BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In a game that didn’t have much defense, no one provided more offense than Brandon Randolph. And no one looked like they were having quite as much fun.
Randolph had 32 points to lead all scorers, propelling the Red Team to a 170-162 victory over the Blue Team in the Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game on Friday. He added 9 rebounds and won game MVP honors for his performance.
It was all fun and games for Randolph and his teammates for much of the contest. But in the closing stages, he said that everyone in the huddle was focused on the victory.
“We had a lot of fun out there,” Randolph said. “There was a lot of joking. But at the end of the game, we had to get this win.”
A 6-6 shooting guard from Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.), Randolph spent quite a bit of time down low – despite being an elite perimeter shooter. Like many of his teammates, he was looking to thrill the crowd with some high-flying dunks.
And during one late sequence, he did it. With his team up by four with just under two minutes left, Randolph got the ball in the open floor and threw down a powerful dunk to help secure the victory for the Red Team.
That dunk got the attention of the crowd at the Barclays Center. But that wasn’t Randolph’s focus. The Yonkers, N.Y. native said that he wasn’t intimidated by playing in an NBA arena and participating in such a prestigious tournament
“I’m used to playing on big stages at Westtown, so I wasn’t really fazed by this,” Randolph said. “It was just a normal day for me.”
Randolph had the chance to catch up with a few players from in and around Philadelphia – including Collin Gillespie from Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), Clifton Moore from Hatboro Horsham (Horsham, Pa.), and Daron Russell from Imhotep Institute Charter (Philadelphia). All three were suited up for the Blue Team – which didn’t stop the Red Team MVP from striking some banter with the other area stars.
“We were joking around before the game, and then a little bit during the game – just messing around a little bit,” Randolph said. “It was good to see them all here at this great event.”
Ranked No. 34 in the ESPN 100, Randolph is on his way to Arizona to join coach Sean Miller’s squad – fresh off their Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament run. The Westtown guard said that he’s confident he’ll be able to help the Wildcats on the perimeter. But he’d like to bulk up just a bit before joining the PAC 12 powerhouse.
“Just getting my body ready,” Randolph said, when asked about his preparation for next season. “I know that once I get my body right, I’ll be ready to compete at the next level.”
He recalled watching the Wildcats drop their Sweet 16 heartbreaker to Xavier, and vowed to help his new team next season.
“Xavier’s tough!” Randolph said with a smile. “Especially for Arizona. But next year, we’ll see what happens.”