Julius Randle is the most NBA ready of Kentucky’s neo-Fab 5 freshmen. He’s the only one of the Kentucky Wildcats starting five who could possibly be drafted top five overall in June. If UK wins it all tonight (they’re favored by three) it will only heighten the discussion of the so-called “one and done” policy/NBA Draft minimum age rule.
(BREAKING UPDATE: CBS and Turner Sports Analyst, former Kentucky All-American Rex Chapman claims Coach Cal is leaving Lexington to coach the Los Angeles Lakers)
Since John Calipari has a de facto NBA Developmental League team, with the McDonald’s All-American game being the de facto D-League to Kentucky’s program there’s been a whole lot of discussion on this issue already. Throw in the fact that Coach Cal and Kentucky basketball are rather polarizing by nature, and this talking point receives even more coverage.
Yesterday, Randle gave an answer to a reporter that adds more food for though in the one and done debate.
Julius Randle on if he had the option to go pro after high school, would be have chosen that instead of college:
“I really don’t know. I am certainly happy that I chose to go to college. I probably still would have chosen to go to college. It is what I needed as far as maturity level. A lot of people think they are ready, but in actuality, you are really not. I am really happy that I chose to go to college and first off, get that experience of being away from home. This year has been wonderful for me as far as maturity level and kind of growing me into a young man. I am extremely happy, whether they had the rule or not, that I chose to come to college.”
Is Julius Randle truly speaking from the heart, or just espousing the party line?
I’ll let you debate that.
To determine the answer, I’ll ask you another question. Do you think Coach Cal is an honest man? I’ve interviewed numerous Kentucky blue chip recruits, several McDonald’s All-Americans over the last few years, and whenever I ask them what makes Calipari such a great recruiter, they all give a similar answer: his honesty.
Do you believe them?
The one-and-done (a term that Calipari is trying to re-brand as “succeed and proceed”) discussion isn’t be going away anytime soon. Especially since NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is considering a move to raise the minimum age requirement by a year.
Julius Randle may be the only guy who is a lock to be a lottery selection, but the other four starters: Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, James Young and Dakari Johnson are likely first-rounders. As his back-up big man Willie Cauley-Stein. Here’s where we have Kentucky in our way-too-early 2014-15 college basketball rankings.
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a frequent guest on national talk radio. Banks is a former contributor to NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, who’s been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Follow paulmbanks