John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Julius Randle is demanding attention from opposing defenses due to his dynamic start of the season. Randle was a double-double machine in nonconference play and SEC coaches took notice by starting to double- and triple-team Randle in the post, forcing other players to beat them.
After struggling with these defenses in the beginning of conference play, Randle has started to develop trust in his teammates and reduce his forced shots.
Instead of trying to bully the defense and force a spin move back to his left hand, he's kicking the ball to the wing and trying to re-post or work for an offensive rebound.
Randle is still attacking the glass at an exceptional rate, despite having numerous bodies on him and often facing physical play. He's not going to score the way he did before Kentucky entered SEC play, but it could be more important to Kentucky if he continues to learn how to work for a good shot.
His reduction in turnovers and charges is allowing John Calipari and Kentucky's coaching staff to keep Randle on the floor longer and opening the offense for his teammates. With the focus on Randle, other players have begun to step up—especially frontcourt mate Dakari Johnson.
The one place Randle has struggled in is when he faces strong opposing frontcourts. This weekend's game against Florida will be a good challenge to see where Randle is in this capacity, as Florida has veteran big guys in Patric Young and Will Yugette.