By now, Julius Randle has made enough trips to Austin that he has a pretty good feel for the lay of the land at Texas. Still, over the weekend he took his next last official visit to Longhorn land.
According to Randle, his trip marked at least the sixth or seventh time that the nation's No. 2 player had been to Texas. While he's familiar with campus, he said that the highlight of the trip was getting to spend more one on one time with Rick Barnes.
"It was a lot of fun to get to hang around the players and especially talk to Coach Barnes," Randle told Rivals.com. "A lot of times he's dealing with the team more so I can't talk to him much.
"Just to sit down with him personally and talk to him and get to know him better individually was a lot of fun."
It has been a tough year for the young Longhorns who lost to Oklahoma State during Randle's visit. The staff didn't try and hide that they had been struggling, but they sold a young roster that they felt is close to turning the corner and ready to compete next year if they were to add Randle.
"They feel like if they add me that they have the pieces to make a run at the toruanament and win it," said Randle. "They feel like they need that one player to make it ove the hump like that T.J. Ford or Kevin Durant."
Speaking of Durant, the Longhorns used him heavily in selling how Randle could be utilized in Austin. They didn't tell Randle that he is a Durant like player, but pointed out how they ran isolation for Durant and put him in the spots on the floor he was most comfortable. Barnes also sold to Randle that for the Longhorns to be their best, Randle would have to play his best.
"The places they put him on the floor like the elbow extended, the post and bringing the ball up the floor in transition they feel like I can do that," said Randle. "We have different games but we can be used similar in terms of where they put us on the floor and into comfortable spots.
"Barnes told K.D. that for them to be good he would have to be a player of the year and he's putting the same type of expectations on me. I've always been good under pressure throughout my career. So it's nothing new to me but I know I would have to work ten times as hard to be successful."
Now that his Texas visit is out of the way along with trips to N.C. State, Florida and Kentucky all that remains is a final trip to another program he is very familiar with, Kansas. Randle re-iterated what he's been saying lately in that he's about ready to make a decision and Bill Self's Jayhawks get the final pits.
"Kansas has a great fanbase so I'm looking forward to that," said Randle. "College Gameday is going to be there so it is going to be a prime time environment and I'm looking forward to seeing them one more time."