Brandon Randolph looks to soar in year two
Incoming sophomore Brandon Randolph will try to make a statement as he takes on a much more important role in Arizona’s upcoming season. In all likelihood, he is going to be looked upon as one of the main scoring outlets for this young and unproven Wildcats basketball squad after a freshman season that was lacking in opportunities.
This newfound role has come with questions and doubts as to how the Wildcats will be able to compete at the levels have become accustomed to during the Sean Miller era.
Those doubts and questions haven’t gone unnoticed by Randolph.
“To be honest with you, it’s cool,” Randolph said as he fought off cracking a smile. ”It’s actually making me kind of hyped because I can’t wait till we surprise people. I love doing that.”
After a season that saw the Wildcats win the Pac-12 regular season title, while also capturing the tournament title a couple weeks later in Las Vegas, the ‘Cats season came to a crashing and disappointing halt in Boise as they were outhustled and outgunned by the University of Buffalo.
Inevitably, it left many Wildcat fans uneasy over this years prospects, especially due to the lack of star power that fails to appear on paper.
Randolph looks to take over the reigns from a team that loses multi-year starters in Rawle Alkins and Allonzo Trier, who brought a veteran presence to the team while also taking up most of guard minutes. With those two gone, the leash on Randolph just got considerably longer.
Randolph will now occupy a much more crucial role for the Wildcats, the transition is one that he is completely prepared for. He says the rest of his teammates feel the same way about the transition.
“I know we lost our entire starting five,” Randolph said. “But we know that we are going to be great this year. And people are sleeping on us because all of them left, but we know what we need to do,” Randolph said.
For the 6’6” shooting guard, he’s got the ability to shoot well – he shot 33 percent (15-46) from 3-point range last year – but the key focus for Randolph will be his development on the other side of the court.
“Just to basically get better on defense,” Randolph said. “I know what I need to do to just be great this year... defense is something I definitely need to improve on.”
While the Wildcats are being overlooked heading into the new season, that’s no problem to their potential leading man. It’s just what he has grown accustomed to.
“I am under the radar. But I have been under the radar my whole life so this is nothing new,’ Randolph said.
As the new sophomore scoring option looks to grow in his new role, the lesson he learned from watching on the bench and experiencing his freshman year will be invaluable to the Wildcats season.
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