Sunday, February 17, 2013


Opinion: KU makes it hard for recruit Julius Randle to say no

Kansas recruit Julius Randle sits behind the Kansas bench during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas recruit Julius Randle sits behind the Kansas bench during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over Texas

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 73-47 victory over Texas on Feb. 17, 2013.

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Julius Randle, ranked second by Rivals behind only Andrew Wiggins in the Class of 2013 among high school basketball players, had a seat behind the Kansas University bench Saturday night. He was treated to an evening that highlighted the past and reminded the audience that the present, somehow, never strays far from the glorious days of yesteryear.

Freed from a funk that included a three-game losing streak, Kansas is back to doing what it usually does under Bill Self now, Roy Williams and Larry Brown before him. In a word, dominating.

Randle watched Kansas destroy Texas, 73-47, one of the other schools on his short list, along with Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina State and Oklahoma.

Not only that, he watched it sitting among seven active NBA players who played their home games in front of adoring capacity crowds, sometimes including fans who were in the building in the morning watching the ESPN “GameDay” crew do its thing, as was the case Saturday.

Mario Chalmers, Nick Collison, Xavier Henry, Marcus and Markieff Morris, Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor all sat near Randle.

Well before tipoff, students chanted “We want Randle! We want Randle!” They didn’t mean team orthopedist Dr. Jeff Randall, who happened to be strolling past at that moment. Their knees were fine, and so were their voices. They used them to speak from the heart. They want Randle, and they made sure he knew how much they want him.

Randle also was treated to a slice of how Kansas treats its stars from the past when he witnessed the unfurling of Chalmers’ No. 15 jersey, stationed high on the south wall between those of Wayne Simien (23) and Max Falkenstien (60), both of whom also were in attendance.

Kansas had Texas doubled up, 70-35, late in the game, and the recruiting chant again erupted: “We want Randle! We want Randle!” Sitting next to his mother and wearing a red sweatshirt and huge grin, Randle thanked the students with a wave. They responded with another chant: “Come to Kansas! Come to Kansas!”

The celebrity list on this electric evening extended beyond those who made their names playing basketball. PGA Tour pro Gary Woodland, who drives a golf ball the way Ben McLemore dunks a basketball, took in the game. Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services since 2009 and Governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2008, looked to be having a blast.

Randle and the rest of the crowd caught a glimpse of how much fun the Kansas players have in the locker room, doing the Harlem Shake, captured by a video on which McLemore also looks the most talented. (“With the first pick of the 2013 NBA Draft ... select Ben McLemore.")

After the blowout, Elijah Johnson shared that when he was in the throes of the worst slump of his career he received encouraging text messages from former stars who let him know they had been there, done that, a once-a-teammate-always-a-teammate reminder that surely would appeal to any recruit pondering a college choice.

A 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward, Randle totaled 19 points and 10 rebounds Friday night for Prestwood Christian in Plano, Texas, in his season debut after missing most of the season because of a foot injury.

If Randle doesn’t choose Kansas, it won’t be for lack of effort on the part of anyone emotionally invested in the program. He would be joining a recruiting class ranked second without him. Small guards Conner Frankamp and Frank Mason, wings Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene and 7-foot center Joel Embiid make up a class that has everything but a power forward.

Randle certainly couldn’t hurt his NBA Draft portfolio by learning to play the sort of team defense KU played in harassing Texas into a .218 overall shooting percentage and a .095 three-point mark on a night the Longhorns had shot-clock violations on back-to-back possessions. And as McLemore showed in executing a 360-degree dunk, Randle also would be coming to a place where freedom of expression isn’t discouraged.

Wiggins, a 6-7, 190-pound forward, has KU on his list, along with Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State.

It might be difficult to pry Wiggins from Florida State, reportedly the favorite because his parents both starred in their sports as Seminoles. Guard Mitchell Wiggins played in the NBA. Marita Payne-Wiggins ran the 400 meters for Florida State and in the Olympics for Canada.

After the show he witnessed Saturday, it’s difficult to imagine Randle saying no to Kansas. Think about it: If you were in his sneakers, could you say no?


Steve Brown 1 year, 1 month ago

khuff803 hours, 22 minutes ago

Let me see if this works - here's his quote:

"I know the pros and cons of every school, and I think they've all done a good job of selling themselves to me. Now I have to look at where I'll best accomplish my short term and long term goals." So if you want happy, join the Navy if you want to become a man,join the Marines, son.Yet he is a kid. If BS wants him and he accepts, we will gladly give him a go.


Kevin Huffman 1 year, 1 month ago

Also, don't think that because they may not land either of these two that they won't potentially still add one.

Seen them connected with some juco-PF types - Junior Etrou.....Chris Griffin. Yep, love the name! :)


Kevin Huffman 1 year, 1 month ago

With regards to Wiggins......something tells me that the non-UK / FSU team that he could end up with is UNC.

Would be pretty funny if Randle's at N.C. State, while Wiggins is at UNC & Parker's at Duke.


Kevin Huffman 1 year, 1 month ago

Don' t know if others read my stuff on the M.Smart / Bill Self backflip article.

But in essence, on was a spiel / interview Randle had w/ Eric Bossi there where they went over how Randle would fit into KU if he were to come there.

All sounded good.

BUT then ended the artice with, "In the end I'll go where I'm happy and having fun."

That woudl seem to point BIG TIME to him likely committing to N.C. State (due to his friend Purvis) OR maybe even UK (had fun in getting to meet Jay-Z, Beyonce, etc.).....and not so much to us or UF who I think are the other two in serious consideration.

I think before the process it might've been this way in his mind:

1) UK, 2) UT, 3) UF, 4) KU, 5) NCSU, 6) OU

And in the end I think it ended up this way:

1) NCSU, 2) UK, 3) KU, 4) UF, 5) (tie) UT & OU

I seriously think he was MAINLY thinking of UK, UT or N.C. State this whole time. I think he only gave Florid a shot because of having played for Donovan. He gave KU a shot because he said he's been there several times before and was intrigued. Not sure why he bothered to keep OU on his list.....someone said it was some sort of family or coach or what have you favor. I think he wanted Texas to be better than they are and would've SERIOUSLY considered there if they were.

**Having said all that I think his Mom was probably more of the opinion of:

1) KU, 2) UT, 3) OU, 4) UF, 5) (tie) UK or NCSU....the two that I think Julius is most wanting to go to. :) LOL


DWINOP 1 year, 1 month ago

Yes, I'm quite certain that Randle was wowed by the presence of Gary Woodland and Kathleen Sebelius at the game.


Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 months ago

Julius Randle‏@J30_RANDLE

Headed home !! Time to focus on getting state now

This was posted at ~ 10:30 CST on 2/18/ NO, whoever it was who said that - he did NOT commit to N.C.State via Twitter.


Yonatan Negash 1 year, 2 months ago

As much as I would love to see us land Randle, it's highly unlikely. I see him teaming up with Andrew Harrison at Kentucky.


WesternKSJayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

His best friend, Rodney Purvis, plays for NC State. Julius was tweeting a few times during his trip to NC State. The only tweet he made about KU was on Friday night and said something about having an early flight to KU.

He either isn't interested or he was so engaged in the weekend activities that he didn't take the time to tweet.

NC State is probably the front runner.

Having said that, the kid could do some major damage in the high-low offense if he came here. Can't wait until April!!!


Kent Noble 1 year, 2 months ago

Just remember one thing. Coach Calipari hasn't showed up yet at Julius Randles house with that recruiting brief case full of cash. Don't get your hopes up yet Kansas Fans, Coach Cal is real good about stealing recruits away from other schools. Just ask Mark Turgeon! He lost the twins from Texas right there at the end. They were leaning towards Maryland and all the sudden they were pursuaded by Coach Cal and chose UK instead. We all know what's going on, coach Cal will get caught one of these days. You hide and watch it will happen!


Sally Presson 1 year, 2 months ago

Julius, you've got to come to KU, no where in the United States is a better place for you. You'll have the best coach & coaching staff, the best fans who will love you the entire time you are here, the best atmosphere game after game, and your Mom will love the family environment KU provides for the players. You will be top dog and go on to greater things if you come to KU, just look at the past players who were with you on Saturday night, and there are more who couldn't be there--Paul Pierce, Drew Gooden, Kirk Heinrich, the list goes on & on. Come to Kansas, you won't regret it!!!

Rock Chalk


Glenn Moore Jr 1 year, 2 months ago

i was reading this and looking at the recruiting class for next year call me crazy but this could be ku's starting 5 next year!!!!


GabrielMichael 1 year, 2 months ago

Hey guys, take it easy. His Mother said KU has the best fans she's seen. We are in this thing... Have a little faith.


1stnamemistermiddlenameperiod 1 year, 2 months ago

Here's my question: Was WWW also at the game? I'm sure he's lurking somewhere with his bag-o-cash. Calipari has a grudge against KU for choosing Self and summarily dismissing him. So you can bet your ask that Wes spends as much time bad mouthing KU as he does buying recruits for UK. So as long as he and Cal are bending eachother over, common sense won't be enough to lure athletes like Randle.

Sad to say.


milehighhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Here's him smiling:

I wouldn't be too quick to judge a kid by his demeanor during a split-second of a 30-point blow-out....but when we don't have info, it's always fun to speculate.


1jhawk2 1 year, 2 months ago

Just searched Julius Randle on twitter and saw comments that he gave NC State a verbal. Anybody else find anything related to comments?


jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

There are three persons in that photo. Nick Krug had an entire game to shoot them; this was the image of them he and the editors selected. The image communicates a lot, because all three appear unresolved in different ways. Mother Randle looks pained with having to reconsider KU, like she thinks the preference for UK they had all arrived at is now called into question and she wishes it weren't. Father Randle appears shocked at the blow out, and also uneasy about having to consider a school where Peters washed out and Perry Ellis looks lost. Both parents want their son in the pros, rather than risking a year of injury, but see that KU may make the most sense, even though Self has a reputation for stringing 5 star players out several years and making them play injured. Julius looks like he is cool with waiting to decide.


Benjamin Piehler 1 year, 2 months ago

I'd never turn a kid away, but this gentlemen doesn't really seem like a KU recruit.

What I really want is one more year of BMac!


Texas_Hawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Come on guys. Let's not base the college future of a all star recruit based on one picture or on 5 seconds of TV time. I think what probably happened is one of his friends texted him about being on TV and that what we saw. As far as the photograph maybe the photographer could have done a better job. With saying that I am a sports photographer for a local paper in Plano, TX and last year photographed alot of Zack and Julius. I have not had an opportunity this year to photograph Julius except for one game because of his injury. However since he is back on the court I will photograph him Friday night in a playoff game. I am also a crazy KU fan who grew up in KCK and Overland Park and happen to live in TX. What I have not seen mentioned on this blog is how Julius dominated this past summer on the Olympic USA 18 and under team. As you all know the USA team attracts the best of the best. Of the 12 players on the team Julius was one of the youngest. 10 had finished their senior year and Julius had just finished his junior year. However, he was the leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker on the team. And 4 other players played more minutes than Julius. Billy Donavan, head coach of Florida, was the USA coach and of course he is recruiting Julius and was in Plano recently to watch him work out. I hope KU gets Julius. Two years ago I told his mother that Julius should come to KU for one reason. I told her that Danny Manning would help take him to the next level. Of course I can't say that now. I hope he decides to play ball at KU. Whatever school gets him they will be getting a great basketball player who does bring any baggage with him. Go Hawks!!


Terry Smith 1 year, 2 months ago

Keegan does it again, nice article.


Annette Lee 1 year, 2 months ago

The Jayhawks need this kid. However my question is... can he be coached? Plus he will be a Freshman. I watched him play in the fall and he got schooled by a kid not rated as high. I just think that he could eventually beat Perry out at the 4 but is he willing to play defense to get on the floor?


Justin Daniel 1 year, 2 months ago

I'll be shocked if we add anyone to our current recruiting class. The only thing that might happen is for us to land a 5th year senior, power forward, or a transfer. Whatever happened to Luke Cothron? He seemed very similar in style to Jeff Graves and would have been a great compliment to Withey.


Casey Gee 1 year, 2 months ago

This picture makes him look kind of like a similar picture of Shabaaz Muhammad last year. On the other hand, Tony Parker looked like he was having a great time and tweeted about how much fun he had. I just don't think you can tell what a recruit is thinking based on how excited they look. They just won't get as excited or participate in the atmosphere as much until they finally commit to one school.


jayhawkinATL 1 year, 2 months ago

Does anyone else think that UK has over-recruited??? I'm sure that they don't have as many OADs on their roster as they originally thought. I'm thinking Cal is going to have "discussions" with several players to "help" them decide what's best for their futures.


Alex Peekeaton 1 year, 2 months ago

Listening to what Julius Randle has said over the past 6 months and after reading the various posts to his USA Today blog, the recruitment of Randle comes down to which coach sells him the following:

1.) Offensive Scheme - Julius wants to play a hybrid #3 & #4. I don't see him choosing a school that will try to make him a #5. NC State made some serious inroads in this area.

2,) Win a National Championship - Randle is a 1 & done and has stated he wants a ring.

3.) Coach - Randle has often mentioned that he must trust the coach. I think all remaining schools left on his list pass this test.

Julius will more than likely be starting next year at any of the schools left on his list, so I don't think playing time is huge factor. Nobody knows who is leading, who is behind, etc. except Julius. When it comes to a decision by a 18 year old, all I can say is expect the unexpected.


switzer127 1 year, 2 months ago

Take another look at the photo. Does Julius looked excited? Based on his body language and facial expressions in the shots I saw of him I am not expecting Julius to choose KU.


oldalum 1 year, 2 months ago

I'd hesitate to make a judgment based on this one picture. It could have been taken during a time out. You can't see the faces of the people behind them, but they aren't jumping up and down.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Keegan, nice article. I was at the game courtside directly across from Randle. We simply could NOT have put on a better show for him. But considering his Yahoo comment about wishing he could just go to the NBA, and Self's very similar sentiment (let such a talent go pro directly) after Nerlens Noel's unfortunate injury...I agree with both of them. Let a high-talent kid go straight to the pros. If they choose college, make it a 2yr commitment. A OAD gets 1 Fall semester to keep his grades up, just so he can play the Spring semester, then he's gone. That is just a farce from the NCAA for allowing it, and a slap in the face to the college game. Jeez, let the pros be pros. I love Ben McLemore, and he is a perfect example of a guy who became lotto level while in college. The exact type of talent (between #10-60ish ranking) that THRIVE in Self's system. Our playstyle must have tough, foundation players, that still have good-very good offensive skills--exactly what Self told Jay Bilas yesterday.


Ben Kane 1 year, 2 months ago

It's fun to look at the future but sometimes this recruiting talk makes me sick. Sure, I'd love to have Randle, we all would. However if we think back to just this past offseason, everyone was convinced we would be sub-par this year. we had no real point guard, Withey had never been the go-to inside guy, KY wasn't really a starter, T-Rel was just a glue guy...

whatever happens in the recruiting game, my faith and belief lies with coach. There is no one else i'd rather have at our helm and representing our university.


monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree with everyone. In other words there is no idea whats going on in the mind of young MR. Randle. With that said, the closest I have come to getting to "read" people is doing job interviews and sadly, working with troubled couples and individuals.

If the picture that heads this story is all there was to go on, the Randle family does not appear to be the least bit interested in anything KANSAS.

No matter who its been in history in KU basketball. The one thing that each one of the "greats" understand is that @ no time does the individual become greater than the Tradition, History and Team concept of Jayhawk basketball. The frown's on the faces of the family tell it all. I am often wrong. If I am my sincere apologize's to the Randle's.


Jay Dogger 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm never at the games when recruits visit but do they ever look all that excited? They seem more business than fan-oriented. Recruits tend to hold their cards close to the vest, at least as far as I can tell.

We've put our best foot forward so if he doesn't pick us if won't be for lack of effort, nor a lack of quality in our program. He knows our program and he knows Bill Self. We have a good shot and will just have to wait until April (hopefully) for him to decide, like everyone else.

Unless he's already decided and is just going though the motions, our chances appear as good as any other program, maybe even better.


Steve Corder 1 year, 2 months ago

Yeah, the Allen Field House mistique, history, passion, Bill Self, program success that is off-the-charts would lure any of us. BUT these highly ranked kids want to play and score and not be known for defensive prowess by the time they jump to the NBA. McLemore is not being mentioned as a possible #1 because he's learned defense under KU's Bill Self.

Look at McLemore's 13 points and how he got them. then look at Duke's Curry's shots from all over the court, many with a player in his face.

KU will get talent enough to be in the national title hunt every year, with or without a Wiggins or a Randle. Randle's choice will tell us what kind of kid he is and just what really "floats his boat".


ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 2 months ago

Put me down for the "swoosh" saying it all


finestack 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree with kugrad83 about the shirts and logo. For a OAD that contract alignment means more than any of us probably know.


bennybob 1 year, 2 months ago

Randle would be the ideal band-aid to bring in for a year and cover up the recruiting gap we've had the last few seasons.

We just need to make it through next season, '14-'15 should have a Junior Ellis and Sophmore Embiid which would put the front court talent level back in the elite range it belongs

'13-'14 however currently looks like the frontcourt is going to be sub-par. Randle will fix that.

That said, I'm not holding my breath


kranny 1 year, 2 months ago

I hope he comes to KU, gets a national championship, goes 1-5 in the draft, and makes a lot of money doing what he loves to do in the greatest country on Earth. As long as we're wishing.....


Steve Gantz 1 year, 2 months ago

I'd be more excited about the prospect of having him if he hadn't indicated in a Yahoo article the other day he wishes they didn't have to go to college (or go play a year somewhere else) to play pro ball. I don't like the idea of KU becoming a AOD Holiday Inn Express for kids.


Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 2 months ago

I don't know, I thought he looked pretty bored when they were showing him on tv. The pic above also shows him (and his mom) seemingly uninterested. Hopefully this was taken during a lull in the game or something like that because if not, his body language tells me we are out of the running


midwest_muser 1 year, 2 months ago

I would love to see Randle come to Lawrence for what would likely be just one year.... I would be just as happy to see a healthy Zach Peters show up next fall ready to play...


mgonzo182 1 year, 2 months ago

You never know what goes through the minds of these recruits. We had some good recruiting talent in for the Mizzou game last year. Amazing atmosphere. How many of them jumped on board? I think they all chose elsewhere.

Here is hoping Randle was impressed. Would love seeing him play at AFH.


Joseph Bullock 1 year, 2 months ago

Bens 360 was the top play on sports centers top 10! Rock Chalk, Baby!


Michael Luby 1 year, 2 months ago

In this years field of teams, there is no clear front runner for the National Title. KU has every bit the chance that the Michigans, Indianas, Dukes, Miami's have to win it all. If KU doesnt win it all this year, they absolutely will contend for the title next year. If Randle comes to Larry town, permanent marker in KU for a final four run next year as well.


Sarah Carr 1 year, 2 months ago

Great article by Keegan. Wonder if Julius and his parents will pick up a copy of the JW Sunday morning before they leave Lawrence?


Manginosspeedo 1 year, 2 months ago

1st time I have been the 1st. Holding a spot for you and you saw the future and the past and it is bright.


William Blake 1 year, 2 months ago

Two words should be all it takes to bring Julius to Lawrence...

Rock Chalk?

Close... but let's talk...


Someone has to show him the offense we ran with TRob and the Twins. Yes, Julius, that could be you! Become the centerpiece of an offense built for your aggressive style of ball!

Julius is built perfectly for the high-low, and the high-low is built perfectly for Julius!

...and never hurts to throw in a Rock Chalk!


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