Ripping Randolph

I was out of town for Christmas, but got back yesterday to see a slew of letters to the editor of the N&O lambasting Caulton Tudor for an article he wrote about Duke’s Shavlik Randolph. Naturally, I looked it up.
Tudor wrote that Randolph was a bust, his decision to go to Duke was a bad one and that Coach K recruited him not to use him, but to keep him away from Carolina and NC State. Pretty tough statements. And pretty poor.
Is Randolph a bust? Probably, at least in comparison to his hype out of high school. Folks forget, but he was widely considered a lottery pick if he had skipped college. On the flip side, he’s rarely been healthy at Duke and he’s not a guy with so much natural talent that he can afford to be hobbled.
As to whether he or Duke made a bad decision, I can’t really agree. Randolph isn’t failing because he’s at Duke. That’s preposterous. In fact, I think he probably rather enjoys being on a winning team and getting a great education on and off the court.
Lastly, there’s the whole issue of ripping college kids as busts. I don’t like it, certainly not for a guy like Randolph, who’s been a class act all the way. If he had run his mouth, gotten in trouble, fought with his coach and then flopped, then fine – call him out as a failure. That’s not the case here. Tudor picked the wrong guy and those letters show that I’m not alone in that opinion.
Edit: You can read those letters here.