Julius Randle Not ACC Bound After Cutting NC State From Final ListPosted by Jimmy Kelley on March 6th, 2013
Jimmy Kelley is an ACC correspondent for Rush the Court. Follow him on Twitter @JimmyKelley_
Julius Randle is one of the biggest, fastest and most highly sought players in the class of 2013, but as of Wednesday afternoon, ACC teams don’t have to worry about seeing him next year on a daily basis. The five-star forward from Texas officially cut NC State from his final list, according to SNY‘s Adam Zagoria. Randle also cut Oklahoma from his list and is now down to four non-ACC schools: Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, and Florida. This deals a major blow to the hopes of Mark Gottfried’s incoming recruiting class and will stand to keep Duke’s impressive class at the top of the ACC.
Zagoria’s report, which came from a conversation with a source in Texas, doesn’t change the fact that the Wolfpack still have a very impressive incoming class with three top-100 recruits in Anthony Barber, BeeJay Anya and Kyle Washington. What it does change is where the ceiling for NC State next year resides. Scott Wood and Richard Howell are graduating, C.J. Leslie will almost certainly go pro, and the status of Lorenzo Brown, Rodney Purvis and T.J. Warren could come down to the very last moments. Replacing any of those players, especially Howell and Leslie, will be very difficult, and a player with Randle’s impact would have been able to handle that responsibility better than Anya or Washington.
Randle spent a majority of his final prep season on the sideline with a foot injury but has returned to action in the last few weeks. He is expected to make a full recovery and be an immediate star for the team he decides to play for next season. Kentucky and Kansas are expected to be the front-runners for his services, and he would join star-studded classes at either school. No date has been set for his final decision but it could come late in the process as fellow five-star recruits Aaron Gordon and Andrew Wiggins mull over their own decisions. Both players are also reportedly considering Kentucky, which begs the question as to where all these superstar recruits would find enough playing time in John Calipari’s star-studded lineup?