Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Julius Randle Glad He Won’t Have to Find Minutes for Kentucky Players, Reiterates He Doesn’t Need Foot Surgery
NEW YORK — With Kentucky set to be absolutely loaded in the frontcourt next season, Julius Randle says he’s glad he doesn’t have to make substitution decisions.
“I think they can be really good,” the 6-foot-9 Randle said Wednesday in advance of the NBA Draft..
“Luckily, I’m not the coach so finding minutes for those guys is not my problem.”
While Randle and fellow freshman James Young turned pro, sophomores Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein and freshmen Dakari Johnson, Andrew and Aaron Harrison all opted to remain on campus.
Coach John Calipari next season will have plenty of depth up front with Poythress, Cauley-Stein, Johnson, sophomore Marcus Lee and incoming freshman Karl-Anthony Towns and Trey Lyles.
Meantime, Randle reiterated yet again that he doesn’t need foot surgery — despite a recent report to the contrary — and believes teams may have circulated the story in order to have him slide in the draft.
“It could be teams wanting you to fall to them to put the report out but you never can be sure of how it got out,” he said.
Asked if any teams had discussed the possibility of surgery down the road, Randle said he never got in depth about it.
“I never got in depth with any teams about it but I’m sure there will be conversations about it,” he said. “I’m not sure.”
Asked specifically what the nature of the injury was, Randle referred to the fractured foot he suffered in high school.
“Not sure what it is exactly or what’s the issue,” he said. “I just know that it deals with the bone that I fractured in high school.”
DraftExpress.com projects Randle going No. 7 to the Los Angeles Lakers, and Randle said he had a good workout with them.
“It went really well,” he said. “I shot the ball great there and showed my versatility well and tested well as far as speed and agility and vertical and all that stuff. It was a really good workout.”
Still, with all the trade talk, Randle has learned to go in with an open mind.
“You never can be confident in a team even if they say they want you,” he said. “You can’t be confident because so much happens on draft night.
“I’m going in with an open mind.”
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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.