Kentucky Wildcats forward Julius Randle will officially forego his sophomore season in college to enter the 2014 NBA Draft. A near lock for the draft lottery, Randle is a top-five pick candidate and could potentially go as early as the top-three.
Randle’s announcement comes on the heels of other star college players declaring. He joins the likes of Kansas big man Joel Embiid, Duke forward Jabari Parker, Kansas swing man Andrew Wiggins and Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart. While no one knows for sure who will go number one overall or what the order will be beyond the top pick, Randle appears to be very much on the same level as his top competition in the draft.
While Randle is no longer a Wildcat, he won’t soon be forgotten by the Kentucky faithful despite enjoying just one season of college basketball success. The success was both individual and team felt, however, as Randle spent his freshman season putting up over 15 points and 10 rebounds per game during the regular season and was a key component to a Kentucky team that reached the NCAA Men’s title game this season.
A very strong and fluid player, Randle has a nice face-up game and seems to be ready offensively to start challenging at the next level. Blessed with good size and length, Randle could also make an immediate impact on defense for his future NBA team. He does have some weak points, however, as NBA teams will wonder if his control is good enough for the next level. One other chief concern noted by NBA draft scouts in Randle’s less than ideal size for the true number four spot.
Overall, Randle is a complete prospect that enjoyed a highly successful lone college season. Teams will be very interested in his role of a near-championship winning team, while his physical attributes and basketball skill-set will clearly garner high praise.