CHICAGO — John Calipari going to have a couple of animals in the post next season. At least, that’s the word from the McDonald’s All-Americans that have had to practice against Julius Randle and Dakari Johnson this week.
The East team workouts have been tough affairs, and Johnson and Randle have been right in the thick of things.
The two UK commitments have been most commonly matched up with North Carolina signee Kennedy Meeks, Indiana signee Noah Vonleh and Florida signee Chris Walker.
That’s five guys and 1,220 pounds of meat in the middle of the lane.
And Johnson and Randle haven’t been afraid to throw their weight around.
“They’re both strong as hell. They’re both strong like bulls,” Vonleh said. “Once they hit you in your body, you just have to try to go chest up with them and try to either block their shot or stop them from scoring. It’s tough though.”
Walker called Johnson an “awesome post player” and referred to Randle as “a little LeBron with the left hand.”
Of course, at 6-9 and 245 pounds, there’s nothing “little” about Randle. Johnson’s even bigger at 6-11 and 250.
“Dakari is super strong. Julius is strong as hell too,” Walker said.
Meeks is the biggest guy at the McDonald’s All-American Game this year. The future Tar Heel is 285 pounds, but sometimes that’s not enough against the pair of Wildcats.
“Julius is like a bull,” Meeks said. “And Dakari is like … a dog or something like that. It’s kind of hard, not being used to playing against them all the time. I feel like it would be a better practice if I were playing with them all the time — throughout the year.”