Shavlik Randolph - PF/C
Raleigh, NC (Broughton HS)
Rising senior - Class of 2002
(Interview during the 2001 Las Vegas Big Time)
You've mentioned that you might take a visit to Stanford while
you're out here on the West Coast. What's the status with that?
Shavlik Randolph: I definitely might. After this, I'm going to go work Michael Jordan's camp, so I might take a visit. I'm flying straight from here to there, so I might take a visit before I go there.
You say you might take a visit. Are they a team on the
outside looking in, compared to the Carolina trio?
Shavlik Randolph: Yeah, I'd say they're in my top 6 or 7 schools. I don't want to make any decision before I take a look at them.
What are the pros and cons of the schools you're looking at that
aren't in Carolina - Florida, Kansas and Stanford?
Shavlik Randolph: They're not real close to home, so I wouldn't have that 30 minute drive from home. But they're just great programs, and you can't say anything bad about them.
Who are the coaches you've seen here the most in Vegas watching
Shavlik Randolph: Coach Daugherty, the Florida coaches and the Duke coaches.
How much of an effect does that have on you?
Shavlik Randolph: It doesn't really have much of an effect on me. I just go out to serve God, so I don't worry about playing for coaches. I just play to serve Him.
Do you have a feeling yet for when you will be comfortable in
making a decision - a timeframe?
Shavlik Randolph: Yeah, I'd actually like to do it before my high school season starts. I won't rush into anything, but I don't want my high school team to deal with people asking me and all of that. I just want to get it over with, so I can concentrate 100% of my energy on my high school team. I owe that much to them. But I'm not going to rush into anything, and will see how things play out best for me.
What are your top three criteria as you are
comparing these schools in your decision?
Shavlik Randolph: My relationship with the coach and the coaching staff. How I like the players they have, and who they have coming in. Stuff like that.
Could you talk a little bit about what you've liked about these
Shavlik Randolph: Really, they're all great coaches, so it will probably come down to which one I can trust the most - to put my career in his hands. For him to guide me. It will probably come down to that - the trust factor.
Have you gotten any gut feeling yet for any of these coaches that
you've bonded with?
Shavlik Randolph: I've really felt like I bonded a lot with the Florida coaches when I went down there. I've bonded with Coach K, and I've bonded well with the Carolina coaches. If I didn't feel like I bonded well with them, they wouldn't be at the top of my list right now.
Where do academics fit in?
Shavlik Randolph: For academics, every one of the schools on my list are one of the top academic schools in the country. So wherever I choose to go, I'm going to have top academics.
Would you mind sharing your grades and scores thus far?
Shavlik Randolph: My GPA this past year was something like a 3.4, and I've made a thousand on my SATs.
For admission standards, Duke and Stanford are pretty high. Have
you talked to the staffs at either program about the admission
process, and where your application stands for each school?
Shavlik Randolph: Yeah, for Stanford you have to get accepted before you can go there. I'm pretty sure I sent my application in, and I'm not sure if I've been accepted there. I've talked to Duke, and they said with my grades, I'll qualify, so that won't be a factor.
Is there anybody in your family you feel will impact your
Shavlik Randolph: My dad and my mom will impact it a lot - I want to make them happy. My high school coach and personal coach will have a lot to do with it, but basically it's going to be where I feel most comfortable at.
There are a lot of sought-after big men today who play up or down in any given game. Their size often is their greatest asset, and sparks of talent emerge slowly as they learn their roles and abilities. The reason Shav is so different from the rest is that he has worked very hard and very smartly toward utilizing his potential. He isn't flashy, overpowering, lightning quick or a preeminent shot blocker. But he's better now than all the other guys who carry those labels. In varying spots on the floor, against varying defenders, Shav knows what to do. He's smooth and fluid when posting up, has a sweet mid-range jumper and can create his shot against just about any defending center. Range easily out to the three. And from that spot, he can put it on the floor to beat his man with a pull-up J or a spin move to get to the glass. He won't ever be the shot blocker of a Curtis Borchardt or Alvin Jones, but he anticipates defenders well and consistently shows himself in position to make the key blocks. Positive attitude and on-court leadership. In total, this is a mature packaged player like Casey Jacobsen as a center. Pretty awesome. I don't think "NBA now" when I watch him, but I do see an elite program-defining center. His contributions and importance to Stanford cannot be understated, but I have no reason to believe there is a significant chance of that happening. You can come to your own conclusions from my interview and the hundreds of others he has given, but what I read from him behind the words was even more telling. He appears to be including Stanford because they are an elite program and an elite academic institution, but including them at this point because he wants to be careful to include what is smart. Digging beneath his logical and sensible process, I see someone with no emotional inclination toward the Cardinal. He even seemed strikingly indifferent to whether or not he makes a visit to the Farm. Without a visit, there is literally zero chance. If he makes a visit, Monty has to make a dramatic impression upon Shavlik to get in the game. Otherwise, I don't think Stanford is honestly in the game. To be frank, though, admissions is a possibly insurmountable obstacle.
If Duke gets him on the same court with Michael Thompson (who is really coming on late this summer, as a more aggressive and versatile weapon), everyone in the country not named "Duke" is in serious trouble.