In what was surely a disappointing ending for the Cal fans that tuned in, Jerome Randle and the Eberlein Drive fell short in their TBT (The Basketball Tournament) championship run. However, it was also very exciting for Cal fans to once again take a look at the exciting, pint-sized point guard doing what made him so beloved during his tenure in Berkeley.
The Eberlein Drive have been basically the Cleveland Browns of TBT ever since the inaugural year of the tournament in 2014. However, due to additions that included former NBA champion James Michael McAdoo and the aforementioned Randle, the Drive were able to find themselves playing for the winner-take-all prize of $2 million Friday night on ESPN.
Their opponents were the back to back to back champion Overseas Elite, a team consisting of many former college players yet little NBA experience. Even playing against the Drive with Randle and former NBA players Donald Sloan, Lou Amundson, Willie Reed, McAdoo, and former dunk contest champion Jeremy Evans, the Elite were able to grab their fourth straight title in an 80-58 win. As for Randle, he tied Sloan for the team lead in points with 14.
However, the most exciting part of the entire tournament (at least for a Cal fan) had to be the body of work from Randle, rather than the disappointing end. Even among a team of former NBA players, Randle was arguably the teams best player and even the emotional leader as when starters huddled up, it tended to be Randle doing the talking. Randle’s trademark dazzling handles, tough layup finishes, and deep three pointers throughout the tournament were not only to get his team ever so close to a championship, but also placed him on the All Tournament Team alongside TBT main attraction Jimmer Fredette and two players on the champion Elite, including Errick McCollum, younger brother of NBA Star CJ McCollum.
All in all, it might have been a bit sad to see Randle lose, but it sure should put a smile on your face to see that the former Cal star is still doing big things in the basketball world.
Did any of you Bears fans tune into the game? What were your thoughts?