Julius Randle tours North Carolina colleges
January, 9, 2012
By Julius Randle | ESPN.com
Kelly Kline/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Julius RandleJulius Randle | Junior | Forward | Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)
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Julius Randle is ranked No. 3 in the ESPNU 60. As a junior, Randle, a forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), is one of the most sought after prospects in the country, regardless of class, with heavyweights like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio State and Texas all pursuing him hotly. Randle has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access to his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to cooking recipes in a monthly diary.
What’s up world.
It’s your boy Julius Randle and I’m kicking off my first blog of 2012.
First, I want to talk about how proud I was that my team and I were able to go down there to the City of Palms Classic and come away with the title. That was a great field and to end up on top was really big for us. Not many people knew about our team nationally, but it really put us on the map.
But then we went to the Beach Ball Classic and we didn’t do too well there. I think we were a little fatigued, but I also think that it had a lot to do with us not being used to playing with a target on our backs. After we won the City of Palms, we got ranked in the POWERADE FAB 50 and now that we’ve gone through what it’s like playing with a target we’re more prepared.
We know that we have to bring it every single game. We all understand that now, and I really think we’re in a good place headed into the Hoophall Classic next week.
I can’t wait to get down there and play against Oak Hill Academy. This might sound crazy, but I’m happy that they haven’t lost yet because we’ll be able to give them their first loss. I’m really confident about our team when we’re playing the way that we’re capable of playing I really don’t see a team in the country that can beat us.
After we lost in the Beach Ball Classic my teammates and I went down to North Carolina a day early. I had planned to go down there anyway, but since we weren’t playing anymore we decided to go early and visit N.C. State. I had a great time there with Coach (Mark) Gottfried and Coach (Orlando) Early.
Most of the students weren’t there but those fans still packed the place out. One fan made a really cool sign saying how bad he wanted me to come to State. Just stuff like that was pretty cool to see.
I got a chance to sit down with Coach Gottfried and his message was really simple. He just kept saying “We want you.” He talked about the ways they’d use me there and I liked that he came across really direct.
My boy Rodney Purvis came out to the game with me and that’s always fun to hang out with him. We’re real tight and we had a great time together. I know he wants me to come join him there at State.
That night after I left I went over to Duke and talked with Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) for a good little while. It was a great talk about a lot of different things.
We ended up practicing at Cameron Indoor Stadium that night around 10 p.m. and we had a great time just being on that court. I felt really comfortable playing there and I swear I didn’t miss hardly any shots. It was similar to the way I felt when I was at North Carolina practicing for the Beach Ball Classic.
I was making a lot of shots. So the fact that I couldn’t miss at either Duke or UNC won’t make my decision any easier, Ha ha.
The next morning I went to UNC’s shoot around because they had a game that afternoon. It was cool just to be there and see their routine.
I got a chance to sit down and talk to Coach (Roy) Williams and that’s always fun. He just reiterated how much they wanted me there and he said he was gonna give me the highest praise he could give a high school player by telling me that I work as hard as Tyler Hansbrough did on the court.
I know Tyler was a great player so to be compared to him was awesome. I like Coach Williams’ approach. He doesn’t call all the time, he gives me space and he always says he’d much rather talk to me in person. Coach Williams is just a really cool guy.
I came back later for the game and that was fun. The fans were different there. They were really in to their team, but in a different way. It was really loud and really live. It was really interesting to see how different the fan bases were.
I had a great time at the game. It’s hard not to be impressed with UNC and its fans.
I ended up leaving at halftime to get to Duke for the start of their game. That place wasn’t just packed, it was sold out. Of course their place is smaller, but that place is just crazy.
If I had to compare the environments, I’d have to say that Cameron is the most live. It’s so true what people say about that place and this is with the students not even being there. It was just insane. It’s another level. They chanted my name so loud and their fans knew all about me. I was just like wow.
After the game I got the chance to sit down with Coach K again and we had a long talk. He gave me so many things to think about like getting lower and wider in my stance and being in great -- not good -- shape and how much that could help me.
He showed me clips of LeBron James when he was with Team USA and how they worked with him on getting lower and how much that helped him. I have started using that these past couple games, and I can already tell the difference in how I’m playing.
That night when we got to the hotel I felt like getting some shots up so I ended up going to UNC since my hotel was right near the campus. I shot around with Kendall Marshall and James McAdoo and we had a good time there at the gym.
Kendall took me to his room after that and showed me the famous shoe collection that I hear so much about. I’ve got to tell you all, it definitely lives up to the hype! It made me want to get my shoe game together immediately. That’s the first thing I wanted to do after seeing his shoes was come home and get my shoe game up, Ha ha.
I left that next morning.
All in all, I had a great time in North Carolina visiting all three of those schools. Loved the weather and everything about that area. I may get back down there to see the Duke-North Carolina game. I can only imagine that atmosphere.
I definitely plan to get down to Kentucky and Ohio State too. I can’t wait to visit those schools so I hope those fans are ready to see me.
Well, I don’t have a recipe this time people. I’m sorry about that. I’ll definitely have one for you guys the next time.
I got a chance to read ESPNHS' story on predictions for 2012 and that was interesting what they predicted about me ending up at Duke. I’m not saying that it will or won’t happen, but there’s a good chance they could be right. Who knows, we’ll have to see.
Oh and I also read the Recruit X story at ESPNHS too. Wow, his visit was just like the movie “He Got Game.” I was shocked at how real he kept it, and no I’m not Recruit X.
That will be an interesting series to follow to say the least.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now everyone. I appreciate you reading my blog.
Until next time.
Don't forget to follow Randle on Twitter: @J30_Randle