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Coach K speaks from the heart during visit with Julius Randle

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn't concerned with showing off championship rings to the country's top recruit.


1:12 PM, Sep. 12, 2012 EDT

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski left his rings in Durham, N.C., and spoke from the heart during his visit with Julius Randle. / US PRESSWIRE

Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) forward Julius Randle, the No. 1 player in the Rivals150, has given USA TODAY High School Sports exclusive access into his world by allowing us to be the “fly on the wall” for the conversation between he and his inner circle once the college coaches recruiting step away from their in-home visits. This week he’s hosting N.C. State, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and Kansas. Our in-depth feature is coming once all visits conclude after Sept. 22, but here’s another teaser in the meantime.

MCKINNEY, Texas – When Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and assistant Jeff Capel came strolling into Julius Randle’s house Tuesday night for their in-home visit, Randle and his mother Carolyn Kyles couldn’t help but to immediately take a subtle glance at Krzyzewski’s fingers to see if he’d be sporting any of his four national title rings or carrying a suitcase to tote his extensive collection of hardware.

“I was looking to see if he’d be wearing that gold medal he won last month,” Kyles said. “But I guess they don’t give those to the coaches.”

Who could blame them after Kentucky coach John Calipari and UNC coach Roy Williams had an unofficial ring duel the previous two nights?

“Lots of ice in the house,” said Randle, a forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas). “That’s for sure.”

Krzyzewski opted to leave his hefty collection of diamond rings in Durham, N.C., and instead “spoke from the heart.”

“When he walked in we stood up and talked for like 25 minutes,” Randle said. “All of us. Didn’t even realize we were standing that long. That’s just Coach K. He’s great.”

Added Kyles: “He’s captivating. He really is. I truly understand why his players love him so much; you can tell that he really cares.”

Still, was Randle slightly disappointed by the lack of bling after two nights of gaudy, expensive diamond championship rings?

“Not at all,” Randle said. “I mean Coach K’s got ‘em too now. It was just him. That was enough.”

Jason Jordan is a High School Sports reporter for USA TODAY. He can be reached at jcjordan@usatoday.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

 

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