Name: Julius Randle Age: 19 School: Kentucky
Height: 6’9 Weight: 250 Projected Position: PF
15.0 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.8 bpg, 2.5 tpg (30.8 minutes per game)
50.1 FG%, 70.6 FT%, 56.7 TS%, 50.5 eFG%
25.4 USG%, 13.3 ORB%, 24.7 DREB%, 19.2 TRB%, 16.1 TOV%
SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN
Randle is a strong back-to-the basket post player, using a combination of a strong body, good footwork, and a nice shooting touch to score. He does a good job using his body to establish position in the post area, though he could use his lower body more to create space. He sets a good target for passers and has good hands. Randle has a good repertoire of post moves for his age, though his inability to complete moves to his right hand makes him abort moves in order to spin back to his left hand. He is able to make a quick move over either shoulder, but will always come back to his left hand to finish. He has shown a good up-and-under move when his original move is stopped, and his ability to use angles and a soft touch around the basket help him immensely. Randle needs to work on getting a better sense of where the defense is before he makes a move, often making his move right into the middle of the defense. He was able to overpower many college defenders, but he won’t have the same advantage often in the NBA. Randle can be good facing up out of the post and using his dribble to get by his man to the basket, but again, defenders learned that he was always going back to his left hand know matter where the move was started. He also needs to work on being able to knock down the jumper consistently out of the face up. Randle can be a strong screener, but he needs to work on making sure he catches a defender before leaving the screen. He has shown that the can open up well to the ball as the “roll” man in the pick-and-roll, though he has to work on moving quicker towards the basket, looking for the pass. Randle understands spacing well and can be very active moving in the post to get in position for the ball. He also can be a good passer out of the post, but he will force passes or try to make last-second passes when his move is stopped that aren’t really on target. Randle handled double-teams well during the season, though his solution was often to just power through it. He will need to be able to see the floor better and be able to make the right reads if he has an open teammate.
Randle is a decent ballhandler for his size, though he is much more capable with his left hand than right. Randle has shown that he can make a move to the basket when he gets the ball within 10-15 feet of the basket, though he makes a much stronger move when going to his left. When going to the basket, Randle uses his body well to shield defenders from the ball, and he has shown remarkable touch and use of angles around the basket. Randle can be a bit out of control when he makes a move from the perimeter, and his ballhandling isn’t strong enough to drive into the defense as much as he would like. He needs to do a better job keeping his head up when heading to the basket and sensing where the help defenders are coming from. Also, he needs to work on keeping his dribble closer to his body, as he can let the ball get too far away from him, though he has a good first step for his size. Randle’s lack of ability with his right hand will be a problem though because even if he was to take a few dribble with his right, he will always go to a spin move to come back to his left. Smart defenders caught on this year and the NBA defenders will be looking for it right away.
This is a major area where Randle will have to show some growth once he gets to the NBA level. Randle has been so dominant around the basket in high school and one year of college that he has shown little shooting ability outside of 6-8 feet. Randle’s biggest problem when he looks to shoot from the perimeter is that he is always hesitant, which then carries over to his motion if he does take a shot. He has a good release point and follow-through, but the rest of his motion is far from fluid. Adding this additional component to his game will open up the rest of his game more, so it will be important for him to put a lot of work into it.
Free Throw Shooting
Randle is a below-average free throw shooter, but his mechanics aren’t so bad that they can’t be fixed with a few tweaks. He has a consistent routine and good balance at the line, but his release is inconsistent. His shooting motion has some hesitations in it, especially when he is near the release point. The hesitation in his motion can cause some shots to come off flat. Randle does a very good job drawing contact around the basket, often forcing teams to foul him to prevent him from just muscling his way to the rim. He goes to the free throw line almost 1.5 times for every 2 field goal attempts, so being able to knock down his free throws can add up points quickly.
Post Defense/Help Defense
Randle is an average post defender, creating a balanced base with his legs and positioning himself well between his man and the basket. He also has shown good footwork when defending against both back-to-the-basket and face-up post moves, though his reaction time can be better. Also, for all of Randle’s strength, he is not a very physical post defender, often making it easy for his man to back him down. Randle’s defensive awareness is average, but he needs to improve as a help defender. He is often a step or so slow to react and doesn’t get to help position in time to make a play. Randle isn’t much of a shot blocker, but he does do a good job challenging shots when he is in position. In pick-and-roll situations, Randle hedges well on the ballhandler, but is either slow to recover, or he doesn’t fully commit and leaves a gap for the ballhandler to make a play.
Perimeter Defense (On/Off Ball)
Randle is a below average perimeter defender, though he showed some improvement by the end of this past season. He positions himself well between his man and the basket, but his lateral movement and reaction to movements need a lot of work. Randle does a good job closing on perimeter shooters, though he is quick to fall for shot fakes and getting drawn off his feet. Off the ball, Randle positions himself well though he can find himself drawn out of position if guarding an offensive player who likes to move around the floor. Again, his reaction time needs some improvement, and skilled big men are able to beat him handily off the dribble on the perimeter. His defensive awareness is average, though much better in the lane than on the perimeter.
Randle has a great knack for tracking missed shots and getting into position to grab the rebound, and his big body makes it easy for him to create space. He goes very strong after the ball, but he needs to watch that he at least tries to box someone out, as his strength advantage won’t be as big at the NBA level. Once he grabs a rebound, he clears space quickly and opponents can be quick to move if his arms start swinging. On the offensive end, Randle can be very aggressive going after missed shots, and, he uses a nice combination of strength and finesse to get to balls quickly. He is quick to get off good shots when he gets an offensive board, and he can surprise many with the speed in which he can grab the ball and have a shot off. Opponents will need to put up a fight to stop him from dominating the glass.
Randle doesn’t really run the floor well, but when he does get out on the break, defenders have been known to get out of his path. Randle does a good job catching passes around the basket and finishing strong, though control can be an issue if he is moving very quickly. At times, Randle would look to start the break himself after grabbing a rebound, and while he had some success in college doing it, it would likely be a mess at the pro level.
Randle was the most consistent presence on a Kentucky team that went through many ups and downs. He found ways to score in the paint, even without a real point guard who could get him the ball where he can be most effective. Strong and skilled, Randle has advanced footwork for his age, but his inability to go to his right started to hamper him as teams caught on. He is a very good rebounder on both ends of the floor, and it’s more surprising when you realize that he wasn’t much for boxing players out. He will need to put a body on people at the next level though. His defense wasn’t very good, and he will have to guard more skilled players now, so he has a lot of catching up to do. He put a lot of effort out on the floor, especially on the offensive end, and his ability to draw contact when making moves to the basket was among the best in the NCAA. Randle’s game is still raw in many ways, and he relies on things that have always worked for him, so it will be important for him to move off that plateau if he wants long-term success in the NBA. If he can get his skill to match his physical tools, he will be tough for defenders to stop.
Draft Value: Early-Mid Lottery – #3-9
Randle can be a dominant presence in the paint on offense, and once he learns how to use his body against taller defenders, he should be able to be a strong scorer at the NBA level. Randle loves to hit the boards on both ends of the floor and his effort alone can make things happen for his team. Defensively, he needs work, but with work, he should be an adequate defender at the NBA level. He could make an impact rather quickly, but sustaining it will require polishing his skills while adding some needed components (Please start using your right hand)
Leave your comments below, or email me – [email protected]
Follow me on Twitter – @NBADraftBlog