By Jeff Faraudo
Thursday, January 1st, 2009 at 4:24 pm in Basketball.
I’ve got a story running in Friday’s papers on Cal point guard Jerome Randle, but here’s a subplot involving his relationship with Arizona counterpart Nic Wise.
Randle and Wise, who will square off Friday evening at Haas Pavilion in the Pac-10 opener for both teams, exchanged cell numbers last season and have swapped text messages in recent months.
“He texted me after a couple games and told me I’m doing a great job,” Randle said this week. “I said the same to him, but he said he’s really not playing well. He’s waiting to play us.”
Randle doesn’t think it’s gamesmanship. “He can’t get in my head,” Randle assured. “He’s a pretty good guy.”
But Randle understands that respect from an opponent means he won’t sneak up on anyone.
“That just means you have to step your game up to the next level,” Randle said. “You have someone scouting what you do, you know you have to change it up a little, you have to bring your `A’ game. It’s going to make it harder, I know that. I know he’s up for the challenge, and I am, too. I just love the challenge.”
While Randle ranks second in the Pac-10 in scoring at 19.5 ppg, Wise is part of Arizona’s three-headed attack, contributing 14.6 points and 5.5 assists per game.
“He’s strong. He’s a solid point guard,” Randle said of the 5-foot-10, 177-pound sophomore. “He looks to pass, but he can definitely knock down open shots.”
Arizona forward Jamelle Horne knows the Cats will see an excellent point guard in Randle Friday night.
“He’s definitely a great scoring point guard so it’s going to be a battle with him and Wise,” Horne said. “But you know I’m going to have to go with Wise.”