Chasson Randle [rhymes with "Jason"] is a reporter's dream. Not only does he come off as articulate and genuinely nice, but Randle amply demonstrates that he has given an interview once or twice before - the first words out of his mouth are practically introductory paragraphs, ready to print.
"I'm out of school right now," he told The Bootleg in an exclusive interview earlier this week. "The school year was fun. I had a great year academically and on the basketball court. I'm excited for the summer and heading into this fall.
"In the classroom, the whole year, I had straight A's again. On the court, I was All-State, led my team to the Sweet 16, and won a bunch of honors and accolades."
Academically, Randle sees himself heading into a medicine-related field after his basketball days are done. He should be well-positioned to do so, as he's on pace to be his high school valedictorian, a result of a work ethic his parents helped instill in him from an early age.
"[My motivation] is about equal from myself and my mom and dad," he said. "I look at the classroom as a game. If I get an A, I'm doing well. That's a win for me. Anything else, and I can do better, so I strive for the win. I'll try to continue to do that. … I'm in all honors classes right now, and I'll do the same this fall."
Randle is putting in similar effort in improving his basketball game.
"I'm working on everything," he said. "I haven't perfected anything yet. I'm trying to get better in all areas as much as possible - I'm a versatile player."
Listed at 6-foot-2, 165 pounds, Randle highlights his ability to shoot the ball, find teammates, attack the basket and present great length on defense as his greatest strengths. Whatever they are, Randle's strengths are clearly working for him. Scout.com ranks him a four-star prospect and the No. 7 point guard in the 2011 class, and Randle reports offers from 16 schools.
Before any college decisions, of course, come college visits, which is where this weekend comes into play. Randle will first attend the invitation-only Pangos All-American Camp in Long Beach, Calif. through Sunday. Then, on Monday, comes a highly anticipated visit to Stanford.
"I'm looking forward to the weekend," Randle said earlier this week. "First, any time you have a chance to play basketball at a high level competitively, it's a great experience for you. … At Stanford, really, the coaching staff really reached out to me. Coach Dawkins has always been there. He's been my recruiter. I've talked to some of the other assistants, but Coach Dawkins has made it a point to say that I'm wanted and a priority. I'm showing my love back by coming out and showing interest as far as coming out and seeing the school."
No matter how well the weekend may go for Randle and his father, who'll be accompanying him, this recruitment is still far from over, Randle reports.
"I'm going to talk to my family after getting back from Stanford this weekend and try to cut down to about seven schools. After that, I'll probably cut to three, and then I'll make a decision hopefully by fall, before the season starts, but who knows?
"Really, it's going to be how comfortable I am there. How do I get along with the people, the advisors and teammates and people I'll be around while I'm there for four years? And I want to go somewhere where I have the opportunity to play and help the best on the floor, and also have success off the court."
Considered to be a big-time playmaker, Randle sees himself as a true point guard in college.
"At the next level, I probably have to be a point guard, just because of my size. I see myself as a point guard at the next level, and hopefully after that."
Another factor in this recruitment is distance, as Randle hails from Rock Island, a town just on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River (and, with Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa and Moline, Ill., one of the "Quad Cities".) Randle has a close family, including three sisters, two older and one younger, but he insists distance will not limit his college decisions.
"[My family] wants me to go wherever I'm comfortable and happy," he said. "If I fit in, they're not going to hold me back. They'd love to see every game, but they understand and will try to see as much as possible."
Randle wears the number "5" in high school because
he was born on Feb. 5, and because "it takes the whole team coming together, all
five, to win a game." After a six-man 2010 class, Stanford can afford to be
selective in 2011, and if he were to choose to come, Randle may be one
of the only recruits (or even the only recruit) Stanford signs this upcoming
Whether Stanford's future starting five includes a No. 5 at point guard is still an open question though, so stay tuned to The Bootleg for all the latest. Pay close attention to developments because this talented young student-athlete could be a key piece to the puzzle in launching the Cardinal back to the to the elite echelon of college basketball.
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