Posted by Jeff Borzello
HAMPTON, Va. – Most players might shy away from being the No. 1 player in the class.
Not Julius Randle.
Randle, a 6-foot-9 forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy (Texas), is in the mix for the top ranking in 2013 – and he isn’t afraid to let people know.
“Every time on the floor, I want to let everyone know I’m the best player on the court,” he said last weekend at the Boo Williams EYBL event in Hampton. “There’s a lot of tough players, but I think I rank up there. Every time I play against a top player, I go at him.”
ESPN and Scout rank Randle atop his class, although Nerlens Noel attempted to stake his own claim for No. 1 at Boo Williams.
Randle, who plays for Team Texas Titans, enjoys the level of competition in the EYBL – even if players are gunning for him.
“Every player on the court is a good player,” he said. “It lets you compare."
“There’s a target on my back. If you play well against me, you feel like you have a chance to make a name for yourself.”
Randle has drawn comparisons to everyone from Chris Webber and Kevin Garnett to Marvin Williams and Caron Butler due to his ability to play both forward positions and score in a variety of ways.
“I always told my mom I didn’t want to do just one thing,” he said. “I like versatility.”
Randle struggled at times during the event in Hampton, but he still managed to demonstrate an inside-outside offensive game and ranked among the top rebounders at the EYBL.
His unselfishness was also on display throughout the weekend.
“I’m trying to get my teammates involved,” Randle said. “I’m working on everything, trying to be an all-around player.”
Not surprisingly, Randle has a who’s who of colleges on his tail. The schools coming at him the hardest include Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Kansas, Kansas State, Duke and Louisville.
He even received an offer from North Carolina, despite head coach Roy Williams’ propensity for waiting a long time to extend offers.
Despite the long list of suitors, Randle is taking his time.
“There’s not leader at this point,” he said. “I’m in no rush to make a decision.
“I want coaches that will push me. And academics, in case basketball doesn’t work out for me.”
For now, it seems that basketball will work out just fine.