March 8, 2010
BERKELEY - After leading California to its first conference championship in 50 years, senior guard Jerome Randle was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year, the league office announced Monday. In addition, fellow senior guard Patrick Christopher was also voted first-team All-Pac-10, senior forwards Theo Robertson and Jamal Boykin were chosen for the second team, and sophomore guard Jorge Gutierrez made the Pac-10 all-defensive team.
Both Randle and Christopher were first-team selections last year, marking the 15th time Cal has had multiple first-team members. This is the first all-conference honor for Robertson, Boykin or Gutierrez.
Randle becomes the fifth Cal player to win the award and the first since Sean Lampley in 2001. The other winners are Jason Kidd (1994), Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996) and Ed Gray (1997).
Randle finished the regular season averaging 18.7 ppg and 4.5 apg and is closing in on Cal's all-time scoring record. He has 1,744 career points to date, just 32 points shy of Sean Lampley's mark of 1,776 points set from 1998-01.
Randle scored a career-high 39 points at Washington State and added 33 more at home vs. Washington. In all, he has had 14 20-point games on the year, including 25 against Syracuse and 26 vs. Ohio State early in the season.
Randle became the first Cal player and the sixth in Pac-10 history to record at least 1,700 points and 500 assists. He stands third on the Bears' all-time assist list with 510, in addition to holding school record in career three-pointers (242) and the season record (82 - set in 2009 and '10). Randle is also the No. 1 free throw shooter for the Bears, having made 92.7% this year and 87.6% for his career.
Christopher, who is sixth on Cal's career scoring chart with 1,633 points, posted a season-high 28 points against Washington on Jan. 16. Christopher paced the Bears in scoring in five straight games from Dec. 5-29, including 25 vs. UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 29. He is second on the team in scoring averaging 16.0 ppg, second on the team in rebounds (5.5 rpg) and leads the team in steals with 51.
Randle and Christopher both earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this season. Christopher won the award on Dec. 14 after recording his second straight double-double (22 points, 10 rebounds) against Pacific. Randle, not only earned the conference's weekly honors, but he also was named the USBWA National Player of the Week on Feb. 15 after scoring 33 points against Washington and 24 vs. Washington State.
Robertson joined Randle and Christopher in Cal's 1,000 career points club, becoming the 39th player in school history to do so. After missing six games earlier in the season due to a foot injury, Robertson came back to earn a new career high of 27 at Arizona. He ended the regular season as the Pac-10's top three-point shooter at 43.5, and his career percentage of 43.4 is the best in school history. He currently stands in 19th on Cal's all-time scoring list with 1,234 points.
Boykin has produced six double-doubles this season, giving him 12 for his career. He notched a new career high of 25 points when Cal was victorious at Arizona State on Jan. 28. The team leader in rebounds all season, Boykin ended the regular season averaging 6.7 rpg. His season field goal percentage of 59.2 ranks third in the conference, and his career field goal percentage of 54.7 is the fourth best in school history. He earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on March 1 after collecting his sixth double-double against Arizona (20 points, 10 rebounds).
Gutierrez earns all-conference accolades after missing five games at the start of the conference season with a knee injury. Known for his defensive intensity, Gutierrez provided a spark for the other Bears on the court whenever he got into the game. He recorded career highs in scoring (15) and assists (6) vs. Washington State, and pulled down a personal-best eight rebounds at USC.
For a complete look at the All-Pac-10 team, click here.
California Head Coach Mike Montgomery
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. 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.
Senior Guard Jerome 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. Coach 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.
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 form 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.
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.