By Jeff Faraudo
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 at 5:28 pm in Basketball.
Just in time, Jerome Randle’s mom will come to the rescue this weekend.
Zsa Zsa Miller will make her second trip this season to the Bay Area from the family home in Chicago to provide moral support and home cooking for her son.
“I need those meals. Definitely,” Cal’s junior point guard said this week. “My favorite meal is red beans and rice, sweet potatoes, corn bread and chicken.”
That’s one meal, not a week’s worth.
“That’s a hard meal to make,” Randle said. “I can make the rice. That’s about it.”
Maybe mom’s recipe is what Randle needs to put behind him last Saturday’s loss at Oregon State. Either that, or another helping of analysis of her son’s game.
Within minutes of the final horn Saturday, mom was on the phone, offering her regular post-game critique.
The timing wasn’t ideal. Randle had scored a season-low four points in the Bears’ 65-54 defeat.
“I was really mad. And she was, `What were you doing out there?’
“ `Mom, I don’t want to hear this right now. I know I played bad, just be cool.’ I was really mad. I was like, `Can you please chill out. I’m sad right now. I don’t need you going down my throat.’
“She was like, `You just didn’t look like yourself out there.’ ”
Randle leads the Bears in scoring at 17.8 points per game, but Pac-10 opponents, with more detailed scouting reports, are making it tough on him. Randle’s scoring average in the conference is 16.3.
Coach Mike Montgomery appreciates that Randle isn’t forcing things when defenses gang up on him, but said the Bears cannot afford him to be too quiet on offense.
“I kind of like him when he’s scoring 25 points a game,” said Montgomery, whose club faces USC on Thursday night at Haas Pavilion. “He felt real bad Saturday. They did a good job on him with size, and they tried very hard to locate him.
“If we were able to score consistently at all the other four spots . . . but we can’t, so he needs to be a part of it.”
Randle understands his responsibility to the team.
“I know I didn’t play well,” he said after failing to score double figures for just the second time in 27 games. “I just feel like that game was so my fault. When my team needed me to play, I didn’t come up big for them.”
That’s what Zsa Zsa was saying on the phone Saturday.
“She’s learning. She don’t know everything. Moms think they know a lot about ball, but they really don’t,” Randle said. “She knew what she was talking about then. I didn’t want to hear it then, but she was right.”