Because LSU has struggled so much this year, the casual college hoops fan might not be familiar with Anthony Randolph.
SEC opponents are not as lucky, as Randolph has been torturing many of them in conference play.
Through 25 games, Randolph is averaging 14.6 points per game, 2.4 blocks per game, and a very impressive 8.6 rebounds per game.
Against Kentucky’s sensational freshman big man, Patrick Patterson, Randolph went off for 24 points and 14 rebounds in a close loss.
Before arriving at LSU, Randolph graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas. The soft-spoken Randolph chose the Tigers over powerhouses such as Kansas and Georgetown, and obviously many other schools.
Since the first day he showed up in Baton Rouge, the freshman has been impressing fans, coaches, and players alike with his huge wingspan, his ability to play in and out, and his work ethic. He showcased all of those talents in the first game of his collegiate career, posting 19 points, 13 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 4 steals.
But while his height, 6-foot-10, and his ability to put the ball on the floor, has made it hard for teams to match up with him, his rail-thin body of only 190 pounds has been somewhat of a liability on the defensive end. Randolph can certainly get up to block shots, but he simply doesn’t have the muscle to bang down low with the legit SEC post players.
The lefty big man has been known to slam monstrous follow-up dunks, run the floor with tremendous open-court speed, and hit the mid-range jumper.
While the pick and pop (which appears to be a favorite of Randolph’s) allows him to show off his jump shot, Randolph’s 3-point shooting has struggled in college, but that surely will improve with each year he stays in school.
Finally, Randolph has a quick first step, can go either way with the ball, faces the basket well, and, despite his lack of bulk, has some decent low-post moves. He shares a lot of tendencies to Chris Bosh’s game. If he can add some weight, who knows how good this kid could be.
Along with Patterson, A.J. Ogilvy, and Nick Calathes, Randolph is making a case for SEC Freshman of the Year honors. While the league is having a down year overall, these four players, and many other excellent young talents, seem to indicate that the SEC is on the upswing.
Along those same lines, while it’s still undetermined who will be LSU’s coach next year, whoever is lucky enough to get the job will be inheriting quite a young batch of athletes—led, of course, by Anthony Randolph.