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Julius Randle’s Wednesday News and Views

Jonathan Daniel | Getty Images

 Jonathan Daniel | Getty Images

Jonathan Daniel | Getty Images

On Tuesday, Julius Randle announced he would enter the NBA Draft. It was by far the most predictable of the eight decisions we’ve been waiting on, but it wasn’t one taken lightly, according to Julius. In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Julius said he enjoyed his time at Kentucky so much that he actually considered coming back, despite being a projected top five pick. Julius spoke fondly of the season, and how he and his teammates became “brothers” by the end, coming up one game short of their ultimate goal. In fact, that great story Aaron Harrison so famously spoke about? Julius says he’ll tell it to his grandkids one day:

“It was, like I said, an experience I’ll never forget. Just all the adversity that we went through all year, and to finally have the opportunity to play for a national championship and to see how we came together during a postseason run, it’s just something I’ll never forget. And like I said, it’ll always – I’ll grow old one day and I’ll be able to tell my children or grandchildren about something that I did when I was 19 years old. It’ll always be a memory for me.”

Randle is now John Calipari’s twelfth one-and-done suceeder-and-proceeder at Kentucky, joining an elite group of freshmen, all ten of which have been drafted in the first round. Six of those were top ten picks, and Julius will surely be the next. He led all players in the country in double-doubles this season with 24, the second most by a freshmen in Division I history, behind only Michael Beasley with 28. All of that while being double and tripled teamed more than any other UK player I can remember. Cal calls it getting “Shaq’d,” and says that because of that, he believes Randle will be an even better pro than a college player. I’ve gotta agree.

Even five years into the John Calipari era, saying goodbye to players after only one season hasn’t gotten easier. It’s a cruel process, especially for a fan base as passionate as the Big Blue Nation. To us, these players are family, and it seems like it’s only when we really get to know them best that it’s time for them to head out the door. Until the rule changes, sadly, that’s just how it goes. But, over the past five years, I think the BBN has also learned that goodbye isn’t really goodbye. Players make a point to come back to campus, not only to get their degree, but to help the program and Calipari out, and reconnect with fans. James and Julius are good kids, and I’d expect to see them both at pro camps and alumni games down the line.

In fact, Julius couldn’t have been more complimentary of the program and Calipari in the press conference, calling Cal his “biggest supporter,” and thanking him and the rest of the staff for the “countless hours” they spent working with him, “night in and night out.” Randle added that when Cal told him that playing at Kentucky would be “the hardest thing you’ve ever done,” he didn’t really believe him, but once he was “in the fire,” he found out it was true, and more than anything, it’s helped him prepare for what’s next, on the court, and in life: “I think that’s really grown me as a person more than even as a basketball player, I think you can say, because I learned how to deal with things and I can apply it to life as well.”

Want to wish Julius good luck in person? Here’s his autograph tour schedule:

Thursday, April 24 – Wildcat Wearhouse – Ashland 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Friday, April 25 – Hillbilly Days – Pikeville – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 26 – Hillbilly Days – Pikeville – 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 26 – Lexington Sports Card – 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 27- Elizabethtown Mall – 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 29 – Tin Roof – Louisville – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Randle doing his interview with Matt and Ryan Monday night.

Randle doing his interview with Matt and Ryan Monday night.

On Tuesday night, Randle taped an interview with Matt and Ryan, which will be air during the morning show (live from spring practice). I can’t wait to hear Ryan ask him about his cramps.

Who’s next?

Here’s the rundown on the latest rumblings in each player’s decision:

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ALEX POYTHRESS: Poythress met with Calipari on Monday afternoon, and from what we’ve heard, the meeting went well. Our Alex Poythress expert, Ryan Lemond, says he still expects Alex will be back because that’s the decision Alex wants to make. Kyle Tucker, who previously had said Alex’s decision may be contingent on the Harrison Twins because of concerns about playing time, said on Tuesday that’s not the case anymore, and that Alex’s meeting with Cal cleared up any issues about that. The bottom line is, Alex isn’t even on most mock drafts, and could not only improve his stock by coming back, he can get his degree. Of those that are left, that makes his decision simplest of all to me.

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DAKARI JOHNSON: Dakari’s a bit of a different case, considering he’s projected as a solid second round pick, with some scouts saying he could slip into the end of the first round. However, Dakari’s upside is so big that he can improve his stock more than any of the others by coming back. He needs to decide whether he wants to work on his conditioning and skills at UK or most likely, in the D-League is he goes out. We’re hearing his decision will come on Wednesday.

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THE TWINS: We know this is true: on Tuesday afternoon/evening, the Twins and their dad had a meal somewhere in Lexington. You laugh, but the Twins’ decision is by far the most closely followed of the bunch, to the point that we got several “Twins spottings” throughout the day, which really only told us this: their dad came back to Kentucky with them. Their dad is very close to them, even coming to Lexington during one point of the season to help them through some struggles, so this isn’t surprising to me. At some point on Tuesday, the Twins had their meeting with Cal, and outside of that, there’s no use guessing what will happen. They’re not talking.

The Spring Game is coming…

One crappy thing about these draft decisions has been it’s bumped the Spring Game to the side, but over the next few days, we’ll try to shift our focus to football as much as we can. As I mentioned earlier, Matt, Ryan, and Drew will be live from spring practice in the morning. During the first hour, we’ll hear Julius’ interview and talk about the draft, and in the second hour, they’ll shift the focus to football and talk to Neal Brown and Mark Stoops.

See you then.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

38 Comments for Julius Randle’s Wednesday News and Views



  1. quickneasycat
    11:15 pm April 22, 2014 Permalink

    What will the twins do? I’ve pretty much broken my F5 key in anticipation. I can’t take this anymore.



  2. Uglymuffin
    11:21 pm April 22, 2014 Permalink

    I’m pretty sure being “Shaq’d” means that they are fouling him like crazy and getting away with it. Not just triple teaming.



    • WatchinginCali
      11:46 pm April 22, 2014 Permalink

      Before the “hack a Shaq” technique that emerged once he was an NBA star with no free throw shooting – he was a beast of a center at LSU who was routinely double and triple teamed. That is what Matt is referring to.



    • WatchinginCali
      11:47 pm April 22, 2014 Permalink

      And by Matt…I mean, Tyler of course.



    • Haha
      12:15 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

      He was getting fouled like crazy!
      http://tinyurl.com/ksvn8b9



  3. Shiela
    11:23 pm April 22, 2014 Permalink

    Why hasn’t Poythress announced? What is he waiting on?



  4. Remember GYERO???
    11:24 pm April 22, 2014 Permalink

    The twins are coming back. News should start leaking out tonight….. Remember you read it here first.



  5. Chaz
    11:38 pm April 22, 2014 Permalink

    That’s a lot of ground to cover and the field keeps getting smaller. Well done MTT. Espicially when the Harrisons say “They’re not talking.” We and the rest of the world that cares will find out very shortly.

    Go Cats!



  6. iucansuckbigblue....
    11:46 pm April 22, 2014 Permalink

    Thank you Julius. It was fun watching you all season. I hope your remembered as one of the greats. Go make us all proud.

    Once a Wildcat. Always a Wildcat!!! Go Big Blue!!!



  7. Ace
    11:56 pm April 22, 2014 Permalink

    The big seven footer out of Baylor declared tonight he is going to NBA draft. We need Dakari back. We don’t need Dakari to make the mistake that a previous player did. Dakari will be awesome with another year. If we get Dakari and the twins to come back then look out for number nine.



  8. Brian
    12:32 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    Why does anyone think randle’s game will translate to the pros? Who is he going to over power or spin move on?



    • Rupp
      1:24 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

      yeah, short arms, no outside shot, can’t pass, dribble,
      or hold onto the ball. only 6-9 at power forward. I
      don’t see what the NBA is excited about.



    • Oh He is Turrible!
      4:40 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

      You know more than the so called-experts I’m sure. Randle has no future in the NBA and I am not sure why we even recruited him.



    • Michael
      7:32 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

      You guys sound like UL fans. Please don’t bring that level of ignorance to this site!

      Randle is a mirror image of Zach Randolph (size, left hand, skill set). Randolph has been in the league for over a decade, has a career average of 17 and 10, and is currently making over 16 million a year as a 30-something year old. I suppose that is how Randle’s “game will translate to the pros” and “what the NBA is excited about.”



    • jus sayin
      8:45 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

      That “spin move” will more potent at the next level on a wide open court and against 1 on 1 defense.



  9. katfaninyourface
    2:33 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    Who is the amazing blonde in the background?



    • Musehobo
      7:20 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

      Racist much dude? Get lost.



    • Hmmmm
      8:39 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

      Yeah man pointing out an attractive blonde is so rascist, how dare you?



  10. GodNotGovernment
    4:28 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    BBN — tonight we stand on the precipice of a world that could be ours or it could be theirs. If Barack Obama is allowed to continue his absolute destruction of the country and its culture, I fear the point of no return is soon upon us. Vote GOP and Tea Party candidates whenever possible this primary and this November and help cleanse this land of the defiling forces of socialism that seek to undo what our founding fathers did. I was once blind, but now I see.



    • Take up Arms, Dude!
      4:43 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

      “Theirs”? What about them durn Pinkos and Commies? Your brilliance nearly blinds me as well, but if you see this, well dang, I must see it to. Forward we Go!



    • eric
      8:33 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

      Why do you right-wing, God-loving douchebags get your rocks off by posting political sh*t in any thread you can find about anything? I’ve never figured that out. Give it a rest. I think it’s funny you idiots still think you are going to get rid of Obama, impeach him or something. I guess you will still be trying to get him out of office on the eve of the 2016 election. SMDH. And BTW, there is no God. Sorry to disappoint you. Carry on.



    • Mike Casey's jersey should be retired
      9:11 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

      I think you’re still blinded….by Fox News!



    • Do whut?
      3:43 pm April 23, 2014 Permalink

      Well heck. Eric solved the issue man has wrestled with for millennia. Thank God, er uh, goodness. Now we can move on to lighter issues.



  11. the realest
    4:41 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    I am all class, no? I don’t do much generalizing or stereotyping do I?



  12. JimSteele
    5:11 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

    show me da money



  13. Michael
    7:16 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    Poythress can get all the minutes he wants at the 3/wing spot next season if he improves his ball handling. That’s not necessarily ideal, but the playing time is there. Small forward is probably the position he’ll have to play at the next level anyway.



  14. Michael
    7:23 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    Assuming Dakari, Poythress, and the twins return, that would be a team with 10 future NBA draft picks, some key final four experience, and ridiculous depth. I’m not going to humor the 40-0 craziness from last season, but talk of championship or bust would not be unreasonable IMO. Either way, next season can’t get here soon enough!



  15. do you know anything?
    7:53 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    I am not sure what draft projections you are looking at, but Dakari is barely even mid second round, FOR 2015. Poythress is projected mid second round this year or first round next year. That is echoed by almost all NBA scouts out there. Please do some research and don’t post your thoughts as if they were so called experts. It is not very good journalism at all. The twins are not projected first or second round either this year, and split next year one first and one second round. Do some research.



  16. Do whut?
    7:59 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    The only reason these decisions have bumped football from coverage is because you have decided to bump football from coverage. Obviously with the slightest bit of effort both topics can be discussed. Exactly how is waiting on decisions taking up all the coverage? Oh that’s right. Because you’re wasting our time with ridiculous speculation rather than just waiting for the announcements.



  17. Where's Waldo
    8:15 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    Aaron walked to the library and studied with a student friend yesterday….I hope he wasn’t reading about money management or real estate investing and such!!



  18. timnelson
    8:31 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    Good luck to Randle, great kid and one of my all time favorites. And please tell the blonde in the background to add me on Facebook. GO CATS!



  19. timnelson
    8:32 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    Even though I’m pretty sure that’s Randle’s chick, lol.



  20. $1.75 Tacos?
    8:48 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    If a player is drafted in the NBA lottery, he will be given a lot more chances to stay in the NBA, then a guy that is drafted in the 2nd round, or late 1st round.



  21. Mr. Obvious
    10:07 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    Ok, who is the blond in the background I keep seeing in every pic with Randle? I believe this is the same girl I seen him with at Fayette Mall a month ago. Randle got game with the ladies as well.



  22. #1CatFan
    10:13 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    Are these the autographs that you have to pay for? I liked it when they would come and sign autographs as a thank you or courtesy for the support the fans have given to them throughout the year. Not as an income booster.



  23. rodney
    10:16 am April 23, 2014 Permalink

    eric, i feel bad for you. my God is ALIVE