Julius Randle Declares for NBA Draft | Zagsblog
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Tuesday / September 26.
  • Julius Randle Declares for NBA Draft

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    RandleKentucky forward Julius Randle became the latest freshman in this heralded class to announce for the NBA Draft when he held a press conference Tuesday.

    The 6-foot-9 Randle is projected as the No. 4 pick in the Draft by DraftExpress.com. The three freshmen projected ahead of him — Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker — have all declared for the draft.

    “I have decided to declare for the NBA Draft,” Randle said.

    “Growing up as a kid it’s always been my dream to play in the NBA and there’s no better time to achieve that than now.”

    Randle is the 12th one-and-done at Kentucky in five years, according to Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal.

    “He is going to be a top-5 pick,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “Skilled offensively but needs to develop a consistent 15-17-foot jump shot to become even more of a threat at the offensive end.”

    Randle averaged 15 points and 10.4 rebounds on the season, and 14.8 points and 9.8 rebounds in the NCAAs. He was limited to 10 points and 6 rebounds in the final against UConn.

    “I think Julius Randle’s helped himself probably more than anybody in the draft,” the scout said before the Final 4. “It took him from 6 to 5 or 5 to 4 or whatever, but he’s definitely helped himself.”

    Randle said Kentucky coach John Calipari — with whom he met on Monday — supported his decision.

    “He told me that he felt like I was ready,” Randle said. “It was up to me. He was my biggest supporter.”

    Randle is the second Kentucky freshman headed to the Draft, following wing James Young, while Andrew and Aaron Harrison and Dakari Johnson are still seeking feedback from Calipari and the NBA. DraftExpress.com does not have them projected in the 2014 Draft.

    “I can’t really speak for them, I haven’t given them any advice.” Randle said of the Harrison twins.

    ESPN’s Andy Katz reported on Monday morning that Calipari was set to meet with Randle, Johnson and sophomore Alex Poythress on Monday afternoon, and the Harrison twins on Tuesday.

    Sophomore big man Willie Cauley-Stein also announced he would return to what figures to be a very deep team next year that includes a four-man incoming class of Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis, Karl-Anthony Towns and Trey Lyles.

    “This team is definitely going to be deep next year,” Randle said. “We’re definitely going to make another run.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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