to be here. I'm just glad I'm here because I had to do well academically to get here and I did. I'm glad I'm here because I love this atmosphere. This is the perfect place."

Randall said he is already in "much better shape" than when he arrived and feels like he is very competitive in the post during pick-up games.

Rebounding and defense come naturally, he said, but he would like to improve offensively.

"I'm just working hard and preparing myself for the season," he said. "Every time I'm in here, I'm moving forward and pursuing my career and working hard."

Randall is one of nine Rutgers players scheduled to play in the Jersey Shore League with the "Gutter Cleaners." Games start Thursday and run through July in Belmar, N.J.

"I just want to see how it feels when everybody gets together and plays organized basketball, not in a pickup situation," Randall said. "These are real games and we are going to learn a lot about each other at them.

"Hopefully everything goes well and we don't have to bicker or fight over the ball. I can't wait to see what happens when we start it next week."

For Randall, one of the most exciting parts about the Shore League is the opportunity to play organized basketball with Wally Judge. Judge, a former McDonald's All-American post, helps Randall with everything, he said.

"Wally is great," Randall said. "It's like having a bigger brother telling you what to do that's been there and done it. He helps me with my footwork. He helps the whole team out. The chemistry is great with this whole team. It's like a family. I feel like we will excel this season because of that."

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