Kentucky loses, but Randle impresses -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Kentucky loses, but Randle impresses

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Julius Randle at the Kentucky Blue-White game. (Source: Acdixon/Wikimedia Commons) Julius Randle at the Kentucky Blue-White game. (Source: Acdixon/Wikimedia Commons)

(RNN) - Kentucky's young basketball team revealed some weaknesses when it narrowly lost to Michigan State on Tuesday, but freshman power forward Julius Randle was amazing.

He scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He led the second-half Kentucky comeback, scoring nine points in a 13-1 run that cut MSU's lead to 60-59 with a little more than eight minutes left.  

He drew high praise from opposing coach Frank Izzo.

"What I loved about him, he gritted his teeth, was ornery and nasty and he wanted to put them on his shoulders," Izzo told the Associated Press. "For a freshman, that speaks volumes. He completely did that. You could see it and hear him. Tough kid."

USA Today called the 6-9 Randle "a force of nature" and "one of the most dominant players in the country" after only his second college game.

The guy who had to guard him, Michigan State's Adreian Payne said there's really only one way to guard the youngster.

"Probably gonna have to double him," he said. "He's got a great first step."

Despite 17 turnovers and a miserable performance at the free-throw line, the Wildcats still only lost 78-74.

"They're going to get a lot better," Izzo said.

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