Kentucky Basketball: How Five Former Cats Are Doing as NBA gets underway

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Kentucky basketball
New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

Julius Randle has blossomed in a New York Knicks uniform

The New York Knicks are back on the map, ladies and gentlemen, and the star of the show is Julius Randle.

The big man from the 2014 NBA Draft was considered as a bust after being shipped off by the Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2018; however, since being in a Knicks’ uniform, Randle has bloomed into an all-star.

New York is off to a 2-1 start to the 2021-2022 season thanks to Randle who is averaging 25.5 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 6.5 assists a contest. Unfortunately, his best game of the year so far comes in a loss to the Orlando Magic where Randle dropped a game-high 30 points and 16 rebounds.

After coming off his first-ever NBA All-Star appearance last season and winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, New York’s shining star is sure to have a spot reserved for him in this year’s All-Star Game, too.

In the offseason, he was rewarded with a four-year, $117 million contract extension.

The Knicks are all-in on Randle and added pieces around him this past offseason to help him succeed.

At Kentucky, he almost added an NCAA championship but fell one game short. During his one season in 2014-15, Randle started all 40 games and led the Cats with 15 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. His biggest contribution was setting the UK single-season freshman records in rebounds (417), double-doubles (24), and made free throws (204).