Will Julius Randle be the next Harrison Barnes?

The Tar Heels will look to replenish after possible NBA entries this spring

by Adam Zagoria and Harrison Sanford January 26, 2012 9:37am ET
Julius Randle 624
Kelly Kline
Julius Randle would be a key recruit for North Carolina.
Will Julius Randle be the next Harrison Barnes?

Given his style of play and the fact that Randle is actively considering North Carolina, there's certainly a chance he could be beginning in 2013.

"The one thing that [North Carolina] is going to need, they're going to need a Julius Randle to be a Harrison Barnes that can do certain things on the wing and he can play inside if he has to," Nate Britt Sr., the father of 2013 point guard and North Carolina commit Nate Britt, told FiveStarBasketball.com.

"[Randle] can do multiple things. He can just do it all. He's that type of kid."

With Barnes likely headed to the NBA along with frontcourt mates Tyler Zeller and John Henson, the Tar Heels will need strong replacements down low in the coming years.

They already have the No. 4 recruiting class in 2012 according to ESPN consisting of 6-6 small forward J.P. Tokoto, 6-9 power forward Brice Johnson and 6-10 center Joel James, as well as the 6-1 Marcus Paige at the point.

But the potential addition a year later of Randle, the No. 3 overall player in the Scout.com 2013 rankings, could be a huge get.

"They do good with bigs and just using players' versatility, like Harrison Barnes and stuff like that, and James McAdoo," the 6-foot-8 Randle out of Prestonwood (Texas) Christian Academy told Five Star. "They get out in transition. I love to run, high-pressure defense, and you can just tell by the way they play, their style is fun.

"And plus, North Carolina blue is a beautiful color."

Randle is one of the top three players in a 2013 class that is loaded at the top.

Jabari Parker and Nerlens Noel are the top two players in that class, but the Tar Heels don't appear to have as good a shot at those two as they do at Randle.

While Britt Sr. conceded that Parker would be a "perfect" replacement for Barnes, he also doesn't think that's likely to happen.

"I don't even know if they're still in there with Jabari Parker, because I think it's more Duke than anybody else [in the ACC]," Britt Sr. said.

As for Noel, Kentucky, Syracuse, UConn, Louisville and Georgetown are working the hardest for his shot-blocking services.

Britt Sr. said his son is on the case and is working to sway Randle -- who has offers from all the top programs -- to come to Chapel Hill with him.

"Well, of course, Julius Randle," Britt Sr. said. "They've had a few conversations and talked about it."
The 6-2 Britt, 
 out of Washington D.C. Gonzaga, is looking for other talented players to dish to.
"UNC fans are going to get a playmaker, a humble person and a hard worker," Britt told Five Star.
Another 2013 wing Britt would love to play with is Troy Williams of Hampton (Va.) Phoebus High, Scout's No. 8 overall player.

The 6-foot-6, 190-pound Williams is the nephew of legendary AAU coach Boo Williams, who told Five Star Troy has trimmed his list to North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgetown and Villanova.

"I think he probably will get it done in the next six months," Boo Williams told Five Star.

Williams has visited Kentucky and North Carolina "a couple times" each, his uncle said.

Terri Williams-Flournoy, the women's basketball coach at Georgetown, is Boo's sister and Troy's aunt, and so he's visited there, too.

"But we haven't been to Nova," Boo said.

Asked what Troy's upside going forward is, Boo said: "He's got a chance to be pretty good. He's a very good offensive player, a great athlete, very good in the open court. I mean, he's got a chance to be really good, especially under the right circumstances."

Still, while Williams would be a great addition, Britt Sr. says Randle could potentially approximate Barnes, likely a Top 5 pick in the 2012 Draft.

"I've been watching him since he was like 10 years old," Britt Sr. said of Randle, "and I'm just impressed with the kid because...his family and close friends, they got him really humble and they got him right where he needs to be to be a big-time player and successful.

"And I like that about those guys."

Now Carolina hopes Randle will like them enough to pull the trigger, too.

For more from Adam Zagoria, check out ZAGSBLOG.com and follow him on Twitter: @AdamZagoria.

Harrison Sanford is a reporter for Fivestarbasketball.com. Follow him Twitter: @HarrisonSanford

Related Jabari Parker Nerlens Noel UNC Tar Heels Roy Williams Julius Randle
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