Basketball: Monty, Randle on awards

Here’s what Cal coach Mike Montgomery and senior Jerome Randle had to say today about Randle’s selection as Pac-10 Player of the Year and the other awards the Bears collected:

“I’m really pleased for Jerome. It’s the culmination of a great four years here at Cal. There have been a lot of ups and downs, and he finally came out on top. I do think it’s a testament to our team performance that individuals win awards as a result of team success,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “I’m really proud of our team to provide an opportunity and a platform for not only for Jerome to win the MVP, but to have four players on the first and second all-Pac-10 teams. ”

Randle on winning the award:
“I was surprised that it happened, but it feels great. I really want to give a lot of credit to my teammates. I probably would not have gotten this honor if it wasn’t for them. Coach has really believed in me. (Former)  coach (Ben) Braun really paved the way, and taught me a lot. With Coach Montgomery coming in, it really opened the door for me and taught me a lot to become the player that I am right now. I just want to let him know and give him thanks.”

Randle on how he heard about the news:
“It was crazy. I was in class and coach Montgomery called me, and I thought that I must have done something wrong. I said, `What’s going on?’ I received a text from someone in the office saying that they needed to talk to me, so I went over to the office and they congratulated me on the honor. I gave them thanks for being there for me and teaching me a lot.”

Randle on his teammates also receiving awards:
“I feel like my teammates are just as responsible for this award as I am. They obviously had to make shots when I passed them the ball. Just being the great players that they are, really opened up the game for me. Patrick (Christopher) and Theo (Robinson) are great scorers as well, so it’s hard to just focus on one player. You have to focus on Theo, Patrick, Jamal, Jorge, all of them. I feel like it really opened up the game for me, so they really play a key role in this.”

On the feeling on campus:
“I’ve never seen this campus like this before. Everyone is excited. I’ve received a lot of messages, e-mails, all type of things. I’m really happy it’s like that. But then again, we still have a lot basketball to play. We need to go down to the Pac-10 Tournament, and take that (title) as well. But right now, it’s really exciting. Everyone is behind us 100 percent. We are just ready to bring it home again.”

If anyone on campus has congratulated him:
“Actually, I don’t think they know about it yet. Maybe once it comes out in the newspapers, people will be a little bit more excited about it. But no one knows about it right now, just my teammates and coaches. My mom almost jumped through the phone.”

If he thought this was an attainable goal:
“I knew it was going to take a lot of just being focused and basically, just trying to win. I really had a lot of confidence in myself to just go out and win the championship. I never intended on being the Pac-10 player of the year. I always wanted to be. I just said that if it happens, it happens. All I was really focusing on was winning the Pac-10 title.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • K1W

    Great quotes from Jerome Randle. Congratulations!

  • ToparchBears

    A humble man deserves what belongs to him and share with others. What a great kid he is. I sure hope he is high on the NBA draft.

  • Esquire Joe

    It’s been such a strange season. Normally, we’d be sitting back at this point just hoping to make the tournament and get a decent seed. But this “down” Pac 10 year and senior-laden Bears team raised expectations (or maybe given that the bar was simultaneously lowered by a bad Pac 10, they just had more clearly defined expectations). Anything short of the title would have been disappointing.

    And given that there was a similar vacuum of talent surrounding the POY race, basically leaving Fields and Randle to battle it out down the stretch, it was easy to forget how great it was that we even had a guy in the discussion. Suddenly, it was expected of him, and it was easy to curse Randle for every turnover in the last few games because he was “blowing it.”

    Randle is a really great guy, as are his teammates. These Bears would be easy to love, even if they were in the middle of the pack in the P10. But maybe those expectations are actually their reward for living up to their potential. I hope lots of people stop Jerome on campus and tell him how great it is that he won POY and they won the title. And I hope our new expectations drive them to a great run in the tournament.