You would think that picking the 2013 High School MVP would be a no-brainer after hearing all of Andrew Wiggins’ accolades (“best high school player since LeBron,” “the Canadian Jordan,” etc. etc.), but USA Today’s Jason Jordan has a different high school player in mind: Julius Randle. Yesterday, Jordan wrote that Randle should get the nod over Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon because of the way he led his team to a state title after returning from foot surgery:
The Lions went 9-19 without him and finished 6-0 with him. Randle returned from a broken foot injury just before the state tournament and dominated over the course of five games, averaging 28.8 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. He upped that to 32.5 points and 15.5 in the state Final Four.
Need more? You shouldn’t, but OK; Randle only played at “around 60 percent,” according to his godfather Jeff Webster.
The key word–er, letter–in MVP? V for valuable. Jordan argues that even if Huntington Prep didn’t have Wiggins, they’d still be great, but Randle led a team that was flailing without him to their second consecutive state title.
John Calipari called Randle a “true leader” with the “will to win” all of his successful players have had. Here’s a question: who will be the MVP of next year’s team? With or without Wiggins, it may end up being Randle for that very reason.