Freeze Frame: Julius Randle’s Versatile Offensive Game

Posted by Brian Joyce on November 11th, 2013

Julius Randle has played in just two college basketball games, but it is obvious that he has a bright future ahead of him. He started out his college career with 23 points and 16 rebounds on Friday night only to follow that up with 22 points and 14 rebounds on Sunday against Northern Kentucky. His 22.5 points and 15 rebounds per game are the best start to a college career for any freshman under John Calipari. Now might be a good time to remind you that Calipari has coached some pretty talented freshman over the last several years, and Randle could end up being right there in the debate as the best of them all.

Julius Randle can beat his opponent in so many ways. (M. Zerof/USA Today)

Julius Randle can beat his opponent in so many ways. (M. Zerof/USA Today)

Randle has done a little bit of everything so far. We already mentioned his rebounding. He is a solid defender. He is also unselfish, distributing two assists per game. He has even brought the ball up the court a couple of times. But perhaps the most impressive part of his game has been the versatility in his offensive repertoire. Randle has scored from underneath the basket, put back easy buckets working the offensive glass, posted up smaller opponents, taken the defender off the drive from the perimeter, and pulled up for the mid-range jumper. Randle has found multiple ways to become an offensive threat, making him a difficult player to stop.

In the first edition of Freeze Frame for the 2013-14 season, we examine Randle’s resourceful offensive game from the first two contests. Randle has been outstanding for Kentucky, finding the basket with the following skills:

Working the offensive glass: Randle has become a dominant low post player, grabbing offensive boards and putting the ball up in traffic. In this frame, Randle grabs the miss, and despite the entire UNC Asheville team surrounding him, still finds a way to score.

Putting the ball on the floor and slashing to the basket:  Randle can move for a 6’9″ power forward. He isn’t afraid to take his defender off the dribble to attack the basket as he does here against Northern Kentucky for a big dunk.

Running the floor:  Randle flat out hustles. Here, you can see the big guy grab a defensive rebound and run the length of the floor to get the basket. When Randle runs the floor like this he will be nearly impossible for opposing big men to keep up with.

Using the pump fake: Randle knocked down a couple of mid- to long-range shots in the first two exhibition games, enabling him to effectively use the pump fake to get past his defender. In this frame, Randle uses a shot fake and then his body to gain an opening to the basket.

Drawing fouls: Randle has become quite adept at drawing fouls with the new rule changes in college basketball. Against UNC Asheville, Randle drew three fouls in a row in one possession, finally going to the free throw line on the third.

Foul one:

Foul two (though this one certainly looks like a phantom foul to us):

And foul three:

Randle is just two games into his college career, but he already has the offensive moves of an NBA power forward. As he continues to expand and refine his offensive game, look for him to further excel in Calipari’s dribble-drive offense.

Brian Joyce (333 Posts)

Brian Joyce is an advanced metrics enthusiast, college hoops junkie, and writer for the SEC basketball microsite for Rush the Court.

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