Randolph delivers top performance
March 29, 2013, 11:00 pm
BOSTON -- Dahntay Jones watched number 42 in green and white do exactly what he knew he was capable of doing in white and blue.
Jones was a senior at Duke University when he played with Shavlik Randolph. Then a freshman, Randolph had earned accolades as being one of the top players in the state of North Carolina, and the entire country.
Randolph averaged 7.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game during the 2002-03 season before Jones graduated. Over the next two years, his numbers dropped to 4.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game before Randolph declared for the 2005 NBA Draft, in which he was not selected.
"Shav has always been very talented -- he was a McDonald's All-American," Jones told CSNNE.com. It's just that it was a situation at Duke where he couldn't do the things that people thought he was capable of. Now he's getting a chance to in the NBA."
Randolph signed with the Boston Celtics this month. Eight years after sporadic stints in the NBA and time overseas, Randolph put together a standout performance against the Atlanta Hawks that left him just one point shy of his first career double-double. He posted 13 rebounds and 9 points in just 22 minutes off the bench.
"He still has a variety of skills," said Jones. "He's well rounded, he's gained some more weight, he's stronger now, he's able to bang now, which he wasn't before. He's been playing extremely well."
Randolph is making a case for minutes with his aggressive rebounding (5.1 per game) and focused mentality. It has taken him time to establish himself in the NBA, but he showed Friday night he has potential to make an impact.
"Sometimes it's a matter of opportunity on the right team, the right fit, the right system," said Jones. "I think he's in a place where he's appreciated and he can play and have fun again."