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The Leach Report: Thoughts on Julius Randle and the Georgia game

From Tom Leach…

Julius Randle joined an exclusive club in Kentucky’s win over UT-Arlington, when he recorded his fifth consecutive double-double to start the season.  That’s something only Jim Andrews (seven straight in ’72), Dan Issel and Cotton Nash (five in a row for each, a feat Issel achieved twice) have accomplished in the storied history of the Kentucky basketball program.

Randle has scored 20-plus points in four of those five games and he’s getting to the free throw line at a school-record pace.  So with all of those numbers Randle is racking up, a question that often pops up is “who does Julius Randle remind you of?”

I have yet to hear an answer to that question that seems to nail the comparison but there are some qualities in Randle that remind me of some Big Blue stars of the past.

Jamal Mashburn:  “Mash” offered a rare combination of size along with the agility of a smaller player.  He could take his man outside and score or he could him up.  I don’t yet see Randle having the scoring punch on the perimeter of Mashburn but I think Randle is better on the blocks.

Kenny Walker:  “Sky” is not the one you usually hear compared to Randle but the similarity I see is the effectiveness in the low post.  Walker scored 20-or-more 20 times in 36 games in the ’86 season and he averaged shooting 274 free throws per season in his final two years.  Walker had that quickness in the paint that made him hard to guard in the way that opponents are struggling to contend with Randle (who has had double figures in free throw attempts in four of his first five games).

Demarcus Cousins:  “Cuz” was bigger but he, too, had that amazing footwork that enabled to maneuver around opponents in the low post.  Randle is a better pure scorer at this similar point in their UK careers but he could use a little more that brute force mentality that served Cousins so well.

James Lee:  this is an old school reference but the similarity I see with Lee, along with the fact that both are lefties, is that Lee would rip the ball off the glass and be perfectly comfortable bringing it down the floor for a dunk.

We’re still early in Randle’s rookie season but it’s fun to think about those comparisons, given how many great players have suited up at Kentucky.

= = =

There’s not much reason to look back at a long night in Athens, Ga.  The Bulldogs are arguably the most potent offense in the SEC when healthy and that was a mismatch for a Kentucky defense depleted by injuries and suspensions.  And while Georgia has had a mediocre season on defense, Kentucky just doesn’t have the offense to take advantage of that, especially once it lost Jalen Whitlow, the man around whom the Cats had been building their game plans.

In our postgame interview, a dejected Mark Stoops said this would be an important week, as he looks to see which players bring their best effort in preparation for the season finale against Tennessee.  A win over the Vols would give this program a shot of momentum for the offseason workouts and help the coaching staff as it tries to round out what figures to be the highest-rated recruiting class ever for UK football.


Dyshawn Mobley.  Not much in the way of praise-worthy performances for UK in this whipping down between the hedges.  Mobley did have a career-best day in rushing yards, including a 69-yard sprint to paydirt and he continues to play well on special teams.

–listen to Tom each weekday morning at 9:06am eastern on “The Leach Report” radio network;  and follow him on twitter @tomleachky and via “The Leach Report” page on Facebook

–check out for more of Tom’s coverage of the Cats

Article written by Wilder Treadway

KSR Alpha Class '12 #holla

14 responses to “The Leach Report: Thoughts on Julius Randle and the Georgia game”

  1. Blue Jesus

    Wow, Duke barely escapes Vermont at home thanks to some home cookin’ from the referees! They sure can produce a lot of offense, but a lot of questions about their defense.

    1. cracka

      yup, hood drove and jumped into a guy … got blocked/tied up and they called a foul on the guy and bailed hood and duke out by putting them on the line with 5 seconds left … even the announcer said it looked like “all ball”

    2. whered all the white boys go?

      That was supposed to be Vermont’s W…refs couldnt have that happen tho.

  2. just saying

    No mention of UL gettting smacked by a mediocre UNC team missing 3 starters????

  3. cracka

    ulol lost, though, so we’ll be back ahead of them and the world will look a little more normal

  4. Keeping it real

    Helmet sticker to any fan that watched that UGA game to the end.

    1. Rae

      I need a helmet to put mine on.

      And yes, it was a special kind of torture.

  5. here ya go

    Randle reminds me of Charles “atlas” Hurt.

  6. RealCatsFan

    RE UofL loss – I like our upside for later in the season versus theirs. There is just so much improvement that their bigs can make. Harrell is a beast, but I think he will be facing the same issues when he plays against Randle and the Cats – foul trouble. I also expect to see Behanan having difficulty getting shots off against Willie and Dakari inside. The only question mark I see is how well will the Twins be defending by then. They may have issues containing dribble penetration of Louisville’s smaller, quicker guards, but if our front line can continue to improve on defense and shot blocking, I think that will be a small issue. After this loss, I like our chances against the Cards much better.

    1. Blue Jesus

      Yeah the Louisville game will be all about the Twins. On offense we’ll be relying heavily on them to break the trap and avoid turnovers that lead to easy UofL buckets, and on defense they’ll be tasked with guarding the two most explosive and dangerous players, maybe on either team (not saying they’re the best, just that both C. Jones and R. Smith can fill it up offensively if left unchecked). WiIl be a real benchmark game for them, lets hope they’re up for the challenge. I’m excited for the month of December, lots of chances for the Cats to show their improvement!

  7. Tvillecat

    Willis Reed. Power and grace

  8. Syrin

    1) I have said since before the season started that U of L AND UNC were WAY over rated. I still stand by that

    2) Wiggins is getting all the media love despite some average performances.

    3) Randle = a more athletic Zach Randolf, game over

  9. SteveLeC

    He is a Julius Randle

  10. UKBlue1!

    He reminds me of a young Moses Malone. UK has had a ton of great players, most recently Davis, MKG, Cousins and Wall. But none have his body type and his abilities are very different.