Dec 10, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Julius Randle (30) dunks the ball against Boise State Broncos guard Anthony Drmic (3) in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Boise State 70-55. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Prospect Profile: Julius Randle

Another player that is sure to hear his name called early in the upcoming draft is freshman Julius Randle from the University of Kentucky. This young man is an absolute force and there is no other way to put it. He is truly making a name for himself at the collegiate level so far this season. He has the body and frame of an NFL linebacker, which suits him well to bang with the big boys in the paint. The 6-8 power forward is the perfect replacement, since multiple reports are coming out that six year veteran Thaddeus Young wants out of Philadelphia.

Randle can be the next big man to replace Thad if he is indeed traded. He’s not a tweener like Thad, who doesn’t have a real position. Randle will play in the paint and would look amazing next to a rim protector like Nerlens Noel. Most players that have his size do not have the speed inside or the physical skill set that makes Julius Randle so special on offense. His game is not all offense though as he is averaging 11 rebounds per game as a freshman. Put that in accordance with his 17 points per game and you have a double-double machine so to speak. A double-double machine that would look great in Philadelphia Sixers color. There’s only four players in the NBA season that are averaging 20 and 10 (Love, Aldridge, Griffin, Cousins), so a player like Randle is a rare commodity.

But with all great things, there are some flaws. Randle must get better when the ball isn’t in his hands. He seems to be lazy at times or disinterested when he is not making plays or key rebounds. He must make his presence known outside of scoring and become a better set-up man for his fellow Wildcats. Randle also has a huge frame so he must become more versatile in the post and not just rely on the jump shot. If he is going to play at the next level he will have to switch it up and learn to play with his back to the basket. He’s a huge person, so this should come along as he progresses at Kentucky.

Needless to say it will be quite interesting to watch his overall game progress over the season. If Julius Randle can become a solid defender and become more aggressive away from the ball, don’t be shocked if you hear his name called very early in the 2014 NBA Draft.

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