The Wolfpacker

May 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 29 of 79

■ BASKETBALL RECRUITING BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE NC State Is Targeting Elite Junior Julius Randle player, and one of the top juniors in the country is considering the Wolfpack.'s No. 3-ranked overall player M Julius Randle of Plano (Texas) Preston- wood Christian possesses rare abilities for a 6-9, 225-pound power forward. Randle is just as comfortable playing away from the basket and creating either for himself or his teammates, but also can drive hard to the rim and take just about any prep opponent off the dribble. He is also strong enough to do the dirty work inside, such as pulling down tough rebounds and powering through contact for layups or dunks. Randle's been on the national radar ever since his freshman year, and had one of his big moments come against NC State se- nior signee Rodney Purvis. Randle's Team Texas Titans squad battled against Purvis and the Chris Paul All-Stars in the semifi- nals of the 15-year-old division in the 2010 Super Showcase at Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The game was on ESPN3. com, allowing fans across the country to watch him for the first time. Purvis and CP3 pulled out the win and eventually won the title, and he also started a new friendship that lasts to this day. "That is one of my best friends," Randle said. "He is a really good person ,and he cares about you. Rodney and I have be- come close throughout the AAU season. We have a pretty good relationship. "There are other reasons [to consider NC State], but he is one of the big reasons." Purvis went to watch Randle play at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League No. 2 in Hampton, Va., during the last day of the event April 29. Gottfried, and assistant coaches Bobby Lutz and Orlando Early, also paid close attention whenever Randle played one of his five games at the event. Randle was able to get an up close view of NC State during an unofficial visit with his Prestonwood Christian team when the Wolfpack hosted Western Carolina Dec. 31. Randle and his high school had com- pleted playing IN a prep tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C. "Their playing style [s good," Randle said. "You know Coach Gottfried can coach. He came in and did an amazing job with those players this year. You know they have great assistants, great facilities and great fans. There is nothing bad about NC State to me. 30 ■ THE WOLFPACKER Randle, a 6-9, 225-pound power forward from Texas, is listed by as the No. 3 overall player nationally in the junior class. PHOTO COURTESY DEREK POORE/CATS ILLUSTRATED "I didn't know what NC State would be like. It was beautiful. I like it." NC State, Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Ken- tucky, LSU, North Carolina and Texas are some of the colleges Randle is strongly considering. Randle said the college coaches tend to sell him on the same thing, but he's also researching the history of the various programs and how players at his position have done. "If I know I can go there and trust the coach, and I have a good feeling about it, that they'll use me right," Randle said. "I want to see how coaches have used their players in the past." Former NC State assistant coach Monte Towe is a longtime friend with Texas Titans coach Scott Pospichal and started recruit- ing Randle in 2010 after watching the Su- per Showcase. The new staff has continued the recruiting relationship. Pospichal knows Randle has the traits of being a future champion both on and off the floor. "The old history is that great players aren't normally great people at times, but Julius is really a great guy and a re- ally great person," Pospichal said. "When you come here to this environment [at an EYBL event] and you see every coach in America, and most all of them want Julius Randle. He gets worried if he doesn't do well enough. He gets worried about what the scouting services say about him. It's because he cares. "I think he's matured more that way, and he works hard every day. Julius has handled this amazingly — all the attention. He's such a great teammate." Anthony Barber, Hampton (Va.) High: Ten Juniors To Watch's No. 13 overall player in the country can score on drives or from three-point land. The score-first point guard is as fast as any player in the class and is a national recruiting target. The 6-2, 165-pounder has earned offers from Virginia, NC State, Providence and the prior staff at Virginia Tech, plus interest from Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Alabama and Florida State. He'll play with the Boo BY JACEY ZEMBAL ark Gottfried and his staff are not afraid of fighting for a highly ranked

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