Our own Jason Jordan is hanging out with Julius Randle, the No. 2 basketball recruit in the class of 2013, who will announce his college decision today at 1 p.m. ET. Here's an inside look at the buildup to the big announcement.
From the sometimes creepy Twitter followers, to the Foot Locker employees at the mall, to the giddy students stirring in the hallways at Prestonwood between classes, everyone has an opinion on which hat Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) star Julius Randle should pick today.
“I don’t think I’ve gone five minutes without someone saying something about it,” Randle says. “I don’t mind it, I’m used to it. Some have better reasons than others.”
For example, Florida coach Billy Donovan, who landed current Gators star Kenny Boynton by placing a Nerf gun on his coffee table and telling Boynton to shoot him once he started speaking disingenuously, sent Randle a text Tuesday afternoon reminding him that he was the missing piece for the Gators.
Then there was Kansas coach Bill Self’s text later that day telling Randle he could have a “Kevin Durant-like impact” if he were to choose the Jayhawks.
Then there was the anonymous letter someone sent to Randle’s house telling him he should play for a black coach and should strongly consider picking a historically black college.
“I’m still trying to figure out how they got my address,” Randle's mother, Carolyn Kyles says. “I’m not feelin’ that.”
The most practical theory came Tuesday night when Randle went to get a haircut at The Fade Shop from Travis Pearson, who’s been Randle’s barber for the last 10 years.
“See, I know this bond is tight,” says Pearson, pointing back and forth to Randle and Kyles. “That’s why I think it’s Oklahoma.”
Randle laughs and Kyles informs Pearson that the Sooners were recently cut from the list.
“What?” Pearson says. “They were on the list last week though!”
“Not anymore,” Kyles says. “So now who are you gonna say?”
“Yeah, who?” Randle says while he spins around in the chair.
Pearson turns off his clippers and looks at Randle. Then turns to Kyles. Then back to Randle, who can’t hold back his laughter.
“Look now,” Kyles interrupts. “Are you gonna tell us your guess or what now?”
“Well, I always said it was either Oklahoma or Kentucky,” Pearson says. “I’ll have to go with Kentucky then.”
The other side of the barbershop disagrees.
They think it’s Florida.
Randle shrugs his shoulders. Kyles follows suit.
“I guess we’ll see,” he says.