Julius Randle, one of the top high school basketball players on the planet, has officially committed to Kentucky to play for coach John Calipari's Wildcats.
Eric Prisbell of USA Today has the news:
Julius Randle heads to UK, joining Texas twins to create the best recruiting class in the sport's modern era. Only fitting '14 FF in Dallas.— Eric Prisbell (@EricPrisbell) March 20, 2013
During almost any other year, Randle would be the consensus top recruit in America, but with Andrew Wiggins' reclassification to 2013, the Prestonwood Christian superstar is "only" ranked as the second-best hoops prospect, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.
Something tells me the Wildcats' fanbase will be able to cope with that fact.
Randle is a specimen to behold when he gets the ball in his hands.
At 6'9" with 250 pounds of mostly muscle and pure strength, Randle is a force to deal with when he establishes position on the block. Unlike most players of his size, he combines his mass with gaudy athleticism and agility.
With his back to the basket, Randle showcases an array of spin and power moves to get himself open, but he can also turn and face the hoop, where he transforms into something of a hybrid small forward.
How many points will Randle average as a freshman?
Facing the basket, Randle has impressive ball-handling skills to take slower defenders to the hoop along with an ever-improving jumper.
Throw it all together, and you've got a serious problem for teams to deal with. Randle can score in a variety of ways and already has a body and skill set that points to him being an immediate superstar at the collegiate level.
Randle missed most of his senior year with a foot injury, but he has returned to action and will get a chance to show off his dominance at the McDonald's All-American game and Jordan Brand Classic in April.
ESPN calls Randle, "Marvin Williams meets Caron Butler with a Kevin Garnett-ish motor," but there's also a little Chris Webber or possibly Zach Randolph with more agility mixed in.
Ultimately, though, he's Julius Randle, and he's going to make Kentucky a major force in 2013.