College Basketball Insider

CBSSports.com Player of the Week: Kentucky's Julius Randle

I tweeted the following when the AP preseason All-Americans were announced last week:

Kentucky's Julius Randle got snubbed.

Among the replies was one from somebody defending the writers by insisting that "freshmen are complete unknowns" who "have to prove it." Such is silly on two levels.

  1. Freshmen are not complete unknowns.
  2. Preseason honors should be projections more than awards for something earned.

The first point is self-explanatory, I think, because if freshmen are "complete unknowns" then how is it that those who cover the sport seriously-- in addition to NBA scouts -- have seen all of the top freshmen many times? As for the second point, well, let me ask this: has a preseason Freshman of the Year ever "proved" anything at the Division I level before being named a preseason Freshman of the Year? Of course not. But those honors are still bestowed based on educated guesses. Preseason All-American teams should be handled similarly, and, in truth, they usually are -- proof being that freshman Andrew Wiggins was voted an AP preseason All-American before ever playing a game at Kansas.

Bottom line, like I said, the AP voters simply missed on Randle.

If you didn't know it then, you know it now.

The 6-foot-9 forward from Texas averaged 22.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in two wins -- a blowout of UNC-Ashville on Friday night followed by a blowout of Northern Kentucky on Sunday afternoon -- and is thus the CBSSports.com College Basketball Player of the Week. His performances rank among the best two-game starts in Kentucky history and yet still do not accurately reflect what's possible for the future lottery pick.

"He should be averaging 20 rebounds a game right now," said UK coach John Calipari.

What's scary is that that's probably true.

"Julius Randle is a specimen," said UNC-Asheville coach Nick McDevitt. "He is very, very good. Rarely do you see a guy with that kind of size and athleticism and skill level. Coach Cal's going to have fun coaching him."


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and college basketball insider for the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts an award-winning radio show in Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two sons and two dogs.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

Latest Video

September 3, 2015
Who has the best starting five in college basketball? (1:57)
September 1, 2015
Frank Jackson commits to Duke
(1:37)
September 1, 2015
Gary Parrish discusses Emmitt Holt's dismissal from Indiana's basketball team
(1:01)
August 28, 2015
Inside College Hoops
(1:12)

Latest

Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop

Men's Nike Scarlet Ohio State Buckeyes No. 15 Limited Football Jersey

College Sideline Gear
Get your favorite school
Shop Now

2015 NCAA Tournament
Final Four