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September 22, 2006

Randolph has list, Hoyas figure prominently (Pt 2)

September 22, 2006 - (Part 1 introduced readers to Anthony Randolph, and supplied some of the in-depth reasoning behind this current senior's final list of schools. Part 2 will delve into not only what he brings to a basketball team, but his school visit schedule, and when Anthony's final decision will be made.

The final section picks up after a discussion of what Randolph's possible signing with Georgetown would mean not only to his high school Woodrow Wilson, but to the greater Dallas Independent School District as well).



Woodrow Wilson High School, located in Dallas' Lakewood section, received 22 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 6 assists a game from Anthony, who as a junior played center, power forward, and small forward for the Wildcats, a secondary school with great academic and athletic pedigrees.

Scholastically, the school consistently performs amongst the DISD's top three schools on Texas' standards-based assessments. In the sporting arena, the Wildcats boast a slew of standout alumni, including the aforementioned Tim Brown, along with fellow Heisman Trophy winner, Davey O'Brien. This culturally diverse institution was designated a historical landmark, in 1989.

Wilson's hoops coach, Pat Washington - in his second year at the school and sixth coaching overall - takes advantage of Randolph's tremendous shooting and ball skills by allowing Anthony to not be relegated to the 'hole', or center position. Being utilized in this manner has allowed Anthony to post, face up, pass, and shoot, while becoming increasingly comfortable patting the rock. For his efforts, Randolph would make numerous end-of-season all-star teams, including All-Area, All District, and All Region.

An anecdote supplied by Washington illustrates the breadth of Anthony's ability: "He took a rebound last year, and dribbled full length down the court. There were two guards who tried to guard him. He went behind his back, between his legs, split them, and hit a three".

Anthony's stat line alone indicates a broad skill set, as he actually averaged more assists than blocks, despite standing six foot 10 inches. At first blush, those who haven't seen him play may think that fact, coupled with this willowy frame, amounts to a young man that is all finesse, and may not be a fierce competitor. Such supposition would be erroneous.

During this summer's NBA Player's Association Camp, Randolph not only impressed observers with the overall breadth of his offensive game - he averaged 9.6 points a game, including a 21 point performance only bested during the camp five times out of a possible 900 games played - but also with his competitive streak and overall toughness.

Even when outweighed by 50 pounds down low or attempting to block a driving forward or guard's shot, and things didn't necessarily go well (as they inevitably will), Anthony never stopped competing. As such, he won more than his share of battles, against some of the best players in the land. "He will play anybody" opined Will Marsaw, when asked about his nephew's penchant to challenge all comers.

That said, Randolph's family does have specific on-court development plans for their loved one. "He will play where you tell him to play" said Marsaw, and given his height "A lot of people play him out of position (strictly a center). His ball handling and shooting proficiency are greater then a (typical) center's".

John Thompson III of Georgetown, along with the coaches at his other finalists - LSU, Texas, and Kansas - have all pledged not to pigeon hole Randolph (pun intended). "All four coaches say to put him in the five (center) or four (power forward) spot specifically would be a waste" shared Marsaw.

It is clear to Randolph and his advisors, including parents Mr. and Mrs. Washington, Marsaw, and Washington, that Anthony's present suitors will develop the young man on the court, but they expect much more than simply hoops advancement. "Where he goes, the staff has to prepare him not only on the court, but off the court" as well, Marsaw said. The coach at whatever school is chosen must care about the young man's total growth.

Randolph's choice is tentatively scheduled to be announced October 17th, after his final visit to Kansas: As indicated earlier, Randolph visited Georgetown last weekend, with a trip to LSU scheduled for this weekend. Texas was toured the week before G'Town.

Though Marsaw indicated his nephew's college destination will be "a family decision" - as it should be - he is positive the young man will make a good choice, as they "have equipped him to make decisions".

Washington, Randolph's high school coach and himself a standout at Florida Memorial in the late '80's and early '90', feels similarly. "I played basketball. I'm not going to make shots for them (his players) or run laps for them, so they have to be secure in their decision" he shared. "We are very secure he will make a good decision".

Due to G'town's coach, John Thompson, III, and the institution itself, Randolph may very well be a Hoya in 2007. "His basketball gifts would be a great benefit to Georgetown. And they (the school) would be a great benefit to him", said Marsaw.

The Hoya Nation hopes that on October 17th, this seventeen year old hoops prodigy feels the same.


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