Julius Randle is the top-ranked prospect in the Rivals150 for 2013 and recently cut his list down to six – Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Florida and Oklahoma. Randle, a forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), has agreed to give USA TODAY High School Sports exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a monthly blog.
What’s going on everybody! It’s me, of course, and I’m excited to let you guys know that I’m back on the court. I know most of you already know that, but I’m still excited to be playing the game that I love.
Ya know, I was actually a little nervous, which was a little weird for me. I think I was just so excited to get back. I had a lot of fun out there. To be honest, I didn’t feel anything wrong with my foot. Nothing.
The only thing was I was a little rusty, but that comes with reps so I’m not worried about that. I still put up solid numbers (19 points, 10 rebounds and three assists) for the short time I actually played. I’m getting my rhythm back now. My explosion feels great too. I’m just excited man! Everyday my foot is getting stronger and stronger and my timing is getting better and better. I can still hoop!
We’ve got a game tonight and it’s the state tournament now, so we can’t lose anymore. I’m just excited to have another chance to win another state championship. I’m blessed to be in this position. I love to test myself and see where I’m at, but I’ve been putting in a lot of work and everything is back.
Of course by now everyone knows about McDonald’s watching my progress over the next couple of weeks, but I’m not stressing over that situation. I definitely want to be in the game, but I can only control what I do on the court and the work I put in; everything else is out of my hands. I’m going hard every play, as always, and I know that situation will take care of itself.
Right now I’m completely focused on states.
I feel like we’re the favorite until we lose since we won last year. I think we can do it. Our team is ready.
OK, well I know everyone wants to hear about my visit to Kansas.
Well, when I got to the airport Coach (Norm) Roberts picked me and my mom up in a Mercedes van. That was real nice. It’s about an hour drive from the airport to campus so I was definitely comfortable riding in that.
He took us straight to College GameDay and when I walked in the fans went absolutely crazy. Those fans were really loud. I mean those fans were just crazy. They might’ve been the best fans I’ve seen. They chanted all throughout the game and they were loud. I heard it pretty loud at N.C. State, but these guys were just loud.
The game was fun too. They had a lot of alumni there and I already knew Thomas (Robinson) so it was cool catching up with him. Then the Morris twins were there and Mario Chalmers had his jersey retired that night. Every time they showed that clutch shot that he made against Memphis the crowd went crazy. And they showed it like 20 times. I loved that. It showed me how much the fans love their players even after they leave. I really liked that part.
That night I got to hang out with all of the players and we had a good time.
Sunday we met with the academic advisors and took the tours and things like that. They gave me a lot of good information. Then I finally got to meet their strength coach Andrea Hudy. She’s just a beast, man. She’s the best I’ve seen. I would love to work with her. Just seeing how she does stuff is crazy.
Then I got some shots up after that. I just love to workout so to be able to do it there was pretty cool.
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Later that night, we all got together at Coach (Bill) Self’s house and had a crazy spread of food. It was good too. Everybody had a good time just hanging out and talking.
That was a great visit. Kansas really made a big impression on me. I know I’d have a legit chance to win a national championship there.
Now all of the visits are done and I’ve got to really start to think about what I want to do. It could be a really stressful situation because this thing is hard. I know the truth is that all of these schools would be perfect. But I’m not letting it stress me out; I’ve just got to go to the best system for me.
The place that fits me and the place that I’ll be happy. Wherever I felt the happiest is the place that I’m gonna go to.
It’s hard though! I can’t lie; it kinda kept me up last night. My mind was racing and I couldn’t go to sleep so I just stayed up and watched some TV. I think it’ll help that I’m so focused on winning the state title now. Then I’ve got spring break to take my mind off of things so that’ll be good.
I haven’t set any dates to decide or anything like that just because I don’t know where I want to go.
But, like I said, I’m not gonna get stressed, I’m too happy to be back on the court.
Coach (Mark) Gottfried and Coach (Orlando) Early from N.C. State came in to see me the other day and we had a really good talk. They basically just wanted to answer any questions I might’ve had. It was cool.
I think, at this point, I’m gonna shut all of my visits with coaches down. I’ve got all the information now I’m gonna take time to process it all. So I won’t be meeting with any more coaches.
OK everybody, I’m gonna get out of here and get into game mode for tonight. You guys wish me luck and I’ll be back with another blog soon to let you guys know how everything went. I’m gonna definitely be going hard!
Talk to you later.
Don’t forget to follow Randle on Twitter @J30_Randle.