Matt Jones to bring Julius Randle to Duke?
Recent commit will try to lure top power forward to Durham
A week ago, 2013 sharpshooter Matt Jones called Coach K to let him know he intends on becoming a Blue Devil. In the next year-and-a-half, Coach K is hoping to field the same call from Jones' Texas Titans' travel teammate, Julius Randle.
Jones will make help make that pitch.
"I'd probably tell him, since it’s our last year together playing AAU," Jones continued. "J, I know you are going to miss me. But if you come to Duke, you don't have to, we'll be right there together."
(Listen to full interviews with Jones and Randle below)
Randle, ranked No. 4 in 2013 by Rivals, will be hard pressed to not give his friend an ear.
"If I don’t go to Duke, I know I’m going to miss that kid man,” Randle said. "At the end, I just have to make the decision that’s best for me."
The duo's friendship goes back to 5th grade and as time has progressed, Jones has become one of the top marksmen in the country (ranked No. 28 by Rivals) while Randle has become one of the more dominant players in the nation, regardless of class. Jones' pledge just further opens the door for Randle in Durham.
"Duke, pretty much, that's a great school, great tradition," Randle said. "They have one of the best coaches ever … There is a high chance I might go to Duke. I'm looking everywhere, I'm wide open."
Coach K does have an idea of how Jones can fit in the system. Standing at 6'4", Jones draws comparisons to a former Duke great, J.J. Redick.
"He was showing me tape of how they use J.J. Redick … how they get him open," Jones said.
Randle stands at 6-9 and can handle the ball in transition, beat his man off the dribble, among many other talents. Fitting in a player at his size with such a unique skillset does present at challenge, but Coach K has a plan for him.
"My coach always tells me, 'Don’t let anybody give you a position' and that's something Coach K told me that same thing,” Randle said.
While he doesn't pigeonhole Randle into a position, Coach K does make a notable comparison.
"He always compares me to the man I'm watching on TV right now, LeBron (James) … He just sees me doing so many different things at Duke."
The Cameron Crazies would like to see the same thing. First, they'd have to win the recruiting battle with UNC, Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio State, Baylor and a litany of others for Randle. For now, Matt Jones isn't a bad start at all.
Harrison Sanford is a reporter for Fivestarbasketball. Following him on Twitter: @HarrisonSanford