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November 27, 2012

Randle confident injury won't slow him down


MORE: Thanksgiving Hoopfest wrap

You can't plan for injuries. Julius Randle knows that all too well.

The No. 2 player in the class of 2013 from Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian was all set for a big senior year and he was off to a great start at last weekend's Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Duncanville, Texas. Then on Saturday night, halfway through the second quarter of the second game of the 6-foot-9 forward's senior year, he came down funny on a drive to the hoop.

Randle limped off the court and went straight to the trainer. He would return to the bench during the fourth quarter but not play. Monday afternoon, the five-star confirmed to Rivals.com that he'd broken his foot and would be having surgery on Tuesday afternoon.

Although the injury could keep him out for up to three months, Randle called it a "bump in the road" and remains quite positive. Prior to hurting himself, Randle had spent time updating Rivals.com on his recruitment and game.

Notably, Randle was excited about his improvement on the offensive end of the floor. He's always been strong around the rim and able to handle the ball. But, he was looking more patient and improved as a jump shooter through the game and half he was able to play in Duncanville.

According to Randle, his inside-out play was indicative of how the coaches of his final six of Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, N.C. State, Oklahoma and Texas have been recruiting him for the next level.

"That's how they all see me playing," Randle told Rivals.com of his ability to play facing the hoop at his size. "Every coach that I talk to that's on my list right now, I ask them what I need to do if I go there to be ready. That's the main thing, make sure my perimeter game is right and my post-up game, too."

While the injury will keep Randle out of action for a while, his body of work and what he showed prior to hurting himself will make it hard for anybody to leapfrog him in the rankings. A few months of missed action won't make coaches want him any less. During the fall, he took official visits to Florida and Kentucky as well as unofficial visits to Oklahoma and Texas.

"I spent time with the coaches, and all in all it was a lot of fun on those visits to hang out with the players and all that stuff," he said." I got an up-close look at how the programs are run."

Next on the visit slate for Randle will be official trips to Texas and Kansas in December and N.C. State in late January. Along the way he'll be working to rehab his foot, and there shouldn't be any change to what he's been looking for in schools all along. "It's pretty much the same thing," he said. "Playing style, a coach I can trust and a coach that's going to get me ready for the next level and somewhere I think that I can win."



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