Montevallo-UK notes: Julius Randle enters 'beast' mode in victory

jtipton@herald-leader.comNovember 4, 2013 

Voters put a freshman on The Associated Press pre-season All-America team. But that freshman was not Kentucky star-to-be Julius Randle.

Randle's play in Kentucky's 95-72 exhibition win over Montevallo on Monday suggested there should be a re-count.

"I think we figured out if we really need some buckets, put him on the post," Willie Cauley-Stein said of Randle. "He's going to really dominate in the post.

"If he can do that against SEC teams, he's going to look like an All-American. And we'll see from there."

Randle led UK with 21 points and 11 rebounds. That helped the Cats to a 47-25 rebounding advantage and a 60-24 landslide in points from the paint.

"Julius was a beast," said UK Coach John Calipari, who then prodded Randle like he'd prodded power players like Terrence Jones and DeMarcus Cousins in the past. "He had 11 rebounds. I thought he should have had 20. ...

"I'm teaching them how to play out on the floor, but when the game is on the line, where is he going? Go get that ball next to that basket and get us something good."

Montevallo, which started no one taller than 6-foot-7, found Randle unstoppable. How can you stop a freshman who combines size (6-9, 250) and skill?

"You can't," Montevallo guard Troran Brown said. "... No. 1, to me, draft pick."

The other freshman billed as such lofty terms made the AP All-America team.

Andrew Wiggins of Kansas became the second freshman to make the pre-season All-America team since the AP began tabulating media votes before the 1986-87 season. He joined Harrison Barnes of North Carolina in 2010-11 as the only freshmen to make the AP pre-season All-America team.

Joining Wiggins on the AP 2013-14 Preseason All-America team are Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Doug McDermott (Creighton), Russ Smith (Louisville) and Mitch McGary (Michigan).

Andrew Harrison

Although he could have played, heir apparent point guard Andrew Harrison sat out the game as a precaution. Calipari started Jarrod Polson in a move that moved Aaron Harrison to his natural position of shooting guard. The UK coach likened the temporary loss of Andrew Harrison to a football team playing without its quarterback.

"We're off tomorrow so that gives him another day of rest," Calipari tweeted of Andrew Harrison. "Hopefully he'll be ready to go Wednesday for our game on Friday. But no guarantees."

UK opens the regular season Friday against UNC Asheville.

Sunday conversation

ESPN's Seth Greenberg attended the game. He's in town to tape a Sunday Conversation segment with Calipari. They are scheduled to tape for an hour on Tuesday, then edit for SportsCenter airing Sunday.

No doubt the Sunday Conversation is timed to promote the Kentucky-Michigan State game next Tuesday in Chicago.

'It's on'

UK plays its first regular-season game Friday against UNC Asheville. After facing Northern Kentucky on Sunday, the Cats get thrown into the deep end of the pool with a game against Michigan State next Tuesday in Chicago.

"Basically, it's on," Calipari said. "Whether we're ready or not — and we're not — the bus is taking us to the games."

 

Jerry Tipton: (859) 231-3227. Twitter: @JerryTipton. Blog: ukbasketball.bloginky.com.

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