It is sure fun to be able to see some Jerome Randle action on ESPN. The All-Time leading scorer for California Golden Bears Men’s Basketball, Jerome Randle, and his TBT team Eberlein Drive survived a late charge by Jimmer Fredette and his Team Fredette to win 80-76 to advance to Friday night’s championship final. They will take on the 3-times reigning champions in the Overseas Elites.
While Jerome may have been kept in check somewhat in this semifinal game, he still made some off-balance long 3’s and crazy finishes around the rim. Cal fans will get to see more Jerome on ESPN on Friday night!
What. A. Finish. @EberleinDrive advances to face @overseaselite in tomorrow's winner-take-all $2 Million Championship Game! #TBT2018 pic.twitter.com/HrNNPADAhe— TBT (@thetournament) August 3, 2018
In its 5th year of existence, The Basketball Tournament AKA TBT is an interesting summer diversion that resembles organized street ball. Many former NBA players and other college basketball stars join up forces to play in a winner-take-all tournament. The payout for this 5th iteration is a cool $2 million dollar.
With a mere 3 games left to decide the whole tournament, Cal Men’s Basketball alum Jerome Randle is the leading scorer for one of the four teams left in the 72-team single elimination tournament. Playing on the Eberlein Drive (one of the TBT founding team that has always been bad until now), Jerome Randle and his team will play against Team Fredette (and their star Jimmer Fredette) tonight for a spot in tomorrow night’s final against the winner of 3x reigning champs Overseas Elite and Golden Eagles (full of Marquette alum) - which is the first game at 4pm PT tonight.
The most interesting part of TBT may be the new rule this year to use the “Elam Ending”, named after Ball State University professor Nick Elam. Playing 4 quarters of 9 minutes each, the game is stopped at the first natural stoppage with less than 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Instead of playing until the clock runs out, the two teams will play until one team gets to 7 + the point total of the leading team at the stop. In this format, the game resembles more of street ball (often played to a point total) and there is no intentional fouling. More dramatically, each game can end on a “game winner”. ESPN’s Zach Lowe has a great piece on this alternative ending for basketball crunch time.
Randle, with the team high 29 points, scored the game winning shot in their quarterfinal victory.
Graduating before the current age of small guards in the NBA (thanks to Steph Curry and other), Jerome Randle never got a real shot of the NBA as an undersized PG. Still, Cal fans remember Randle as one of those unconscious shooter from way downtown long before Steph and Klay made that cool (and acceptable). Randle also has a comparable game to that of Washington alum and NBA star Isaiah Thomas. Without getting that shot in the NBA (yet), Randle instead had to dominate in the Australian league, winning the MVP honor in 2017.
Anyhow, I don’t really know enough about the teams to really break this game down. Nonetheless, it is cool to see Cal great Jerome Randle play basketball on ESPN.
Best of luck to Jerome Randle tonight (and hopefully tomorrow) down in Baltimore.
What: The Basketball Tournament Semifinal
Who: Cal men’s basketball alum Jerome Randle (his team is the Eberlein Drive) vs. Team Fredette
Where: Baltimore, MD (campus of Morgan State University)
When: 6 pm PT (game 2 of the semifinal doubleheader)
How: on ESPN on your TV and on WatchESPN online