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Freshman star Julius Randle admits UK ‘harder’ than expected, but nothing ‘I can’t handle’

Boise State's Jeff Elorriaga (11) and Chris Nealey (14) guard Kentucky Wildcats forward Julius Randle (30) in the first half. (Clay Jackson photo)

Boise State’s Jeff Elorriaga (11) and Chris Nealey (14) guard Kentucky Wildcats forward Julius Randle (30) in the first half. (Clay Jackson photo)

Here’s part of what Kentucky freshman Julius Randle — and you have to like his answers — had to say after Tuesday night’s win over Boise State.

On what they did well defensively …
“Communication. We fixed a lot of things from last game. We talked a lot better on the floor. We still had some breakdowns but we got better.”

On if this entire experience has been harder than he expected …
“Yeah, way harder. It’s nothing I can’t handle. The mental aspect of getting yourself ready everyday. It’s not high school or AAU where you can take days off. You have to be ready to compete every day. Coach is going to coach you hard every day. You have to be mentally prepared to do that as well as physically. You have to take care of your body.”

On how he evaluates his performance after a game …
“First, I think about how the team did. I think collectively we did well. Next, I can assess my individual play. Still left a lot out there. Four turnovers—that’s easy to fix. One of them I did something stupid and threw it to Dakari (Johnson). One was caught in the post. It’s just little stuff. It’s easy to fix. It’s not like I’m trying to do something outrageous, other than that Dakari pass.”

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  1. TheProfessor

    What puzzles me is what do kids like Randle think other people mean when they say what got you here won’t get you there? There is another part of that riddle that has remained unsaid is, “What will get you there, won’t sustain you there.”

  2. Little Baron

    Professor… It is much like the educational system. Many Freshmen in High School are overwhelmed by the sudden expectations, after they breezed through Middle School. The pampering & pretending that all the Middle Scboolers are doing so well even though they are still using their fingers to do simple math in the 8th grade is equivalent to many AAU teams which just play ball without learning any fundamental or ever truly working hard on their actual game. They can’t hit Free Throws or dribble without palming the ball.

    What a joke when a ref suddenly decides to call someone for palming (or carrying) the ball after watching it be done for 30 minutes by every player without ever being called. It is just a way to give refs the liberty to stick to a team if they want to at any given time.

  3. LindaS

    I think pampering in high school has a lot to do with the mindset of many basketball players. They are good, they know they are good and they don’t realize they are up against the best in the nation every game and not just one or two players every now and then like in high school. They don’t have the work ethic you need when you come to a premier program, hard work is not what they were expecting, they thought they could get by on talent alone.

  4. TheProfessor

    So, every kid believes he is different from those that have gone through this process before him. That he is different from those that realized how hard they had to work to succeed. That he is different from all of them because they were simply not as talented as me. They then proclaim, if only to themselves, just watch how easy it will be for me, I won’t have to work like that.

    Well, if that is the mindset of each group of players coming through, there is a major disconnect between reality and their view of the world. In addition, that attitude is a recipe for failure in life because as Sachel Paige once observed, don’t look back because someone might be gaining on you, it take a commitment to be the best you can be to be successful, not a determination to do the minimum to get by.

    That seems to be the life lesson Calipari should be teaching, and it may well be the lesson he wants to teach.

  5. lunchbox

    I don’t always drink the blue kool aid cal pours us but I was kinda shocked by how mad ppl got after Baylor…Im hoping once Andrew h. starts playing better this team we be what we thought they were. he has to play sum d an start driving to the basket more

  6. lunchbox

    i get so mad watching the games when i see these guys standing strait up jus walking. kinda like im cool im cool….a big point guard has gotta get down if he plans on staying with these lil fast kids.

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