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Kentucky forward James Young (1) shoots during the2 first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Kentucky forward James Young (1) shoots during the2 first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Question: What do you think of James Young’s play and has he helped his NBA stock?

Isaacson: “There’s no denying Young’s athleticism, and he’s a good shooter when makes sure to get set, but I don’t think as highly of him as many do. It’s nothing against Young, but the reality is there are plenty of James Young-type players on NBA benches and the D-League is full of them, so I wouldn’t see a real need to take him too high. I do think Young has impressed teams with his ability to defend well when he tries to and along with Randle, Young’s effort seems to be the most consistent of the Kentucky rotation. Young’s biggest problem is he spends too much time trying to be a player he’s not, or at least not yet. Focus on being the consistent shooter the team needs and don’t worry about creating scoring opportunities that just aren’t there.”

Question: Have teams found weaknesses in Julius Randle’s play and could he still be a top five pick? Where do you see him needing the most work to be ready for the NBA?

Isaacson: “I think I addressed early in the season that teams were going to figure out Randle’s go-to moves and his weak right hand, and teams also saw the same thing. Now some teams just don’t have the strength to stop Randle, even knowing what he is going to do, but even so, I have seen Randle try to do different things, like going to his right and looking for teammates off the dribble. He’s still not very good at it, but you really shouldn’t expect him to be. The fact that he is not shying away from working on his expanding his game is a very good thing. I see no reason why Randle couldn’t be a Top 5 pick, and if he wasn’t, it’s likely because a team had a different kind of player in mind and not a knock on Randle’s game. The biggest areas he still needs to work on, along with what I mentioned already, are his defense and being able to knock down mid-range jumpers. Randle has the raw tools to be a good defender, he’s just not very good at it yet and it’s really about getting him to focus on the basics of playing defense. The shooting will be vital down the road as he’s going to be up against many more players who are as strong as him and he needs to add the versatility to his game.”

3 Responses to Ed Isaacson of NBAdraftblog.com breaks down Kentucky’s James Young, Julius Randle

  • Little Baron says:

    Randle is the only UK player this season who has been consistent (with some exceptions), with Alex also high on the list but has not gotten as many minutes. Willie was at the top until the Arkansas game and then something happened.

    The guy we will really miss next year is the one who will justifiably go the highest of the UK players in the draft.

  • King Ghidora says:

    Maybe Randle will want to develop his game another year at the college level. He wouldn’t be the first potential top 5 pick to stay at UK under Cal. Jones did it. Jones is tearing up the NBA lately BTW. Maybe his extra year at UK helped him after all. The NBA has plenty of people his size but not many of them have his handle on the ball. He played PG at one time (talking about Jones here). I think Randle has a good handle too but like Isaacson said, he has a limited number of moves and has trouble going right. Would he be better off developing his game at UK or in the D league. The thing is once you get drafted you have a salary scale based on your draft position. Waiting another year might help him move up in the draft. He could end up making far more money by waiting that extra year. He has the tools but apparently that spin move has been enough for him up until this season. He still does well of course but he can do better. He has the quickness of Jones and a good handle plus he’s much stronger than Jones was. He has the tools to become a truly great player. He isn’t far from there now but I do think a lot of teams will look at his limited number of shots in his arsenal and wonder if he will ever break free of his current mold. They wouldn’t have to guess if he showed a new set of moves playing for the Cats next year. So I still have hope that he might stay another year especially if this season doesn’t end like he hopes it will. A winning team (as in a national title or a final four) usually means players who get drafted high.

  • coldspringmike says:

    Randle and Young will both declare but Young really needs to stay.

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