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By LARRY VAUGHT

Former Kentucky assistant coach Joe Dean is now an analyst on Southeastern Conference TV games and has been preparing for the upcoming basketball season. Dean, the athletics director at Birmingham-Southern, offered these insights on UK during last week’s SEC Media Days.

Question: Did you vote for Kentucky freshman Julius Randle for SEC preseason player of the year?
Dean: “I did not. I picked Wilie Cauley-Stein of Kentucky on my top five. I just don’t know anything about Julius Randle. I hear he is incredible and if he is, I will congratulate  him like Anthony Davis. I would not have voted Anthony Davis when he came in. I haven’t seen and don’t know. Maybe other media more of a feel. But I like to pick kids that have been in the league and proven they can play in the league. I picked Jarnell Stokes of Tennessee as player of the year. I think he is a tremendous player, great team player, high character kid.”

Question: Why did you put Cauley-Stein in your top five picks?
Dean: “I like his upside. I thought he really got better as the season went on. He is a 7-footer and when you see that guy was a successful receiver in football, that tells you the kind of athleticism he has. I like all the athletic attributes he has. He is long, he can shoot the ball facing (the basket), he is a shot blocker and I love his attitude. He is very coachable and team-oriented. I think he can be a leader on the team.”

Question: Will having more talent around him help him?
Dean: “He will probably get lot a little bit in all the talent. I would compare him to Patrick Patterson on Calipari’s first team. An older guy who had been through he wars that can kind of be the leader and player with experience who can talk to younger guys about what it will be like. I spent six years at Kentucky and you don’t understand the pressure that is there day in, day out when you are everybody’s biggest game. I don’t care how talented a freshman you are, you have no clue what that is like until you go through it. Go to Starkville, Athens and Gainesville and the crowds are sold out and all over you the minute you walk into the gym. To do that nine times (in the SEC) can be hard. That’s what they have to learn and Willie can be a leader.”

7 Responses to Analyst Joe Dean on Julius Randle, Willie Cauley-Stein

  • Gene T. says:

    WE ARE UK! We need towels that say that. Give out cheap one’s and sell nice one’s

  • phillip Barker says:

    Wow, Joe! If you “don’t know anything about Julius Randle”, then how in the world can you pick Florida over the Cats? I’ve always liked Joe Jr. and still do, but he should have abstained from voting since he obviously has not done his research homework. I could be wrong about how good I think the young Cats will be, however these freshmen have worn out the AAU circuit experience wise and are physically more advanced than a lot of upperclassmen.
    .

  • Juan4UK says:

    It seems that Joe D Jr. has a very cautious approach w freshmen. I can understand that, and even respect the POV. And, in fact, I agree that Stokes should be up there and in the mix; so I have no issue with his pick of POY for the SEC.
    However, Joe needs to move forward with the times and point out qualifications with his analysis as well as to, maybe, start focusing or develop is ability to project based on what he sees. I haven’t seen Randle, or any of these guys play. But I can watch that scrimmage and I can look at some of these pick up game clips (NOT the highlight reels) and see how athletic they are, how physical they are in relation to other Fr, So, Jr, and Senior’s of various size and skill. Last yr at BBM my jaw literally gaped at WCS athletic ability. Now, he certainly didn’t have the immediate adaptaion that Noel did, but he made great strides and I really do expect great things out of him this yr.
    Joe needs to allow himself to project based on what he has seen and has learned from a players limited history up until college. That can provide a clue but is no means a great indicator. Qualify it if you have to, but expand your thought process, the game and media coverage is changing.

  • Little Baron says:

    Phillip Barker… ABSOLUTELY!!!
    If Jr is not up to snuff with incoming players, then he should abstain from voting.

    This is basketball and media folks need to be up to date if they are going to vote and voice opinions. We have enough folks (both sides of the aisle) in DC who vote without a clue what they are voting on (or how many mega-billions is pork-barreled) so let’s at least keep College Hoops above that level of incompetency! Jr just dropped a few rungs down the ladder as far as credibility goes.

  • Little Baron says:

    Joe Dean, JR should have AT LEAST told us how 4th year FL players, who have not yet been able to crack the draft projections, are going to out-perform Julius Randle, a projected Top 3 draft prospect this year and Willie, who could have gone as a first rounder, and more likely a lottery pick, this past June.

  • Zack says:

    stopped reading after Dean said Stokes was a high character kid.

  • King Ghidora says:

    I don’t understand how someone who admits that he doesn’t know anything about incoming players can make a sound judgement on what to expect from their teams. I have always liked Dean Jr. but he has stuck his foot in his mouth here. I think he should have planned his comments a little better because he comes off looking like a guy stuck in the 1990′s who didn’t notice that UK won with a very young team in 2012. Plus Florida won with a team not much more experienced then turned around and won it again. I just think his comments show a lack of common sense. If you don’t know the subject how can you make an informed opinion?

    I still think a lot of what he said is wishful thinking because he doesn’t want UK winning the SEC every year. His only hope to see the Tigers win is for experience to make a big difference. They have plenty of that at LSU because their players don’t go pro. And the Deans have always been dedicated to LSU even though they have done their jobs well when they were associated with other schools or with announcing etc.. I just think there’s something to him wanting to see other teams win, especially LSU. I know he went to Miss. St. and coached at UK back in the late 70′s and early 80′s but even then I felt like his loyalties were with LSU. His dad was so dyed in the wool LSU that it rubbed off on Jr.. LSU fans talk about him being a fan of the team on their boards. Let’s face it. He rode his dad’s coat tails into basketball as a player, a coach and a commentator plus being an AD obviously. I think he was always loyal to his dad and his dad’s team which was LSU.

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