Around the Dallas area, Julius Randle has been a guy that people have talked about since before he even started junior high. Now a sophomore at Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian and the third ranked player nationally in the class of 2013, Randle has grown accustomed to performing under the spotlight.
While the attention and sometimes intense scrutiny of his game might break other young kids, the 6-foot-8 power forward is remarkably mature in his approach and has learned how to take it all in stride.
"I'm not really the type of guy to get all caught up in the media or that stuff," Randle told Rivals.com. "I do what I have to do but I'm more focused on what I need to do to be a player."
After all, it's what he does as a player that has so many people talking about him. A versatile lefty who can dominate on the low block with his quickness, strength and explosiveness to the rim, Randle can also step out and play facing the basket.
"I've got versatility to play an inside/outside game and I can create for others on offense," said Randle of his game. "I play help-side defense, I can come over and block shots and I feel that I can see the floor pretty well and understand what's happening."
Because he's grown accustomed to getting double- and triple-teamed, Randle has developed preference for facing the hoop.
"I like to face up because a lot of time teams are running two and three guys at me," said Randle. "If I've got my back to the basket I can't see where they are coming from. When I face I can see who is coming and decide how to attack them."
According to Randle, he's already received offers from Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Ohio State and Baylor. North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky are also tracking him closely but have yet to offer. He also mentioned N.C. State, Wake Forest and Syracuse among others.
For now, Randle said that he's in no hurry. He figures that he'll cut his list down to a more manageable number in a year or so. Until then, he'll just continue plugging away while doing his best not to worry about whether or not he's in the spotlight.
"I'm working on being more aggressive from the start," said Randle. "Playing harder, playing defense and doing what I can to play to my full potential all the time."