Julius Randle: Assessing Star Recruit's Ceiling with Kentucky Basketball

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIMarch 20, 2013

Photo via Bleacher Report
Photo via Bleacher Report

Kentucky basketball just got a whole lot richer this morning with the news that 5-star recruit Julius Randle has officially committed to the Wildcats.

The Wildcats' recruiting page posted a video on Twitter of the decision.

After an embarrassing loss to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT Tournament, the news that Randle will be playing in Lexington in 2013 came as a huge delight—something that could very well turn the Wildcats into the country's best team next season.

The star recruit will join Andrew and Aaron Harrison, center Dakari Johnson and forward James Young at Kentucky next season, completing a very dominant squad for the year ahead, as Bleacher Report's Ethan Grant highlights in his 2013-14 squad projection.


2013-14 Kentucky Wildcats (Projected lineup w/ no departures)

  Starters Bench Bench
G Archie Goodwin Ryan Harrow Jarod Polson
G Andrew Harrison Aaron Harrison Jon Hood
SF Alex Poythress James Young Derek Willis
PF Julius Randle Kyle Wiltjer Marcus Lee
C Nerlens Noel Willie Cauley-Stein Dakari Johnson


There's little doubting that this squad could have great success in 2014, and just how dominant Randle could be as a result of that. As good as he is, the talented forward is simply going to look even better by having incredibly skilled players around him such as Harrison and Noel.

The ceiling on Randle—at Kentucky—is incredibly high.

At 6'9" and 240 pounds, Randle is a phenomenal specimen. He has the ability to be an all-powerful force inside. If he can get himself set up on the block early and establish a great combination with Noel inside, the talented youngster could become an instant college star.

Randle possesses brilliant ball-handling skills that make him a nightmare to defend when he's facing the basket, especially as his jump shot continues to improve.

With his back to the basket, Randle is an incredibly powerful athlete, whose agility and power combination makes him very tough to stop. He can score in a myriad of ways. He could be the Wildcats' new go-to player in 2013.

Which, given that he hasn't even played for Kentucky yet, is a very scary thing. For if this is what he's like before a combination with Noel is developed and before he starts to fit in with John Calipari's system, then imagine how dominant he is going to be after all that happens.

As Randle continues to develop his game to include better athleticism and shooting, his ceiling will continue to rise until he is one of the NBA's best prospects. And even then, it will probably continue to rise once he finally makes it to the big league.

Randle's potential at Kentucky is phenomenal, and the Wildcats know just how big the jackpot they've hit truly is—especially given their current team.

Look for Randle and the Wildcats to be a huge threat in 2013.


What do you think the future holds for Julius Randle and Kentucky?

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