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Why Julius Randle Is The Key For Kentucky Today

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Julius Randle is unquestionably the most physically talented player on the Kentucky Wildcats team, no player maybe even in the rest of the country has Randle’s natural combination of size, quickness, and basketball skill. His enormous frame and his determination in the paint have led him to an NCAA-leading 9 double-doubles this season and through 12 games the Wildcat freshman  is averaging a seemingly effortless 18.2PPG and 11.3RPG with an ability to score nearly at will once he’s received the ball in the paint.

However, going up against Louisville will be a different animal for Randle and the Wildcats, something that the 2010-11 Kentucky team can speak for as well. In that game in 2010 Terrence Jones was the Kentucky freshman off to an incredible start, and Louisville made it a point to take TJ out of the game and let the rest of the young Kentucky team beat them, and despite constant double teams Jones mastered the play that could come back and hurt the Cards again today, the dump off pass. With all of their attention focused on Jones, who had multiple games of 25-15 at that point in the year, Jones simply dumped the ball off down low to Josh Harrelson when double teams came his way, leading to a career 25-12 night from Jorts in a 78-63 win over the Cards. 

UofL will not be able to hang with Randle 1-on-1 in the post, Montrezl Harrell could provide some opposition defensively but give Randle enough time with him 1-on-1 and Harrell will almost assuredly be in foul trouble which is something the Cardinals can’t afford. Louisville will likely double team Randle as soon as he gets the ball in the post, and we’ve seen in the last couple of games that Julius is becoming more and more comfortable with passing out of double teams down low back up top, but if 2010 tells us anything about Louisville’s defensive strategy, Randle may want to turn his head and look right below the rim for Willie Cauley-Stein. Putting the brakes on the Cards’ pressure defense will be the key to remaining composed for the young ‘Cats, and Julius Randle, who will be at the heart of that pressure D, may hold the key to great day of shooting for the team. 



Article written by Will Totten

Born in Indiana and raised in Louisville, I am the unlikeliest UK fan.

3 Comments for Why Julius Randle Is The Key For Kentucky Today

  1. 2mites
    1:35 pm December 28, 2013 Permalink

    If UL doesn’t double team him they are morons. I see a Baylor defense on him. Remember how Pitino defended against big men when he was here. Remember his defense on Tim Duncan won the game against Wake that year. He is no dummy no matter how you hate him and the Cats will need to make outside shots to open Randle down low. The game will be won on guard play.

  2. Hendo Blue
    2:54 pm December 28, 2013 Permalink

    There will be at least 2 people on Randle every time he touches the ball. We should all know what Rick will do there. I feel like Julius will be prepared for that. We all know they have NO ONE who can guard him straight up.

  3. Cats Fan
    3:37 pm December 28, 2013 Permalink

    I just hope Randle has figured out how to hit the open man, we all know he will draw doubles all day.