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Will Julius Randle’s wingspan hurt him in the NBA? This guy thinks it might.

Julius Randle’s wingspan is a problem, says NBA writer Jonathan Tjarks. It isn’t a concern for Kentucky’s national title hopes this season, but it is reason to worry about Randle’s future at the next level. According to Tjarks’ research, if Randle were an NBA power forward today, his wingspan would rank last in the league among starters.

“Randle is built like a Tyrannosaurus Rex: all torso and no arms,” he writes:

He has a 6’11 wingspan, per Draft Express, which is enormous in most contexts, but not the super-sized world of the NBA paint. When matched up against the best power forwards in the world, he’s going to have a significant length disadvantage, a problem that could impact his game on both sides of the ball.

In almost any basketball context, having longer arms than your opponent is helpful. The guy with the longer arms can shoot over the top of of his defender. On defense, he can play a step farther back and still contest the other guy’s shot. He has an easier time reaching for rebounds and getting hands in passing lanes. The closer you get to the basket, where there is less room to maneuver, the more important this becomes.

With all the good in Julius’ game — we could go on for days — it’s a little petty to be overly concerned about his wingspan, but Tjarks makes a good point. I’m not losing any sleep over it, though, because Randle is averaging a double-double for Kentucky this season and ranks seventh in the country in rebounds per game. But it is an interesting read during our current basketball drought.

Wingspan: The big problem with Julius Randle’s NBA upside

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

47 Comments for Will Julius Randle’s wingspan hurt him in the NBA? This guy thinks it might.

  1. Jughead
    12:32 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Give me a friggin break–is this all this moron can come up with to trash JR?

    • Elwood Blues
      1:23 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

      It’s a valid concern, nothing moronic about it.

    • Daniel
      1:29 am January 4, 2014 Permalink

      Elwood Blues please… haha.. this is ultimate nitpicking…. When you are as good as Julius Randle that’s all you can… and that’s why that’s all you’re seeing….. your talent always translates ALWAYS I’ve seen it ever time.. .and if you don’t think Julius Randle can then your concerns are irrational… sounds like they are trying to knock and Kid who’ve I don’t know who to compare to.. because I’ve never seen anyone like him.. to be that gifted at that size with that motor… I’ve never seen a guy so skilled

    • Daniel
      1:45 am January 4, 2014 Permalink

      And reading the first part of his story.. I can tell he doesn’t know crap about Randle’s game fully.. read the first part of the article….he says the main reason Randle is a prospect is his Size and Athleticism.. that tells me he doesn’t know what Randle Is about right there like we do watching him…. Because The First thing I would’ve mentioned Is his Amazing Skill set for a player of his strength to go with his Outstanding Motor…. i’m so sick of all this bullshit people put out there acting like they know everything

  2. Just wondering
    12:34 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    What was Charles Barkley’s wingspan? Not saying they are the same player, or there are many like The Round Mound of Rebound.

    • Jesus
      1:50 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

      Barkley was 6’6″ with a 7′ wingspan.

  3. limited-edition holographic flatop
    12:35 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    What we’re really trying to say is don’t lose your dinosaur Julius!

  4. cristoforouk
    12:36 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    The only negative I see, and I have noticed this all year, is that he is not much of a shot blocker. His wingspan could be a contributing factor to this.

  5. Yep
    12:38 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    This is why we need more Kentucky kids on the team. We need about 3 Jon Hoods, 2 Polsons, and a Brandon Stockton and a Jared Carter to come off the bench. T Rex can’t even clap his hands. We don’t need kids from Texas that can’t clap or do push-ups! SMH

  6. TubesInColorado
    12:41 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Why the sudden push to downgrade JR’s NBA stock/potential?

  7. Jeremy L. Scarbrough
    12:48 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Clearly, there are those scouts not so fond of Randle. But the guy has special lateral movement that creates insane space in a triangle from high post, to baseline to under the basket…plus, a dinosaur would kill in the league anyway!

  8. bobolopolis
    12:52 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Luckily for every other nba team that wants Randle he’s a legit 6’9″ pf who can run up and down the floor, jump and will develop a natural strength advantage over others in that position after a couple of years in nba weight room.

    His standing reach will be about equal to shorter players with lengthier wingspans.

  9. Sarah White
    12:52 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    I think this was a petty, crappy article meant to hurt a young man. Who is this author any way? Ever heard of him. No, and likely not to in the future. To compare a young man to a prehistoric animal is trite and beyond necessary. I was so angry when I read this yesterday I could scream.

    I am disappointed you gave this supposed writer more hits. Let’s not help him at all. Ignore him. I don’t know who is trying to downgrade his position in the draft, but obviously someone is. What’s next? Willie to much like a gazelle as he runs down the floor?

  10. kyle heavy
    12:52 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    This is why Terrence Jones will be more successful than him in the NBA. you heard it here first, people.

    • Soothsayer
      5:37 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

      Yea what a stretch to say that with Jones doing so well right now and Randle still in college. You really went out on a limb there.

  11. Real UK Fan
    12:54 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Another dumb article from another dumb so-called journalist who is just trying to make up news. This time he has chosen a subject that has nothing to do with anything. What a waste of time and effort.

  12. JuliusFan
    12:54 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    More from the media to hype Parker. They will all crap if Randle is taken before him. If this is all they can come up with then they must be worried.

  13. trey
    12:55 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    This is totally relatable to this post in every way possible. Wayne Ellington is going to skip his senior year for the NFL draft. Would this mean he skips basketball season to get prepared for the combine?

  14. kyle heavy
    12:55 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    And arm length is equally as important as height when it comes to predicting offensive rebounds. Arm span and height together account for half of the variation among players in defensive boards, without even taking into account factors like playing time, weight and vertical leaping ability.

    Savvy NBA personnel gurus surely have known this for some time. It’s probably no accident that Daryl Morey, the Northwestern- and MIT-educated general manager of the Rockets, who is renowned for his Moneyball approach to hoops, has drafted several of the most superficially undersized players in the NBA. (Among them is Jones, who is 6’8¼” tall with a 7’2¼” wingspan.) Three seasons ago the Rockets made 6’5½” Chuck Hayes the shortest starting center in NBA history. Fortunately his arms are 6’10”. The value of such a reach is easy to grasp.

  15. BH
    1:02 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    So what position does Chuck Hayes play with his 5 million dollar salary?

  16. Good times
    1:06 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    #13 – Do the Mavs know that Wayne is changing sports and declaring for the NFL draft?

  17. Cody Zeller
    1:14 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Hey, I have T-Rex arms! It’s not so bad, guys! [bricks a dunk]

  18. Elam to UK
    1:15 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    I hope for as slow as the news is today, that its that much more tomorrow. Hopefully a big day for Stoops and co.

  19. cracka
    1:19 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    i don’t think this is news … everybody knows by looking at julius he doesn’t have the freakish wingspan that some other frontcourt players do. this will help him develop a mid-range and 3 pt game unlike most other pf and c. kd doesn’t have huge hands, so he’s able to shoot better than most guys his height. being taller and having longer arms and longer hands hurts your shot … but help with rebounding and deflections, etc. it’s all give and take.

  20. Wampus
    1:25 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Not going to matter when the guy guarding him is flat on his back after bouncing off Julius.

  21. jimlowe7
    1:28 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Larry Bird was 6’9″ and his wingspan was less than 6’8″. Good thing he didn’t know he couldn’t play at a high level as a forward in the NBA!

  22. PhilUK18
    1:30 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    This makes no difference. If he can develop his mid range and 3 point game, he’s athletic enough to play as a SF in the NBA, where he’ll pose significant problems for most people trying to guard him. Stupid article written by a no name journalist.

  23. MTCAT
    1:34 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    I have a problem with his use of relevant terms like “longer,” without refinement. “A sea of blue” looks into the question with average measurements. What were talking about here is a difference in length of about 2″ from the average wingspan of 4/5 players in the NBA. That works out to 1″ per arm or the length from the first knuckle to the fingertip. Yeah, Randle’s has a 2″ shorter wingspan but I really don’t think that 1″ difference per arm is going to be that much difference of a disadvantage. IMO, the author is really reaching for those notorious BBN hits.

  24. Bobbaloo
    1:41 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    You mean he can’t fit 10 basketballs within a space the same length as his wingspan like Anthony Davis? Crap. There goes the season.

  25. brain
    1:46 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    His wing span is certainly not T Rexish. What a dumbass. If you’re just looking for something to rag about you can find it on anybody.

  26. Branjo
    1:58 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    teams to over-focus on measurables in the draft usually continue to be in the lottery year after year…

  27. Dickie Betts
    1:58 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    I’ve been waiting years for someone to finally take Jonathan Tjark’s opinions seriously, and it looks like Drew has finally done it in this article. Randle will undoubtedly be a huge flop in the NBA, and it is relieving to finally see Jonathan vindicated for his deep insights.

  28. bluesman
    2:00 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Maybe we will find out that Randle’s slow cant jump with a short wing span o no no!!! another Larry Bird

  29. blueneck
    2:12 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    The question is, is wingspan important? Sure it is when drafting unknown players or picking between two similar players. When trying to guess between unproven players take the guy with the awesome wingspan cause you know he will at least occupy more space. Same reason big guys go before guards (think Bowie over Jordan).

    Problem with this logic is it doesn’t apply to proven players and that is what Julius is. Mich St had guys with wingspan. Wingspan didn’t hurt Larry Bird or Sir Charles. Lateral quickness is the reason Chuck Hayes even has a spot in the league (he blocks few shots) because he can play D. It is the same thing that makes JR so tough to guard. If anything I would knock his D.

    Rebounding is more about position than long arms. Again see Sir Charles. Most people know he is less than 6’5″ – just look at him standing next to Jordan.

  30. blueneck
    2:17 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    I hope no one clicks on that link. Don’t give that article (garbage) any more hits. KSR should not even link to it…

  31. Sicky Dimpkins
    2:36 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    If Chuck Hayes can last this long in the league, then I ain’t worried about Randle.

  32. Do whut?
    2:53 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Best I can tell from a quick peek at draftee wingspans from draftexpress itself is the average for guys of Randle’s height is about 7’1″. Two inches off of this mark hardly makes Randle a T-Rex. Add to that the fact that the kid rebounds like a T-Rex and I think it’s much ado about nothing. Sure the reach would help but the difference here seems negligible.

  33. KYSupr3macy
    3:08 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    But how many guys at his position can beat their guy off the dribble like he can? He can flat out handle the ball for his size.

    • Daniel
      1:53 am January 4, 2014 Permalink

      Exactly, Exactly …. and that is what this idiot ignores because he is trying to say Randle is only using his size to score… tells me he is just laying crap out there…. if I had that freedom i’d be amazing at doing that job.. i’m telling you

  34. bung
    3:37 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    send that bama woomin after the writer…plus Randle has an unusual shot where he puts the ball behind his head lots of times making it hard to block…

  35. bigblue091812
    3:46 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    WOW, I wonder who will make the most money over the next 5 years, my money is on Randle.

  36. Soothsayer
    5:41 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    I’m not even remotely worried. And I guarantee Randle isn’t either.

  37. Jeffrey
    8:14 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Usually, your wingspan is supposed to match your body height, his is a little over. Randle doesn’t need a freakishly long wingspan because he has a monstrous body to power pass players.

  38. Blueisthenewblack
    9:25 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    Kevin Love’s wingspan is 6’11”, and it has really hurt his game. He can’t score or rebound over anybody..

  39. Steve
    10:52 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t like incomplete players.

  40. Daniel
    1:51 am January 4, 2014 Permalink

    Read the end of the article its beyond stupidity of Randle’s game.. I wish I could write the guy myself… Read the end… where he compares him to other NBA PF with that wingspan.. He is acting like Randle only scores because of his size…saying you have to be really good with that wingspan…. HAve you watched Julius Randle??? HE IS REALLY GOOD… he is saying Randle needs to have a better game because he is only a bully and using his size… that tells me he doesn’t see it like I see Julius this year and BBN has… but i’m sure he will…. what an idiot just laying crap out there…. How you gonna say Randle doesn’t have a good skill set… to me that is what makes him so great