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Julius Randle picks Kentucky

Mar 20, 2013, 1:27 PM EDT

Julius Randle

We shouldn’t be surprised at all, should we?

“Next year, I’ll be playing for the University of Kentucky,” Julius Randle, one of the nation’s top players in the Class of 2013, said on ESPNU this afternoon. He joins a ridiculous recruiting class that already includes Aaron and Andrew Harrison, James Young, Marcus Lee and Dakari Johnson. Coach Cal may not be done, either; he could still end up getting Andrew Wiggins or Aaron Gordon.

“I love all the schools and all the coaches, the final straw was the system, and I felt the system at Kentucky was a great system,” Randle said. “They have a lot of great players going in there, so you’re going to have to battl.e The teams have been a unit, and I played USA basketball with a lot of great players so I think I’ll adjust well.”

“Getting to battle with those guys in practice will make me better.”

How good will Kentucky be next season? Well, I can definitely say that, right now, they will be in a dogfight with Duke for the title of being the Preseason No. 1 team in the country come October. And that’s before knowing if there will be any more recruits joining the program or if any of this year’s freshmen will return.

Those freshmen hinted at a return after last night’s loss to Robert Morris, a game that could have swayed Randle’s decision. If he had watched.

“I did not watch the Kentucky game last night, I was out to dinner with my family,” Randle said with a smile. “But I heard about it.”

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

  1. fatediesel - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    How does Kentucky have enough scholarships for all these recruits? I’m not certain how basketball scholarship numbers work, but they have 7 commitments and are still in the running for Andrew Wiggins. They have 2 graduating senior and will almost certainly lose Nerlens Noel as well. How are they going to have scholarships for everyone?

    • schlom - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Division I teams are allowed 13 scholarships.

    • gerryb323 - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      I was thinking this myself (out loud on the other post earlier today) and did a little digging.

      Apparently UK has 10 scholarship players this year. They also have 2 seniors and 2 others who should graduate and leave for playting time somewhere else or “revert to walk-ons” (whatever that means, and it seems a little sketchy to me). Add in Noel leaving, and even if he’s the only freshman that leaves, Kentucky should have only 5 scholarship players before this recruiting class. That would give them space to sign 8 (!) recruits this year.

      HolyHell!

    • chiefillwhiniwept - Mar 20, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      I don’t think we will get Wiggins. 1 scholarship is a former walk-on player who is on track to graduate early. Cauley-Stein will probably leave with Noel. That’s 5 leaving; there are likely 4 returning players (2 So, 1 Jr, 1 Sr) and 7 returnees. That leaves an opening for the walk-on, a new walk-on and/or Wiggins.

  2. tjjohnson98 - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Lame. Cowardly move by Randle. Be a man and go be “the guy” somewhere instead of being just a cog in Calipari’s well-recruited, poorly coached machine.

    • icanhazblogs - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      Sour grapes perhaps?

      • pens5829 - Mar 20, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        tjjohnson98’s just jealous. In 2 or 3 years Randle will be making more money in one year in the NBA than tjjohnson98 has made in Walmart’s stock room the last 5 years.

  3. lottsmissingfinger - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    I work with a guy whose son attends Prestonwood and he always had great things to say about Randle as a player and a kid. Amazes me that a good kid would have anything to do with Calipari even if it’s only for one year. Shadiest coach not only in college basketball but college athletics.

    • chiefillwhiniwept - Mar 20, 2013 at 10:09 PM

      That would be significant, if you could prove it.

  4. cranespy - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    …..”it’s not about me…..it’s never been about me……..” Coach Cal

  5. tjjohnson98 - Mar 20, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Very mature, personal insults… What I’m saying has nothing to do with how much money he is going to make or what I make. I just think if he truly wanted to get better as a future NBA player, he would go to a place where he had to shoulder more of the load, rather than join an all-star team. Calipari is not a great coach, just a great recruiter. Randle might get more headlines there, but he will grow more at another school. Throw personal insults at me all you want, but it’s the truth.

  6. wildcatvikingsguy - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Yes because Anthony Davis, MKG, and Teague were all lost in the mix last year. Had they gone somewhere else separately, they would’ve been able to be the top 2 picks and another lottery pick. Too bad no one got to see their individual talents because they were on a poorly coached team that didn’t put the pieces together. Poor Randle…

  7. imforbigblue - Mar 20, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Wow so many cry baby’s that this kid didn’t pick your school. Enjoy it now with UK having the down year because next year we rule college basketball yet again. JR will come to UK and play with the best all year long in practice and get better he don’t need to be the man look at Anthony Davis

    • dexterismyhero - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      Robert Morris!!!!!!

  8. xli2006 - Mar 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    This move must REALLY put UK over the Salary Cap.

    Not sure they realize it’s supposed to be $0 though.

    • mojo22046 - Mar 21, 2013 at 12:06 AM

      Over the salary cap. That’s funny! The delivery needs work, but it’s a good line. I’m going to steal it.

      Cal has to be the most misunderstood coach in college basketball. By common fans, I mean.

      People who actually know Cal respect the hell out of him as a coach. Jay Bilas, who attended practices early this season as part of ESPN’s All-Access series, says Cal takes a back seat to no one as an Xs and Os coach.

      But you’d never know that listening to most fans. Because most fans don’t know what they’re talking about. But they sure do like to talk.

  9. bigoldcatfan - Mar 20, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Next year, if some of the current freshmen stay, the best teams Kentucky will play will be in practice.

  10. bigmeechy74 - Mar 20, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    It’s funny all the kentucky faithful are thumbs downing every joke about calipari cheating. Denial is a powerful thing I guess

  11. bigoldcatfan - Mar 20, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    I wish that one of you who accuse Calipari of cheating would back up your accusation with some proof. If he cheats so often, why can’t anyone find any verifiable proof about this supposed cheating?

    • normswifevera - Mar 21, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      At least give credit. Your entire post was copied verbatim from the book “Things Fans of John Calipari’s Current Team Say Before Their Wins Are Vacated”.

      • metalarmdad - Mar 27, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        Jealous, Jealous Sandy Bell takes care of making sure that doesn’t happen. Check the NCAA records and you will find that Calipari “DOES NOT” have a NCAA violation charged against him.

  12. gatordontplay - Mar 21, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Hahahahaha so imforbigblue still does get on this site. how you been? great season from the most dominate program with the best coach and #1 recruting class..

    • dexterismyhero - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      I know gator. They already won 2014, but he wouldn’t respond to anyone about missing the Dance and then getting beat by RM.

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