Tuesday night saw Julius Randle cement his status as the stud of freshman studs, certainly on Kentucky’s team and perhaps in the nation.
Randle scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in UK’s 78-74 loss to Michigan State.
That gave him three double-doubles in three games and kept him on pace to be the most productive freshman John Calipari has had in five seasons filled with first-year stars.
Randle’s averages of 24 points and 14.3 rebounds surpass the bests for any Calipari player at this stage of his freshman season. Previous bests: Terrence Jones’ 22.0 ppg and DeMarcus Cousins’ 10.7 rpg.
Calipari, whose job is to note such things, described how Randle can improve.
“The only time they’re stopping him is when you hold the ball, so quit holding the ball,” the UK coach said. “Throw it up and go rebound it. That was our offense.
He’s a fighter.”
Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo said UK must improve as the season unfolds.
Then he facetiously added, “Now Randle, he doesn’t have to get any better. The other guys have to get better and will get better.”