The entire 2013-2014 college basketball season was marked by ups and downs for the Kentucky Wildcats, and was largely underwhelming until the amazing 2014 NCAA Tournament run that ended in a runner-up finish. However, despite the ups and downs, there was one player that stood tall and gave the Wildcats the consistency they needed throughout the season. That player was Julius Randle, and he has just been drafted by the LA Lakers, where he will now showcase his talents at the next level. This is a great accomplishment by the big fella, as Randle has had the dream to play in the NBA for a long while now.
While at Kentucky, Julius Randle outperformed many of his counterparts throughout the season. In fact, his final stat line showed an AVERAGE of a double-double, with 15 points and 10.43 rebounds a game. In addition to the meat and potatoes of his stat line, he also managed to average 1.43 assists, 0.78 blocks, and 0.5 steals a game. All of this happened thanks in part to his 50% shooting from the field and 71% shooting from the free throw line, all in 30.8 minutes a game. This type of productivity is something that can translate to the NBA with relative ease, despite the concerns about his being undersized.
The one thing that stood out to many NBA GM’s and scouts, despite his potential foot injury, his his willingness to lose weight and get into even better shape. With Randle having his size questioned often in the time leading up to the draft, getting into better shape and becoming quicker was key, as this now gives him the chance to prove himself at small forward is needed. This type of versatility and dedication is something that is not seen in many athletes, of which Julius Randle is not. He is something special, and he’s about to prove to everyone why that is.