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Insider

Julius Randle to follow Matt Jones?

11/28/2011

The nature of college basketball recruiting hedges slightly toward the greedy side. Get one good player, fan bases want another. Get two, they clamor for three. Therefore, in light of the commitment of junior shooting guard Matt Jones (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) to Duke on Monday night, there’s an obvious question: who’s next?

The question is valid given that Jones is AAU teammates with Julius Randle (Prestonwood, Texas/PCA), the nation's No. 3 junior. Within an hour of the commitment by Jones, Randle responded to the question.

“Honestly, I’m happy for Matt,” Randle said. “As for me though, I have to do what’s best for me and find the best fit. I know Matt pretty well and I don’t think he’s going to put pressure on me. He’ll tell me that if don’t go to Duke he’ll love me either way.”

Not only is Randle not ready to commit, he’s a long, long way from thinking seriously about it. “I really don’t even have a list. I won’t be making a decision until sometime next year during my senior year until I take my officials.”

While Randle won’t commit to a list, he has noticed a number of schools spending a lot of time in gyms he happens to be playing in. Texas, TCU, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Ohio State, NC State and Baylor have been omnipresent.

As of Monday, Jones is a defacto member of the Duke staff and he knows it.

“You know I’m definitely going after that guy,” Jones said of Randle. “When me and Julius talk we try and get away from basketball. I might have to try and slide Duke in there every once in a while but he’ll have to make his decision like I made mine.”

The seeds for the recruitments of Jones and Randle were planted last spring when Jeff Capel joined Duke’s staff. The former Oklahoma Sooners head coach was deeply involved with both players during his time in Norman. That interest carried over to Duke and it played a role in Jones’ decision.

“He’s been recruiting me since he was at Oklahoma and we have a certain relationship,” Jones said.

It remains to be seen if Capel and Coach K will have a similar effect on Randle?