By Joe Henricksen

Chasson Randle heading to Stanford

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By Joe Henricksen

Yes, it went the distance. In the end, however, Rock Island's Chasson Randle decided distance wasn't going to hold him back. The talented 6-2 combo guard committed to Stanford and coach Johnny Dawkins on Wednesday, ending a long recruiting process that left Illinois and Purdue on the short end.

The Randle recruitment was a little different than most, simply because Randle is a little different than most top prospects. Randle is a down-to-earth, well-rounded, mature player who carries himself a little differently than most hotshot high school basketball players.

There are plenty of prospects who say all the right things about seeking the best fit, finding the right opportunity, seeing all a school has to offer socially, academically and athletically. In reality, though, it's about getting PT, being seen on TV and connecting with the coach and players in the program for most of these prospects. With Randle, however, it was all legit. Randle's process more resembled an adult making a life-changing decision -- like finding a life partner and wondering if it was time to pop the question ... or whether or not to take a new job and move the family across the country ... or to live life by logic or instinct. This was not a typical wishy-washy, puzzling teen making an uninformed decision.

While academics is typically mentioned by prospects (amusing when some of the schools kids commit to and sign with are not exactly recognized as stellar academic institutions), with Randle it was imperative to have the perfect academic fit. He's an elite student who has big plans for his future, whether that's with or without basketball.

What Dawkins and the Stanford program can truly be excited about in securing Chasson Randle is bringing in a player that possesses the whole package. Stanford has locked in a player it knows will go to class, thrive academically, graduate and bring zero risk in terms of character. Randle will bring intangibles that are so often lacking in today's student-athletes. In the world of big-time college athletics and recruiting, Randle is the anti-hot shot prep athlete.

As a player, Randle has truly matured over the past 12 months and grown to be more assertive and certainly more confident. A lot of that has to do with his time the past two summers playing with his age group's U.S. National Team and on the AAU circuit with the Illlinois Wolves. The 6-2 combo guard brings versatility, with the ability to slash and glide to the basket, knock down a shot, defend on the perimeter while creating and distributing when asked.

Randle built a strong relationship and respect for Dawkins and the Stanford staff. That connection, along with the academics and prestige of Stanford, certainly won out over playing for a potential basketball powerhouse. Stanford went just 14-18 a year ago in a Pac-10 Conference that sent just two teams to the NCAA Tournament and is picked to finish near the bottom of the conference this season. However, Stanford did nab a top 15 recruiting class a year ago, now adds a top 100 talent in Randle in 2011 and isn't too far removed from some basketball success.

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Too bad for the Illini, but best wishes to Chasson Randle.

Not a big deal if you ask me!! He was going to be fighting for playing time his entire career if he went to Illinois. To much talent in the backcourt is already in place!! Good luck kid.

Good for him. This, for me, is great to read about. Unfortunately, we don't have more stories about young men like this. Also, kudos to his parents for giving this kid what he needs to make it in this world whether he plays basketball or not.

He'll get a great education (which he also would have received at Illinois) at Stanford. What he won't get is a chance to play in the Final Four, which is where the Illini are headed with the talent already in Champaign and soon to arrive. Best of luck to Mr. Randle.

Congratulations to this young man. I've watched him play many times and admire his game. I've also had the chance to talk to his father and its obvious where he gets his composure from. This was obviously a well thought out decision. Playing basketball and getting an education from a great school. Does it get any better?

Lets just hope the Illini get Shaw! They still would have a amazing class.

nice write up, but I take issue with "Stanford won out over playing for a potential basketball powerhouse."

Let's compare supposed basketball powerhouse Illinois to Stanford, which "isn't too far removed from SOME basketball success" according to you.

Last 4 seasons, Illinois 84-56, a .596 winning%, and 35-35 in conference play. Stanford is 82-49, .626, and 40-32 in conference.
Illinois has two NCAA 1st round losses and an NIT quarterfinals. Stanford has one 1st round NCAA loss, a Sweet 16, an NIT 2nd round and a XBI semifinals.

Last year is the ONLY season in which Illinois was the better team and Dawkins has great recruiting momentum. This was also a BASKETBALLL decision.

Besides the distance from his home how can any kid with grades turn down a chance to go to a school like Stanford for free...and their hoops aren't bad either.

Great write up on Chasson that gave a good look at him as a player and person. I am not surprised by his choice other than I did think winning was a bigger priority for him.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on October 27, 2010 4:01 PM.

Recruiting Q & A was the previous entry in this blog.

Mike Shaw keeps Illini recruiting rolling is the next entry in this blog.

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