It’s an indication of how far Cal point guard Jerome Randle has come that post-game comments from North Carolina A&T coach Jerry Eaves after the Bears’ 82-47 victory Monday night almost sounded as if he were talking about someone else.
“I love him,” Eaves said after Randle scored 20 points with two steals and two assists. “I think he’s probably one of the better point guards in the country. He’s tremendous with the ball, he leads the team, he’s in control of the situation.
“I think he’s developed into a really good player. He’s just a team floor general. Without him, it would be very difficult for them. He’s a one-man press by himself. He works the ball for 30 minutes.”
Randle is averaging 19.8 points on just nine field-goal attempts per game. Cal coach Mike Montgomery said he was unhappy with one of Randle’s four turnovers Monday night, and discussed it with him “in no uncertain terms” during a timeout, then let it go.
“I’m not going to jerk a guy out every time he does something (wrong),” Montgomery said. “We tend to like the pastry. We’ve got to stick with meat and potatoes. If we’re going to be as good as we’re capable of, we’ve got to be a solid basketball team for 40 minutes.
“Jerome is playing extremely well. He’s trying to do the right thing. I’ve told him, `I need you to be as good as you can be,’ and that can be pretty good.”
Defensively, Randle can be a bigger factor than he has been so far, Monty said.
“Because of his quickness, he needs to be able to influence the game more than I think he does,” Montgomery said. “He needs to anticipate. He can’t gamble. I don’t know that he knows how to do that yet, but we’re working on it.”