Rappin' with Randle: Final Four looms
March, 2, 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. 2 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.
Hey what's up everybody!
The biggest thing, by far, that’s going on with me is that my team plays St. Thomas (Houston) in the Final Four of the state tournament today. We’re so focused right now on winning states and it’s even bigger because St. Thomas is the team that beat us last year in the title game.
We feel like they took something from us and we’re really hungry to get this win. Last year we came into the game a little overconfident because we were blowing teams out. We got a big lead on them and didn’t keep playing hard. They hit a few threes and took the lead and beat us.
I haven’t forgotten that. It was definitely a learning experience.
If we win today we’ll play Saturday for the state title. So hopefully this will be a big weekend for us.
Of course we don’t have the only big game this weekend. It’s Duke-UNC part two and you guys already know I picked Duke to win this one.
I picked UNC in the first game and they let me down, and I just can’t pick against Duke twice. Especially at home.
I expect a really competitive game, but I just think that Austin Rivers is gonna be too much again this time and he’ll go off again. That guy is just crazy. He’ll probably drop a 30-piece or something.
I won’t say that Carolina doesn’t have a chance because Duke has lost twice at home this year, but in their last home game I don’t see them losing. I just can’t see that.
Last week I went to the Mavericks-Lakers game and that was a good time because I’m a big time Kobe Bryant fan. I just try and watch his mannerisms to pick up tips from his game. I’m a fan but I’m a student first. His footwork is just crazy and his attention to detail on the court is even crazier. He plays every possession like it's his last.
I sat courtside for that game and that’s a great experience.
Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are just huge. I look small compared to those guys, and the game looks a lot slower than it does on TV. It’s weird.
As far as my recruitment things are still going pretty good.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski called me yesterday and wished me luck in the Final Four. I also talked to coach Orlando Early from N.C. State, I talked to TCU and Coach Roy Williams talked to my mom the other day too.
I’m thinking about coming down to visit N.C. State again in the spring. I’ve really been building a good relationship with Coach Early and the staff there and he wants me to get down there to meet my mom and show us both around.
N.C. State is kind of new to me, but I’ve definitely got some interest in them with my bro Rodney Purvis there and I had a good time when I visited there a few months back.
If I do come I would probably visit UNC and Duke too, but I don’t know for sure if I’m coming yet. I’ll keep you guys posted on that.
I don’t have a recipe this time guys. I gave up fried food for Lent so I haven’t been cooking a whole lot.
I definitely want to remind everyone to go and vote for me for the Fans Choice Player of the Year award too.
OK guys, well hopefully the next time I write I’ll be telling you about my state title.
Thanks again for reading, and I’ll holla at you all later.
Don't forget to follow Randle on Twitter: @J30_Randle